Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ticketmaster – A site optimized for the slow …

I am stunned. (Snickers in the audience again. :-)

I went to TicketMaster to look at tickets for Billy Elliot, which opens today. I would like to optimize my ticket purchase by looking at all the tickets that are available at once and then choosing. TicketMaster does not help you at all in that you must go into each specific date for a performance and check the tickets and then go into a new date.

Click ….. click …. click …. click …. click …. click … and on and on and on and on …

For every performance.

Of course, experienced users would know that this can be optimized so you don’t have to grow old while trying to buy something from a web site that exists to sell. I am, of course, talking about going to the main page for your venue and right clicking each “buy tickets” link and selecting “open in new tab”, which gives you the ability to compare the seating layout for all dates fairly easily and without all the usual pain. After all, much better to have each site load the site map selector so that you can immediately go there and see a visual of the layout of available tickets.

Not so … TicketMaster apparently protects the less knowledgeable (and no doubt in their minds they are protecting “Truth and Justice and the American Way™”) by shutting you down if you have the temerity to try to get the best possible seats across multiple dates. I opened each date in a tab and looked at the first tab, then clicked the second tab and got an error saying that the interactive map was having trouble.

Then I got this screen:


And I got it again after closing the browser and opening a new one.

I’m thinking … you have got to be fckungi kidding me …. they actually kick you off the site for using it wisely?

I thought I had seen everything. But apparently stupid runs deep in some development organizations. Since they are likely blocking me by IP address, why not implement something really intelligent like running a timer to check at 2 second intervals to see if enough of the slow people have had their requests serviced? Why not allow me to have slightly slower access (as stupid as that too is) instead of telling me that other people now have access to tickets but I do not?

Or how about this beauty: offer a “show me the best tickets across all or selected dates of this performance at this venue” … or an interactive map that allows you to select each date of a performance and quickly find the pair of tickets you might want. Instead of incessantly clicking around the site to get the seat maps …

This is what happens when incompetent people are given decision making powers in development organizations. You get incompetent software …