• Report: #1096181
Complaint Review:

Ocean Beach Playhouse

  • Submitted: Fri, November 01, 2013
  • Updated: Fri, November 01, 2013

  • Reported By: anonymous — San Diego California
Ocean Beach Playhouse
4944 Newport Ave. san diego, California USA

Ocean Beach Playhouse, Lynn Bolton, Electric Ladyland, Electric Chair Lynn Bolton of the Ocean Beach Playhouse will Shamelessly Take Your Money san diego California

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Little time to spend on this mean spirited young lady

*Author of original report: After the fact interaction--continued poor customer service

*Author of original report: Refund was given after making a claim on PayPal

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I went to see Spider Baby, what I was expecting to be a campy musical version of the film. However, what I did see was worse than a high school version of an awful stage version of the film that was beyond camp to the point of being sad. The only saving graces were the actor who played the character of Ralph and the actress who played Liz. Otherwise, it seemed as if the playwrite, production crew, and actors had hardly watched the film. An example of the poor stage production was that they only had two mics on either side of the stage, which the actors had to pass off to one another when it was their time to sing. Suspension of reality did not even remotely come into play with this theatre experience.

I am a local and desperately wanted to like this show and this venue, to support it, and to tell my friends and family to patronize it; however, I will not be returning and will do everything in my power to make sure no one else wastes their money here based on the following experience.

I planned on leaving at intermissing after painfully sitting throught the first half, and spoke with the owner to discuss getting my $40+ back for the two tickets I had purchased, an incredibly exorbitant price for such drivel. The owner was not only interested in providing even very basic customer service or listening to anythng I had to say, she only offered to maybe comp a future show at this sub-par establishment, but could not even promise that. I tried to be respectful by not badmouthing the show/actors as they walked by, I merely discreetly requested my money back.

However, the owner insisted I give her the full reasons and argued with me on each point and then said she would only comp one ticket, since my partner did not hate it as much as I did (he is a very easy going guy that will sit through anything, no matter how bad) and told me to tell him to come back for the second half in spite of the fact that I would not be returning. She shortly left in the middle of our conversation discussing the reasons why I wanted a refund. She also blamed me for the reason why her business wasn't thriving, which was the saddest case of projection I have thus far encountered in a "professional setting." 


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/01/2013 04:54 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/ocean-beach-playhouse/san-diego-california-92107/ocean-beach-playhouse-lynn-bolton-electric-ladyland-electric-chair-lynn-bolton-of-the-1096181. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Little time to spend on this mean spirited young lady

AUTHOR: Luminous - ()

I am a local business owner, mentor, and artist. For the past 30 years my husband and I have had a spotless reputation. For anyone, who considers this account reliable, here is the other side of the story:

Firstly, this woman's name was not on my list of patrons for the evening. At intermission she came up to  me as I was talking with another patron when this woman came up to me and stated that she hated the show. I quickly attempted to move her away from the young cast members who were in the lobby so as not to have them overhear her rant.

I politely exclaimed that I was surprised that she didn't like it, and mentioned that plays were subjective. This one was an original and followed the movie practially to the letter. She told me that she thought it did not and she would like me to hand over her money. She said she wanted a refund for she and her boyfriend (who was nowhere to be seen and was probably quiet embarrassed). MInd you, she never mentioned her name nor her boyfriend's name. We conversed for a few minutes longer....and in an effort to satisfy her, and to get her to go away, I gave her my name and my email address and asked that she contact me the next day. I  needed more information, ie. name under which tickets were purchased and name of ticket agency. I was weary of her and embarrassed for my young cast, who were milling around within earshot.

Most people buy their admission online and we don't recieve payment until weeks later. We normally have little or no cash on hand during shows. I would not have been able to hand over her refund in any case.

She would not leave and continued her rant until I finally turned my back on her as the intermission was over and I had duties to perform. My last words were, "Email me." 

The next day there was a dispute from PayPal, which I immediately knew to be this angry little woman's doing. I finally had a name to put to the face, and the ticket had been purchased under her boyfriend's name, someone I recognized as one of our former music program students, Kris Lee. I refunded their money, happily! I was glad to be rid of them both. Her for the rant and him for the lack of a backbone in not coming to me himself. 

So that's it. But was it enough? For a normal person it would have been, but this girl is so vindictive that she chose to slander my name all over the internet. I've not said anything in my defense because frankly I don't have to. I work to hard and too often to be able to focus on negative people who come into my life for a split second. Today, when this post was brought to my attention by a service that expunges these things, I though it was probably time for me to address it.

Here is some wisdom I try too live by:EVERYONE YOU MEET IS FIGHTING A BATTLE YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. BE KIND ALWAYS. Holly Zynda you know nothing about me. You are not from my community where I've lived and worked for over 30 years. You do not know my family, nor my friends, nor my situation. I invite you to develope a calm and kind way to deal with people that is less pit bull and more labrador retriever. 

Enough said.

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#2 Author of original report

After the fact interaction--continued poor customer service

AUTHOR: anonymous - ()

The day after the play, the owner contacted my partner, the ticket buyer, with the following email, further exibiting her customer service skills. My response is pasted below. 

