Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The ultimate Grinch: Ticketmaster

Aaaaaargh! How much hate can we generate for this entity? Ticketmaster is the very worst of what capitalism has to offer - and at the expense of art and art-lovers.

I really wanted to get Kate tickets for Wicked for Christmas (it comes to Atlanta in May). Now, I realize I'm a little late jumping on this, but I managed to find two good seats for my boss the other day so I figured I could find something decent. But as of 9:30 this morning I've given up on getting any cooperation from Ticketmaster who holds the monopoly on tickets for events at the Fox Theatre here in Atlanta.

Ticketmaster's website is so convoluted and a pain in the ass to navigate - you have to keep typing those stupid hidden words (and some are so well hidden that they are unreadable). Then you're given 2 minutes to nail your reservation, which isn't enough time to pull up the seating chart to find what you're being offered or to fumble with your credit card.

Then it wants a huge service fee - um, for what? I did all the work - and you should pay me for those damn hidden word exercises!

So I figure, shoot, I'll call to talk to a human - and I use the term loosely; they work for Ticketmaster, after all - to find the best seats. Now, this really makes 'em huffy. Why, someone has to provide a service for that humongous fee! The very idea! I don't care about the date or time, I just want the best seats available whenever. This completely baffles the buffoon at the other end of the line.

Um - database, anyone? Can't you search by "best available" regardless of date? No? Then I guess you have to do what you ask your website customers to do and go date by date, performance by performance. But. I get the distinct feeling that the lazy slob on the other end of the line checks one performance, says "that's it, nothing else available," refusing to check the other dates. Obviously, this guy's heart is two sizes too small (and his brain's about six sizes too small).

Wonder if I can just go to the Fox box office and buy tickets? I'll check that out. If not, guess the Wicked plan's off as a wonderment-filled Christmas present for Kate. Perfect gift, though - she'd love the show. (I saw it in New York with the original cast, lucky me.)

OK, that's my Ticketmaster vent. The whole idea behind this blood-sucking company is - in short - WICKED! (and I don't mean the Idina Menzel/Kristen Chenoweth kind, either).

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