Tonight and tomorrow night, Radiohead, a band from England that you may have heard of, is playing two shows at the Roseland Ballroom in New York. The show was announced only a few weeks ago, and tickets went on sale Monday. Through Ticketmaster. Yes, this ends about as well for reader Kelsey as you would expect.
Oh, Ticketmaster, I wanted to much not to despise you. But then you do something like this and I am forced to renew my vows of hate.
I, like every other music fan in New York, tried to get tickets to see Radiohead’s show at Roseland. We knew it was going to be impossible to get tickets, but you try anyway. So when I waited my turn online to find that I indeed had two tickets in my cart, I was beyond thrilled. I completed my information as quickly as I could (making sure not to let time run out), even through the Verified by Visa process, to the final confirmation spinning wheel… I watched it process for about a minute, after which I was greeted with a lovely error message [see attached] with a confirmation number.
My heart sank. Did my credit card get declined? Did I verify my card wrong? No… everything had gone smoothly (I logged in with my Ticketmaster account). So decided to get on Ticketmaster Live Chat to see what the problem was. By this time, I knew the show had sold out (it must have been a matter of seconds), but I figured it was worth a shot to see what happened, if for no other reason than to make sure it wouldn’t happen again.
So imagine my delight when the Live Chat sales rep said they were aware of this issue and were working on crediting folks in my situation with their lost tickets! He said it may take a while, but that they would post my tickets to my account later that day. I was ecstatic. But as the day rolled on, and no message game, and my order history remained empty, I grew more antsy. The show was two days away, and I wanted to get this resolved ASAP. Two more chats and two more email inquiries later, and I was still getting the “we’re looking into this, check back soon” message.
At this point a day and a half has gone by, so I decide to actually speak to someone on the phone. I get a young sales rep who gives me the same canned line of “there are no more tickets to this show.” I explained my situation, but he just kept saying “I don’t know why you didn’t get them. Our servers were overloaded.” Then why could I put the tickets in my cart? “I don’t know.” Why would a chat rep tell me that I would get the tickets? “I don’t know.” What did the error message mean? “I don’t know.” How can I keep this from happening in the future? “I don’t know.” So I asked, Can I talk to someone who might know? To which he responded “Look, lady. None of us have college degrees from MIT or nothin’, we just don’t know these kinds of things.” So, I hang up.
One more last ditch effort to reclaim my promised tickets, I email again. After a repeat of a canned response. I finally get a message from Ticketmaster saying I’d received the order number in error. No reference to why, or how they were going to resolve the issue.
If I hadn’t gotten the tickets in the first place, it wouldn’t have been an issue. If they had told me from the get-go that the servers had crashed, I would have been pissed, but I still would have begrudgingly understood. But I had an order number! And they explicitly told me that the would post the tickets to my account, citing the fact they had screwed up.
Come on Ticketmaster, you’re reps may not be college-educated, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that you were at fault here.