If you're planning to book for the forthcoming NZ International
-- or any multi-event venue -- don't
for the sake of your
sanity. Why? Let me take you through what I went through recently
trying to book for seven separate New
Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week
(Click images for a detailed view)
1. Start at Ticketek's Arts Festival web page and click on
the Writers and Readers Week link.
Here's the Writers and Readers Week page. I hope you've made a careful
note of exactly what you want see because most of the useful
information is absent. You won't, for example, find mention of Ian
McEwan -- one of the WRW's main drawcards. You'll need to know what his
event's called or what he looks like in order to actually book to see
3. You're now taken to the event details page. Yes, yes, I
know all this. I just want to book!
Clicking the Buy Now button takes you Quantity and Delivery Method
selections. Not only do you have to select the latter for every event
you book, it also gives the impression there's a surcharge on each
5. You'll get this message helpful message every time you
pass this point.
The booking confirmation page. Not only do you have to complete you
multiple bookings within 10 minutes, but there's also a hidden trap.
Can you spot it?
Click to Select More Tickets and this appears. (Yes, this pops up every
time too.) Click OK and you're taken back to the event details page
(3). You can't click the Back button here -- that'll take you back into
the booking system -- so you have to return to the Arts Festival
Now repeat all the steps above six more times. And remember, the clock is ticking!
What was the hidden trap I mentioned on the booking confirmation page? You can't actually book for more
than six events!
This is disguised by the phrase "Your
Order Offers: 4 (out of 6 per order)".
this point I gave up and reverted to the 0800 number. Yes, it took
about 10 minutes for a human being to answer, but I flipped it onto
speaker phone and enjoyed some background music while I got on with my
life. There was even a comedy spot. A recorded message told me that
internet booking system was "quick, convenient and secure". I suspect
it's only secure because most people give up before actually entering
their credit card details.
The actual phone booking -- from me
rattling off my selections to having the details confirmed back to me
-- took just two minutes. And the cost? The same as booking online.
Ticketek booking system is bad in so many ways. What's wrong with a
one-page booking form like the one they use in printed publications? Or
would that make it so easy that people would actually start