With a to-do list regularly numbering in the dozens, SOS strives for efficiency — but doesn’t always achieve it.
Such was the case with Norma Halvarson’s refund, which came much earlier and much more easily than anticipated.
In March 2020, Halvarson, 82, of Monona, bought two tickets for the Capital City Theatre’s April 24, 2020, production of the musical “Ain’t Misbehavin,’” to be staged at the Elks Lodge on Madison’s Near East Side.
The show was canceled for the reason that should no longer need naming — and will hopefully soon be a not-so-fond memory — and Halvarson said she’d since sent the ticket seller, Brown Paper Tickets, 14 emails asking for her $90.18 back.
“They keep replying with generic emails always giving an excuse of them having a backlog,” she wrote SOS on Jan. 18. “I think they should have been able to get caught up and give me my refund by now.”
Complaints about slow or nonexistent refunds for canceled shows and flights have been a constant at SOS headquarters for about the last 10 months, and they are typically not very easy to resolve. With mass cancellations have come economic hardship, and some ticket resellers are loathe to part with what remaining revenue they have, while airlines are sticking to policies that bar refunds if travelers cancel their flights, even if the flights are canceled later for other reasons or take off with few people.
Not so, apparently, with Brown Paper Tickets, at least in this case. Unbeknownst to SOS, the company returned Halvarson’s money to her credit card account two days after SOS contacted it.
SOS then spent the next three weeks pestering the Elks and Capital City Theatre in an attempt to track the ticket revenue back to its source. It did not, regrettably, contact Halvarson.
But Capital City Theatre board president William Patrick Barlow did, which is how SOS discovered, to its chagrin and embarrassment, that Halvarson had already gotten her money back.
She said she and her husband, fans of musicals and jazz, plan to purchase tickets for future Capital City Theatre performances once they’re announced.
SOS' long history with Frontier Communications
Frontier Communications, which mainly serves rural parts of Wisconsin, has struggled to provide consistent service.
"Amazing that in just a few hours, you were able to get a problem solved that I’ve been trying to fix for 19 months!" she said.
"We were no-showed, no-called on three separate occasions," Hartman wrote to SOS on Friday, Dec. 27.
"I had already cancelled and returned their equipment," Steimel said.
This week, problems solved from opposite ends of communications history:
"In the last 90 days we have had working phone service for six days," one customer lamented.
To get a signal for their cell phone, they are forced to "stand outside in specific spot (in the rain) or drive our car to the top of the surrounding landscape."
Also, John Mandt reported getting refunds of payments on the auto repair warranty he'd signed up for in March and cancelled in April.
The response? $67.80 a month. The bill that arrived in his email Feb. 8? $73.58 a month.