Spectacular concept; great idea for families. I heard about Acme Bowl and couldn't wait for an
opportunity to go. We visited Saturday, January 28th and what an incredible disappointment!
The facility and concept is truly superb. The
service was beyond dreadful, in every aspect. The facility is either understaffed or the staff is under trained or the management doesn't care how its facility is run.
We were a small party (5 people). We were told to
expect a 45 minute wait. I was okay with that. Obviously, you expect the facility to be busiest on weekends and we were prepared to wait. (The
management obviously understands that weekends are the busiest time, as the price schedule is higher for Friday nights and weekends.) While waiting, we decided to order some lunch from the
"Quick Service" window. This was our first mistake. Despite peak capacity and long waiting
times for lanes and pool tables, there was only one employee working the "quick service" window,
and this girl was also the person who ran completed orders out to the lanes. We ordered
an entire pizza; second mistake. The pizza was
almost inedible. It was slightly undercooked and
extremely messy, with no plates or forks available and virtually no napkins. It was also
loaded with garlic, to the point that we could not eat it. We tried, but ended up asking for our money back. To her credit, the lone girl behind the counter did ask someone if we could have our money back. While our cash was not returned, we were given our choice of other food
up to the dollar amount of the pizza. The choices were few, so we tried the soft preztels, which were almost as bad as the pizza.
The only edible item we found were the seasoned
french fries. This is probably a good time to note that every entrance door was posted with
signs reading "No outside food or drink allowed".
That means you're stuck with what's inside and it's not good.
We checked back on lane availibility no less than 4 times. I after the first hour I started
paying closer attention. At one point, lane 20
was open for more than 40 minutes even though I
had just been told there were still 6 groups ahead of us. Then I really started watching.
Within the next 15 minute increment, 10 lanes opened up and sat unused, again some of them for
more than half an hour. I made another trip to
the counter, where I had to wait behind more people adding their names to the waiting list. The man directly in front of me was quoted a wait
time of one hour 15 minutes. When he asked what would happen if he was out of the building when
his lane was called, he was told the lane would be given to the next waiting party. (We had been
there for an hour and a half at this point).
No one behind the counter could explain to me why
the lanes were sitting open while there were still so many parties waiting ahead of us. There
was some vague explanation about needing to "situate parties" ahead of us and waiting for
people to respond when paged. Waiting up to half an hour for a response? When the man ahead
of me had just been told, you snooze, you lose?
This doesn't make any sense at all.
After 2 hours and 30 minutes, we FINALLY got a lane. There was something wrong with the automatic scorer and it kept recording the same frame for the first person, and the second person and the third person. We flagged down an
employee and asked for a reset, but were told this was not possible. As a result, our last 2 bowlers didn't get to bowl their 10th frame.
Why didn't we leave? Because it was my niece's
6th birthday and she REALLY wanted to bowl. We
tried hard at putting a good spin on the experience, but it was just about impossible.
We were hoping to bowl several games, but after the first one (especially after we got cheated out of the 10th frame), enough was enough. It
was now dinnertime and we were disgusted AND hungry, having missed lunch while experiencing the ACME Bowl.
On our way out, we visited the women's room, which needed attention. It was incredibly dark
and no wonder, 5 of the 6 light bulbs above the
sinks were burned out. And the garbage was overflowing.
I stopped at the desk one final time. I asked
a Mr. Cotter (Rob or Rich, I'm not sure of his
first name now as my hand was shaking with frustration when I wrote his name down and now
I can't read it) who the manager is. His response was that he was one of the "operations
managers" and I proceeded to detail my unhappiness with our experience. His responses
were as vague as the other responses I had gotten
earlier and he clearly was not interested in
what I had to say. You would think as an operations manager he would at least have been
interested in keeping the lanes filled with paying customers.
Needless to say, we will not be frequenting your
establishment. This was an investment of $100 for a 4 hour ordeal that was supposed to be a fun
outing for a six year old's birthday. I will however be sharing my experience with my friends
so they do not make the same costly and frustrating mistake.
Finally, as a comparison between customer service styles, I will share our experience at the Rain Forest Cafe, which was our choice for dinner, which is a fun but notoriously busy place.
We waited 18 minutes, after having been quoted
a 20 minute wait. The person who checked us in
apologized for the wait, the girl who seated us
apologized for the wait and our server apologized for the wait. After the ACME Bowl fiasco, what wait? Our server Mike was attentive, efficient and went out of his way to
make this a memorable experience for our birthday
child. The manager stopped by to see how the service was; I saw her doing this a every table
during our 2 hour time there. What an incredible
contrast to ACME Bowl.<\p>
For a service industry, your service is lousy and the management should know it. There are
lots of other activities we could have spent
$ 100 on and had a good time. That is exactly
what we will be doing on our next outing.
Potential patrons, consider yourself warned !!!