Apology tour

New York CEO visits Marquette to say he’s sorry for social media insult

Amber Johnston, of Marquette, presents TickPick co-founder and co-CEO Brett Goldberg with a Stormy Kromer, U.P. t-shirt and sticker at Blackrocks Brewery Tuesday. (Journal photo by Kelsie Thompson)

MARQUETTE — Some Yoopers don’t take well to insult. But many things can be forgiven with an apology and free beer.

Lines spanned far outside the doors of Blackrocks Brewery Tuesday night, as a New York CEO offered to pick up the tab as an apology for a customer service mishap that turned into a social media firestorm.

After a Marquette resident pointed out on Monday that TickPick, a secondary ticket sales website, left the Upper Peninsula off its map, a customer service representative responded with “We got the important part of Michigan, isn’t that good enough?”

The post gained attention across the region, with about 1,000 people penning negative reviews on the company’s Facebook page, dropping its rating from about 4.3 stars to less than 2.

Brett Goldberg, co-CEO and co-founder of the New York-based company, was not pleased with how the situation was handled, and wanted to make it right.

To address the issue, Goldberg issued a formal apology online, offered a discount code and flew to the U.P. to apologize in person.

While donning a Stormy Kromer hat and U.P. shirt gifted to him by a local, Goldberg said he didn’t think simply sending an email would get across the message that he truly cared.

Goldberg said he was made aware of the post at 9 a.m. Tuesday. He issued the online apology at 10 a.m., and booked his flight to Escanaba by 11 a.m.

“I’m understanding why people have so much pride (for the area),” Goldberg said. “It’s beautiful.”

He said he’ll be working with his staff to create guidelines and rules to ensure this won’t happen again.

Kyla Vasseau, the person who pointed out to TickPick that the U.P. had been left off the map, enjoyed a beer with Goldberg Tuesday.

“I work in customer service myself,” said Vasseau. “Every customer matters, and all anyone wants is for the situation to be remedied. (Goldberg’s) apology was sincere — he’s been talking to me all day, and has been absolutely wonderful.”

Vasseau said she hopes those who left negative reviews for the company will have a change of heart, and either edit or remove their reviews.

Goldberg said he plans to personally respond to every person who left a review on TickPick’s Facebook page.

The 10 percent off code to TickPick — “Yoopers” — is active through July 4.

Kelsie Thompson can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is kthompson@miningjournal.net.