My Chemical Romance And My Technical Nightmare

, , , , , , | Working | June 14, 2020

I live in an area which rarely sees decent concerts coming to town, so when my favorite band suddenly comes out of hiatus and releases a tour date in a city about an hour away from me, I jump at the chance to go. A friend and I plan to splurge on floor tickets as neither of us have ever seen this band, and I’ve never been that close to the stage for any concert.

On the day the tickets go on sale, I wake up with severe food poisoning and have to call out sick from work. Small blessings: this leaves me more freedom to buy the tickets. I am sitting by my computer with my debit card ready for an hour before they go on sale.

The moment it happens, I enter the queue. Nine hundred people are in front of me and I’m getting closer to the front every moment. My friend calls me as she is also in the queue, though considerably farther back than I am. The plan is for her to buy the tickets just in case something goes wrong on my end.

I reach the front of the queue and immediately select floor seats. I hit the button, the website loads for a few seconds… and then I receive an error message telling me that the purchase cannot be completed, and to use another device or make sure I’m logged into my account if this is a shared device.

I’m already logged into my account; I made sure to do so before joining the queue precisely so this wouldn’t happen. I’m afraid to refresh the page because I don’t want to lose my spot, but seats are quickly being snatched up. My friend is still in the queue so there’s not much she can do. I frantically search for the website’s help section and it says they have a live chat option, but I cannot access it because I haven’t made a purchase yet. There is no phone number to be found, just an email which I quickly send a message to.

Meanwhile, the seats are quickly selling out. My friend finally manages to get in and, after some technical troubles of her own, secures two seats in the loge. It’s not ideal, but I tell her to get them just so we at least have something to show for all this. I keep trying to purchase tickets on my end as the floor seats keep opening and then closing again, but I keep getting the same error. I try logging in on my phone, instead, and the price of tickets has skyrocketed from $200 to $700. I’m getting increasingly frantic and upset that I am unable to purchase tickets when I was so diligent about getting in on time. 

Finally, I receive an automated email from the website letting me know they will respond in twelve to twenty-four hours. They also provide a phone number if I need immediate assistance, so I call that number. I wrestle my way through the automated menu and am on hold for a good thirty minutes, long past the time when all the tickets have completely sold out except for the $600+ platinum tickets.

The representative I speak to is super friendly and I do my best to be polite even though I am on the verge of tears. I explain the situation and she says that all I need to do is clear my cache and refresh the page, which shouldn’t affect my place in line. I tell her that the website didn’t say anything about that, and she says that she doesn’t know why they don’t inform customers of the fix. I do as instructed and see there are a handful of nosebleed seats left, so I attempt to purchase them. Now, I get an error code which the representative explains is an issue with my purchasing history, which makes no sense because, so far, I have never purchased anything from them.

I’m so disappointed about the situation and miserable from being sick that I just start sobbing. I do my best to hide it from the representative, thank her for her time, and then call my friend back to give her an update. She says that the only floor upgrades available would cost over $200 each, which we both agree is not worth it even if this is our favorite band. 

I’m most disappointed that there was a solution to my error which would have allowed me to make the purchase on time and at a reasonable price, but nothing on the website indicated that solution, and getting in touch with another human about it was like pulling teeth. Like I said, it is rare for bands I like to come to my area, so I only splurge on opportunities like this once every few years. This is an especially difficult situation for me because the band had been broken up for so long that I’d never imagined I’d ever get to see them live. 

In the end, though, I still got tickets with a semi-decent view of the stage, and I will be going with a good friend who I don’t get to see very often. I am focusing on being grateful that I have tickets at all, and as naive as it sounds, I hope the feedback I provided in my email will encourage the website to improve this experience for future users.

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