FrightFest ticketing 2015

Taking place over the Bank Holiday weekend, August 27th - 31st 2015
benj
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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by benj » Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:42 pm

Of course questions are going to be asked. Do you think I'm going to let this go? You obviously don't know my character.

You're correct Ian, I don't know you well enough to realistically say I know your character and I can only apologise for that. All I have to go off is what you post here and accusing Frightfesters of "bitching and moaning" and using phrases like "I'm not going to beat myself up over this" don't exactly sound like you think the blame here lies with the ticketing company or that any queries will be made.

On support, I was on the end of the phone on the office number all day for anyone who wanted to call. Many did. I helped where I could. I have not spent months working on this day to let it pass. In the end by the looks of it everyone that wanted a ticket got one in the end. You got yours?

That's great to hear you were on support but there was no evidence of this online- just check the film4frightfest Twitter account and you'll see posts from them saying things like "We've no idea why this is happening... Ian?" but with no response beyond that.

I, along with the others posting there were completely unaware there even *was* a number you could be reached on. It would have been good to have this clearly displayed somewhere on the booking page or have this information relayed to us on twitter or in the forum.

I'm relieved to say I did get a ticket but it was far from the seat I wanted. I saw my seat on the first attempt (before the site chucked me to the back of the queue) and then an almost as good one the second time around (before the site chucked me to the back of the queue). Obviously, nearly 3 hours later all the prime seats had long gone.

On the plus side, had the system not thrown me out first time around I would have actually gotten a better seat than I ever got with the sleepy queue so I'm optimistic about online booking for the future.

You need to put this against last year, when the VUE website fell over completely and we had to halt sales all together putting them back on sale later in the week. At no time did this happen today. Yes people had issues, yes people had to wait in some cases for some time, but fans got their tickets.

The problem is, I *am* putting this against last year. Last year I physically queued up for 4 hours, got the seat I wanted and left happy- not once did someone drag me to the back of the queue after I'd stood there for an hour.

I'm aware you're trying a new ticket vendor from last year but you really need to show you appreciate this really didn't live up to Frightfest standards for some of us (notably those of us who sleepy queued previously) and that something will be tried to stop this happening again. I'm glad to hear you're planning on doing something about it.

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by Bigcat » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:06 pm

I bagged a decent seat, but due to being bumped out of the queue, it's in a different screen from all the peeps I've sat with for the last few years.
With the staggered start/end times, it looks like I'm back to doing a solo FF like when I first started coming.
Looking forward to it, but not as much as I would if I was properly with my gang. Hey ho though, it's better than not going at all I guess.
But there were always going to be winners and losers and I hope those who normally miss out on the best seats because they couldn't come to sleepy q got a chance at a good seat.

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by Lucio Frizzi » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:08 pm

Well said Benj, couldn't agree more
There's no heaven up there, we'll have to make heaven down here.

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by sherbetbizarre » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:37 pm

benj wrote: I'm relieved to say I did get a ticket but it was far from the seat I wanted. I saw my seat on the first attempt (before the site chucked me to the back of the queue)
Same experience here - we were all together until last second technical issues bumped us back, and now were scattered over three rows - but hey, at least we're in the same screen :|

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by Commodore » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:54 pm

sherbetbizarre wrote:Same experience here - we were all together until last second technical issues bumped us back, and now were scattered over three rows - but hey, at least we're in the same screen :|
That sucks. Which screen are you in this year?
Chris

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by sherbetbizarre » Sat Jul 04, 2015 11:57 pm

Horror Channel

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by ChrisReynolds » Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:11 am

I noticed that a lot of complaints talked about queueing up on multiple devices. Could this be part of the problem? If all those devices are at the same location, then in most cases they'll all have the same IP address, and if the ticketing company is filtering IPs to prevent multiple queueing attempts then that could result in people being blocked.

One lovely person was boasting on our Facebook pages about have four devices running at the same time. What can you do?