Hello [name redacted],

What sad irony this is!  I was happy to see your name, remembering you from music lessons with Louie.  I didn't even see YOU. Were you even there last night? 
It seems that if you and I (where were you?) had spoken we could have sorted things out quickly, however I was forced to converse with your girlfriend.... a person who apparently doesn't understand theater,  and goes to a musical production expecting an exact replica of a film.  She then asserted that she deserved a refund because,  "your theater is the worst theater I've ever been to?" How am I supposed to react to that? 
LIke it or not, theater is "subjective" which means you take a chance with every show. No show is for everybody....but to stand there and monopolize my time asking for money back during an intermission with actors and families of actors milling about was beyond tacky
I did at one point tell your fiancé  if she contacted me I would compensate her and gave her my email. I don't want unhappy people around, but I did want to hear from you-the ticket buyer first.  I was unable to hand her cash, as we don't even get paid until after the show closes. She stormed out when I was needed elsewhere and then proceeded to slander me on my Facebook page.  I've saved a copy of that.
Shame on you both. 
Good luck with your marriage. 
You are no longer welcome at 4944 Newport Avenue.... all businesses. 
I will GLADLY allow a refund.  I do not want your money.
Lynne Bolton

The Ocean Beach Playhouse 
4944 Newport Ave. Ste. A
San Diego, CA 92107
My response:
Greetings Lynn, 
Kris informed me that you sent him an email, and while I was trying to keep him out of this middle of this, I would like to respond to several points in it. 
First, I would like to apologize for overreacting last night. [I implied the "B" word in my feedback on her business' social networking page] I was very angry, obviously, because poor customer service is, by far, my biggest pet peeve in life, and you could not have known that. As a business owner and having been raised by business owners, I have zero tolerance for it, and sincerely apologize for getting overly personal with my response. I also meant absolutely no disrespect to the actors or their families.
Now, to your response:
You call me "a person who apparently doesn't understand theater,  and goes to a musical production expecting an exact replica of a film." I don't need to list my qualifications to you, but am going to do it anyway (at least in part). I grew up with yearly season passes to the Moonlight, regularly attend the Opera, and enjoy productions by the Lamb's Players Theater, the Globe, and other local venues. I was not expecting anything near the quality of those venues, because I know the Ocean Beach Playhouse is small and probably not a big moneymaker; I was also not expecting an exact replica of the film--had you bothered to actually listen to the reasons I was requesting a refund you would have  If you consider recognizing the serious lack of quality of a production based on decades of theatre-going to be be synonymous with not understanding it, then so be it; I disagree. A small bit of advice: you may want to lower the price of your tickets--it sets the bar high and reduces the likelihood that the seats will be filled. 
You then state "She then asserted that she deserved a refund because,  'your theater is the worst theater I've ever been to?' How am I supposed to react to that?" That statement was after you were already exhibiting very poor customer service, and I was getting upset, because you were not listening to me (you were arguing with me instead), and I felt I had to sum up my feelings in order expedite the process of getting out of there; but I do stand by that statement wholeheartedly. Had you listened, you would have heard about not only the quality of the writing in the play, the casting (I suspect nepotism), the choices regarding stage production (i.e., turning your limitations into benefits)...but I won't get into that all here, unless you genuinely want to know.
To answer the question of how you were supposed to react to that is: professionally. Even better, you could have stopped the whole thing before it started by simply stating "I'm sorry you feel that way, just send me an email and I will refund your ticket price." I would have even accepted an "That's unfortunate that you feel that way. I am not sure if we can do refunds, but I will look into it tomorrow" or infinitesimal number of other professional responses.
You mention  that I initiated what I thought was going to be a fast, professional interaction "with actors and families of actors milling about" which you call "beyond tacky." Tackiness is also subjective, but if that is the word you would like to use, so be it. However, I was the one trying to be discreet and not discuss the shortcomings of the play while actors were nearby. 
There was no need for the "Shame on you both." [name redacted] was only reluctantly involved in this interaction. 
Last, you say, "You are no longer welcome at 4944 Newport Avenue.... all businesses." To which I must respond, it was agreed last night that we would not be supporting any of your businesses in the future. None of my friends will be doing so either.
Now, a bit of advice, if you have made it this far. As a long-time employee of [name redacted], I would like to share a few pieces of information you might benefit from: 
There is an old saying that "the customer is always right." This is not to be taken literally, as I am sure you are aware. What it means is that you should be respectful and professional in any customer interaction and that you should not argue with customers. 
Even better business practices include listening to your customers to possibly find out ways for improving how your business is run and improving the customer experience for all. Word of mouth plays a big role in the success of businesses, and based on the turnout last night, it seems like your business is not thriving as much as it could be with best practices in place. You may want to look into this.
Anyway, I am sorry things had to go the way they did. I hope you take this advice to heart. As far as moving forward, there is nothing I can do about your reactions, so peace and have a great rest of the year.
She responded a moment later with the following. It seems as if she did not read my response.
Dear [name redacted],
While you are apparently an educated person, you were not socially graceful last night when you expected me to simply pull money out of a hat and hand it to you....and YOU were not even listed on the guest list. Furthermore, there were cast members and their precious families around. These were young people with fragile feelings. 
You never mentioned Kris and the first thing I heard from HIM was when PayPal sent me his email this morning with the notice of a disputed charge.
I refuse to carry on this conversation. Please refrain from emailing me or contacting me in any way. I just want to forget last night ever happened. I forgive you your rudeness....but I do not want anything to do with you or Kris.
I wish you well and no hard feelings.
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#3 Author of original report

Refund was given after making a claim on PayPal

AUTHOR: anonymous - ()

In Lynn Bolton's favor, she did provide a refund via PayPal after I submitted a claim through the website.

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