Michael Horowitz
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Ticketmaster fails three times

April 30, 2019

Recently I tried to buy tickets to a sporting event at the ticketmaster website. I was using Windows 10, Firefox version 63 and an American Express card. Pretty standard stuff.

It failed. The Ticketmaster web site broke to badly that I had to buy the tickets using Chrome and a MasterCard.

I reported the problem and that's where Ticketmaster failed the second time. Instead of looking inward, like at their logs, they put the burden of debugging solely on me.

The problem had to with pop-up windows and American Express. The browser was looping, trying to display a pop-up from American Express. There was a message, over and over, in the bottom left corner of the browser window, that Firefox was trying to load acs-safety.americanexpress.com.

The result of the looping pop-up, was that the web page was non-responsive. The loop started just after entering the credit card number, and, as a result of the loop, I could not enter my name. It took a random letter here and there, but I could never enter my complete first name, let alone the rest of my billing information.

What is acs-safety.americanexpress.com? Non existent.

Non-existent American Express subdomain
Non-existent American Express subdomain

Of course, Firefox was configured to block pop-ups so I tried to let the pop-up appear by re-configuring Firefox. Didn't help. The only thing that displayed, over and over and over again, was a small window, maybe a square inch, in the bottom right corner of the screen.

As for their failure as a company, below was their response to my problem report.

Before Searching for Event:

1. Sign out of your Ticketmaster account on any/all devices you may be signed into including Ticketmaster app.
2. Via desktop or Laptop
2. Clear your cache and cookies
3. Delete browsing history
4. Delete Temporary Files

Now Ready to Search for Event:

1. Sign into Ticketmaster Account
2. Delete all payment information
3. Proceed to event you would like to purchase tickets for
4. Select Tickets
5. Select Delivery Method (be sure to click "Other Country" tab, if needed)
6 Submit Billing Information
7. Be sure to un-check the "Store my card for faster checkout next time".
Ticketmaster problem response

There was also some irrelevant advice about a "401-Error". Clearing cache and cookies is advice from 1997. Did you notice that there are two second steps in the first section? Speaks to the general level of competence at Ticketmaster.

Clearly this is a standard script. Not one comment about acs-safety.americanexpress.com. Gloria, of Ticketmaster Fan Support, who signed the email message, probably does not even exist.

I emailed back that their suggestions were not relevant to the problem and fully expect another canned reply, probably the same one received by many other unhappy customers.

I would not be surprised if their techies have no idea there is a problem.

Neither would I be surprised if they know of the problem and are covering it up.

The last failure came after I bought the tickets with a MasterCard credit card. The email confirmation of my purchase was considered SPAM.


Update April 30, 2019: Betty from Ticketmaster Fan Support put the icing on the cake. After being told that the first response from the company was off-topic, Betty said:

... Unfortunately if you are having issues we can only suggest that you try to clear your history, cookies, and cache! Then we also suggest Internet Explorer or Google Chrome to purchase tickets! Regrettably if you are not able to purchase tickets from the site you are using we do suggest trying those specifics at home and not work as they may have a firewall to block your purchase!

I should use Internet Explorer? Even Microsoft does not suggest people use Internet Explorer. Ticketmaster is the new Equifax.



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 michael--at--michaelhorowitz.com   Last Updated: May 1, 2019 1 AM  
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