Sunday, March 20, 2011

Convoluted

Over the weekend the popular activity seems to have been attempting to buy Twins tickets. Instead of using some sort of sensible system, such as letting you pick games and buy tickets, instead the Twins used a useless and ineffective virtual line system and a website built out of chewing gum and bailing wire.

My parents spent hours waiting in the virtual line, only to eventually get to the site and still be unable to buy tickets due to high volumes (isn't that what the line was supposed to prevent?). Linzy and I also waited in line, but never moved, until eventually going out and back in got us right into the site around the same time my parent's four hours of waiting got them in.

But then once you got the the actual site I was never able to actually buy tickets. My parents were able to after trying again and again, but my patience ran out after an hour of trying different games and sections over and over, always getting an error message saying that the request couldn't be processed due to high volumes.

Eventually I was so frustrated at the wasted time that I just went and bought the tickets (which were a gift) at Stubhub in about 10 minutes. Sure I paid a gross mark up over tickets that I likely could have just purchased directly from the Twins on the same day, but Stubhub had a website that worked, the Twins did not. And at the end of the day my time was worth that premium.

What is so hard about making a website to buy tickets? Let people pick them, give them a time limit to buy them, and then either complete the sale or put them back in the pool. There is no need for a virtual line, and you certainly should expect when you only allow single game sales on a specific day that there is going to be a flood of people buying tickets. It was sort of like Best Buy being shocked that on Black Friday there were lots of people looking to buy cheap laptops. Seriously, a virtual waiting line?

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