Thursday, November 10, 2005


Right back at the start of the year, U2 got themselves into a load of silly bother when people who'd paid a premium price just for a chance of buying tickets for a tour found the site couldn't cope.

Now, exactly the same thing has happened to Robbie Williams fans - who duly forked twenty five quid over to the gurning dancer drawn mainly by the promise of first dibs on new tour tickets, only to discover as soon as a tour was announced, their money was no good. The site fell over after ten minutes.

A post on the Portal Forum tracked the troubles faced by people who tried to buy:

I was ready at 9am, with my personal link to his ticket shop, ready to purchase the 4 tickets allowed per person. I was still at my PC queuing on the website at 11 am. I was still there at 1 pm. In fact I was still there at 3 pm!

By 5 past 9 this morning I knew we were in for trouble. I selected UK and proceeded to the queuing page. The page refreshed every 30 seconds and warned us that if we refreshed our browser ourselves, we would be put to the back of the queue. The page refreshed 3 times for me and then I got the dreaded message "page cannot be displayed". I started again clicking my personal link to the ticket shop.

Another time, I managed to queue for 2 hours, with 4 browser windows open and finally I got to the log in screen to purchase my tickets. It wouldn't accept my password!

I started again, and got right through to selecting my tickets. They informed us all venues were sold out. Another time, I got right through to the payment area and it timed out on me.

I started again! But they had closed the site :( We all got emails explaining the situation and were told they would be up and running again by 2.30pm. I got ready....I entered my wouldn't accept it. I started again!

By 3pm I got password worked, I bought my Wembley tickets and everything went smoothly.....but it had taken 6 hours.

These are people, remember, who've forked out a lot of money for the opportunity to buy these tickets - which would be just a breathtaking way of squeezing more cash out the credulous if the system worked. You could argue that Robbie Williams fans probably deserve all they get, but remember: they are people too.

Williams (and his people) must have known how many people had signed up for the "inner sanctum" (because he would have had a big sack of money) and he knew when the tickets were going on sale. There's no excuse for the infrastructure not being up to the job - especially since it seems there wasn't that much of a demand in the first place:

A spokesman for Robbie explained: "The system did get overloaded and crashed, but the problem's been fixed and there are still tickets on sale."

Well, yes, there may be - but you took a huge cash sum off punters in return for the promise they'd get special access to tickets. That clearly hasn't happpened. We expect to hear details of your repayment scheme soon.


Poochland said...

That's my article quoted....full article at Go to November archives.

Thanks for quoting BTW ;)

I don't mind paying the £25 cos I got my tickets and it was worth all the stress. The way they all sold out on general release date, makes me glad I paid the extra to guarantee tickets.

I can see why people would think it was a rip off though.

simon h b said...

Sorry, Poochland - I'd actually hardcoded a link to your item but had munged the HTML so it wasn't working - fixed now.

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