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Re: Arthur Murray and being an Informed Consumer
Posted by mm76012
4/1/2014  11:54:00 AM
Had to finish in the reply

Here is the real life example I recently ran into. I setup a Facebook group. This group had one intention only share opportunities to dance in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. It was intended not to talk about things happening at AM or any other studio. It was to simply say hey, we are going out dancing at XYZ anyone want to come along? It was not intended to advertise for other studios or even our own AM.

Now a few things slipped through. A Groupon for dance lessons got posted. That was more for people to give to a friend on a budget interested in dancing, not so much to lure people away. (We knew of a lot of people who would have loved to come to AM but cannot afford the equivalent of a luxury car payment to get dance lessons each weekend).

A few open events got posted that were sponsored by studios. A few of those events likely would have exposed people to the offerings at other studios. A few of the events were at the same time of the weekly practice party.
In my opinion this Facebook group is not like the cork board on the studio wall. I was not posting flyers on the studio wall or handing out information at their place of business. I was doing this completely independent of the studio. I am a grown man. I am free to do this. This is a free market society.

But nope, the owner of my beloved Arthur Murray could not abide. He took my wife and I into his office and had a long talk with us. To boil the argument down he basically said I dont know anything about Facebook and Twitter and that stuff, but here is what my staff tell me, and I simply cannot allow this!
I told him what our intention was. He stated our intentions did not matter. He had to protect his studio and his payroll to his employees. He had a business to run.

Well, yes sir, you do. And it is a free market. So regardless of my intentions I am a free man and if I want to post about places to dance I am free to do that. I am also free to stop being a consumer of your services. My wife and I, newly empty nesters in our forties, professionals with disposable income (you would think he would want to keep us) can make a choice that we will take our business elsewhere.

And we can choose to share the facts about what our experience has been. I actually do know things about social media and how to share things online.
Dont misunderstand, I do not want to bash them and say they suck because they do not suck. In fact they are excellent dance instructors. You get high quality instruction for the money.

However, when you couple the high price with an open hostility toward basic rights to talk about dancing (on our own time and away from their studio) then you have really crossed a line.

This AM owner disrespected me and my wife in a way that cannot be repaired and has lost a customer. I who was once a person who could not stop inviting people to AM will now simply spread one message be an informed consumer know what is out there as far as options factor the cost to what you personally can afford knowing what the other options are.

And if you go to AM studios and do not want to get belittled never talk or post anything about other studios or ballroom events! If you can live with that then you will enjoy your experience. If you cannot, then think about alternatives.
Be an informed dance consumer!

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