I have been having all sorts of adventures today, trying to buy some tickets for a screening of The Wicker Man next month.
Visit the site, get told that the SSL certificate is invalid. Examine certificate, and note that it is for http://www.quaytickets.com, not for quaytickets.com without the www. OK, that’s stupid, but not too bad.
Try to register, get told that there’s already a user with my name and address. Not too bad so far — while I’ve never bought from Stockport Plaza before, they seem to be using the same ticketing system as the Lowry, so fair enough.
Try to login with the password I use for all such systems (I have a single password I use for stuff that doesn’t keep any important details). It says “logon failed”. I do a password request. It sends me a new password I have to change on logon. I try to change *to* my old password, but it won’t let me because I can’t use any of my last three passwords — even though it *also* told me that that wasn’t my password.
So I go through the usual ordering thing, and choose all the tickets at one price, and then accept the extra fee for buying tickets, and then accept the other extra fee for receiving the tickets through the post, and then swear at the popup box asking me if I want to make a £1 donation to the venue, and get to the card details page.
I enter the card details, go through the 3Dsecure stuff, so as far as I can tell the payment has been processed, and *then* it says “Your session has timed out”.
OK. This is bad, but it’s *possible* that all the faffing I had to did has caused some kind of session timeout, I suppose.
I have no way of knowing if the tickets have been bought or not, since the site just says “timed out” rather than “your sale didn’t happen” or anything like that. And I can’t phone them up to check, because the box office closed two minutes earlier.
But I check my bank, it doesn’t look like anything’s come out, and I haven’t had a confirmation email, so I think “right, I’ll try again.”
Log in again, my basket is empty. Go back to the page I started from, get asked to log back in yet again. When I do, I see my shopping basket says “six items, timeout in 0:00”. I look, and there are the tickets, still in the basket. I click next and it says “the following items have been removed” and lists them.
Nihil desperandum. Back I go to the original page. Yes, I will log in again. Reselect the same six tickets, click “next”, get told “we are currently experiencing high demand. Please close your web browser and try again”.
Quite what my web browser has to do with their demand levels I don’t know. But OK, I can take a joke. I close that tab, open up Chromium rather than Iceweasel, and go through the whole sordid process again. Accept dodgy SSL cert. Login. Select tickets. Confirm password again. Accept booking fee. Accept postage fee. Scream obscenities at the thing asking me to just give them some extra money because I like them. Enter card details. Go through 3DSecure process — noting that I have eight minutes until timeout. At the end of the process — “sorry, your session has timed out”.
In total I spent twenty-five minutes on this system, and I don’t know at the end if I have purchased six, twelve, or no tickets at all (I suspect the latter).
I’ll be buying the tickets over the phone tomorrow, but this is easily the worst e-commerce system I have *ever* used, and so I thought I’d better warn people off. And it’s a shame, because I was just saying to Holly yesterday how many things there are at that venue that look worth going to (they have a LOT of classic film screenings, and they’re showing a double-bill of Vincent Price films on Hallowe’en), but if they’re going to make it this difficult to buy from them, I won’t bother…