I am getting on my soapbox today to complain about the way tickets are sold for large concerts. This may not be true where you are but this is the way it is done in Portland...
Today, I am going to get on my soap box a bit, so I apologize if you prefer me sticking to patents and things related to them. What has got my goat at the moment is the way in which large concerts are organized. In particular, how the venues deal with tickets and the fact that there are no excuses for the poor service they provide and the backwardness of their technology. I have to admit that I don’t know if all such venues around the country, or the world, are as bad as the Rose Garden here in Portland. By day, this is the home of the Blazers basketball team, but is also the largest venue in town, so most of the major concerts are held there as well. I normally refuse to attend concerts at this venue because the sounds system and acoustics are so bad that it detracts from my enjoyment of the event. Anyways, I had received a pre-sales promotion for one of my favorite groups and so decided to give it a try again. Oh what a big mistake that was and how I now have a new determination never to attend a concert there again. I am sure I will also be reminded about how bad the sound is again after having been there.
Let me relay just some of the problems with their ticketing system. The first is the design of their web site. I had a link to the actual page to buy pre-sales tickets and the buttons to advertise their other events were obvious, but the place to actually buy the tickets – that was a small text link hidden in a banner. You got me in a bad mood to start with. No excuse for bad web design. Then I tried to select the tickets I wanted. They only allow you to select by broad category which is ridiculous. They should show me a seat map with the seat that are taken and let me select the tickets I want. No. So I select the group and press the button. Sorry no seat available! Huh. This is a pre-sale and the block I selected is several thousand seats. Then I make the mistake of hitting the back button. Try for a different block – You have already used your special promotion code! Eventually I got it to accept it again and tried to find another block. None available! Another block – none available! The entirely of the floor and the first level had no open seats. I just don’t believe it anymore. When I do find seats available in the second level, they still will not allow me to select the seats I want. I have to accept their selection. This is so user unfriendly.
Now, for this they charge me almost $11 a ticket in service fees, plus a transaction fee and if I want to pick the tickets up there – that is another fee. When did will call cost money? Want to go ticketless? Well, that would not be using any smart phone – that would be by presenting the credit card you used to pay for the tickets and all members of your party have to arrive at the same time. This is not user friendly either.
They think they have a monopoly and they abuse the power that they have. I was glad to see that another big name star is coming to town and is refusing to play there. Instead they have picked a smaller venue and while it means that ticket prices are higher, I would gladly do that and not have all of the hassles that the Rose Garden has put me through. Plus that venue has a much better sound system – let’s face it, the place was designed to listen to musical performances and not designed to let people watch a basketball game.
Am I alone here? Are sports venues in other towns better that what we have to put up with in Portland? That place just makes my blood boil!Brian Bailey
– keeping you entertained
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