Sunday, July 24, 2005

Red Square & Usability Marketing

Tonight, Ladies and Gents, I would like to share a tale which very much angered me.

Adelaide has a club that plays a lot of RnB. The music is pretty much SHIT not to my liking, but I was on a drinking adventure with my housemates, and they were eager to go. Donshae (one of my housemates) asked me to go and get ciggies. I had already entered Red Square before they charged a cover fee, and I was told that the smoke machine was in their foyer by one of the bar girls. So, I wandered out. I realised I didn't even have the right money for their smoke machine, and I had better go get it changed by the bartender.

At this point, a bouncer stopped me. I was still in the Red Square, but he had not seen me leave the big doors with an OUT on them, and he informed me if I wished to go back in, it was $10.
$10 to go back in. I weighed up my options. I was a bit tipsy by this point, but even I could see that you could not have gotten *past* the bouncer to get to the smoke machine from the street. However, this twit did not realise it. He thought I was just out on the street.
He insisted that I pay $10 to go back in. Bouncers being insistent don't tend to be polite. I thought fuck this, it's bullshit. He explained that the only was I could prove I was already from inside was to show him my exit stamp. Had I walked past him to go outside, I would have had one from the door girl.
I paid $10. They didn't give me a stamp, so if I was to come back out later this would all repeat. I was getting my jacket and leaving. Essentially I had to pay $10 to go inside to get my jacket.
My jacket. This is tantamount to theft. Paying for the return of my own property.

Can anyone see how I would consider this bad marketing? Bad usability?
I would probably have spent much more than $10 poxy dollars on drinks in their establishment.
Instead of going back in and drinking, I paid $10, picked up my jacket, and walked right out. On the way to a taxi, I advised several people I knew [and several I didn't] that Red Square was a fucking unfriendly place.
Now, a question, readers: If you run a club, what's more important? People paying to get into your club - a once off fee, or people having fun at your club and purchasing drinks - multiple drinks per night per visit? I'm strongly going to advise against red square in the future when my friends want to go. I'm strongly going to disagree about the quality of the establishment. It's at least made a few things clear about once-off vs subscription models for business, too.

I know you can't please everyone, in this world, but surely you can Get People With A Fucking Clue to be the face of your club. If you have a big, stupid bouncer infront of your club, who basically makes your customers very fucking unhappy, I'd call that something that's broken.

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