As you may have seen from last night’s post, at 9pm New Zealand time Rugby World Cup 2007 individual tickets went on sale, and were promptly unavailable for those outside of the UK and Ireland.
In the organizing committee’s defense, I’ve never been part of a good online ticket sale.
But sales I have been part of before haven’t resorted to lying to their customers.
Basically the text read like this:
Please by patient.
You will be automatically redirected to the ticketing
page you have requested.
Please do not refresh the page,
if you do your wait will be longer.
As I reported previously, this is a crock. After waiting a while, I thought I’d have a look at the source code for this page. In order for what they were saying to be true, there would need to be some sort of script or code, basically I was looking for anything I didn’t understand. I didn’t find it.
Apart from code displaying images and tables, the crucial bit of code was this:
meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”300; url=http://www.france2007.fr”
For the non-code monkeys, that basically says that every 300 seconds (five minutes) the page should “refresh” and go back to the front page.
So basically, the page was doing nothing but holding you by a chain while others got your tickets.
On a side note, at the ticketmaster.co.uk page, there was in incredibly serious error. I can’t remember the specifics, but they stuffed up the links. For instance, when I clicked on the image that corresponded to the Cardiff QF, it took me to a different event. My guess is that hundreds, if not thousands of people will have bought tickets to the wrong event because of that error. Shocking.
So here’s the chronology of how I ended up getting tickets:
- Figured out that waiting on the error page wasn’t going to help
- Posted comments on forums and meanwhile used firefox to open hundreds of tabs from the main france2007.fr page
- Was advised that ticketmaster.co.uk was selling tickets. As it turns out, you needed a uk billing address on your credit card, but by this point, they’d sold out of the tickets I wanted anyway.
- More firefox tab opening
- Finally, one of my tabs got to a page with a different address, it didn’t load, but I seized the address like a grizzly grabs a Salmon.
- After frantic refreshing of the new address, it loaded, revealing the bounty of links to venues and games.
- At this point it’s worth pointing out that the site had extremely poor english, at least for what this site was supposed to be. I easily selected two tickets to the Scotland vs New Zealand pool game and was presented with two buttons; ‘Validate’ and ‘Other Order’.
- I wanted to go back and book tickets for the Cardiff Quarter Final, but at the time didn’t know which button to press. I pressed validate, but this corresponded to a ‘check out’ option. Eventually I tried to go ‘back’, got an error page and thought I was screwed.
- I started again, trying to get tickets to S v NZ but was told it was sold out. “Dammit” I almost yelled.
- I ditched the attempt and went back to book tickets to the Cardiff QF. Upon selecting ‘Validate’ for the second time, I was overjoyed to find that my two tickets for S v NZ were in there along with my QF tickets.
- I paid, got my confirmation, and was almost jumping off the walls.
In fact, I still am.
The next few months will no doubt be a little nervous while I wait to get the tickets in my hand, but I’m one very happy camper today. Whoever is responsible for this ticketing shambles should certainly be held to account.
My commiserations to those of you who missed out. Keep an eye out though, because despite their claims that there will be no refunds, I think there will, in which case, spare tickets may turn up.