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by halloweengirl » Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:52 am

I'm glad those of you who got tickets got them and I hope you have a great festival. I'm not going this year and judging by the panicked comments everywhere I'm happy I made that decision. Getting tickets is becoming more of an ordeal each year - I did the Sleepy Q all night for the first time in 11 years of attending the festival and didn't get the seats I wanted (although the ones I eventually got were okay). When something gets really popular this sort of thing is always going to happen. This popularity is good for the festival itself and the organisers, just a little disappointing sometimes for the fans who've been around for a while and made it what it is.

Out of curiosity, was the ticketing site hosted and managed by Advanced Ticketing or was it just the software they sell so you can organise selling your own tickets? Be interesting to know.

Have a fabulous time, everyone, and I may see you in the Imperial for a pint at some point over the weekend and I hope the films are of the quality promised.

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by FranksWildYears » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:00 pm

I had to sit in my hotel lobby (booked in the belief that I'd be queuing, and work arranged around it so too late to cancel) and cross my fingers that they wouldn't dump me off the wifi after I'd checked out and that my battery wouldn't go before I got through.

Joined at 1156, 58 minutes of waiting patiently and enjoying the orange progress bar and I got straight onto the ticket page - I also had the circle of death three times on the seat selection and had to use the back button, but once I got to the actual checkout it was textbook stuff and I got the email confirmation straight away.

If it helps for future reference, I was on a Samsung tablet using Firefox.

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Re: An update of were we are

Post by sherbetbizarre » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:02 pm

iomega wrote:We have a robust ticketing solution in place that we feel confident will not result in the meltdown that occurred last year. We will be using an online ticketing company who handle much larger events than FrightFest.

In July, when FrightFesters go to get tickets, they will be placed in an online queue. Once in that queue they will receive a number and an estimated time of getting access to the ticketing site. This way, and I know it may take a little bit longer than previously, the website will not fall over, and everyone in turn will get a chance to get tickets.
Heh, I hope they got an earful... :twisted:

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Re: An update of were we are

Post by Jon H » Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:10 pm

sherbetbizarre wrote:
iomega wrote:We have a robust ticketing solution in place that we feel confident will not result in the meltdown that occurred last year. We will be using an online ticketing company who handle much larger events than FrightFest.

In July, when FrightFesters go to get tickets, they will be placed in an online queue. Once in that queue they will receive a number and an estimated time of getting access to the ticketing site. This way, and I know it may take a little bit longer than previously, the website will not fall over, and everyone in turn will get a chance to get tickets.
Heh, I hope they got an earful... :twisted:
To be fair - isn't that a pretty accurate description of what actually happened? It didn't meltdown, everyone got placed in a queue and was given the time left to wait. It did, as predicted, take longer than usual, but the result seems to have been everyone who wanted tickets, getting them....

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by sherbetbizarre » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:28 pm

Er, no. Plenty of people, including three I personally know, got past the queue, chose their seats but were then bumped off, to the back of the queue!

Eventually we all got tickets - 2 hours later - but in inferior places originally chosen, and in one case, a second choice screen.

Was this really a "robust ticketing company who handle much larger events than FrightFest", and worth nearly a £10 booking fee?

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by therockstar » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:43 pm

benj wrote:Of course questions are going to be asked. Do you think I'm going to let this go? You obviously don't know my character.

On support, I was on the end of the phone on the office number all day for anyone who wanted to call. Many did. I helped where I could. I have not spent months working on this day to let it pass. In the end by the looks of it everyone that wanted a ticket got one in the end. You got yours?

You need to put this against last year, when the VUE website fell over completely and we had to halt sales all together putting them back on sale later in the week. At no time did this happen today. Yes people had issues, yes people had to wait in some cases for some time, but fans got their tickets.
Ian, I know this is your baby, and you're taking this personally - Please don't - this isn't a dig at you, or a slight on your character. But when your customers complain the least you can do is (in as polite and customer friendly voice as possible):

a) acknowledge the complaint is valid and that things didn't go to plan. (I've not seen any acknowledgment of the issue yet)
b) apologize on behalf of the company / service provider that didn't deliver. (I've not seen any apology yet)
c) explain what actions you're going to take. (the above comment appears to say you will but doesn't categorically state this)
d) not bite back at those frustrated fans / dedicated customers who are frustrated and make them feel like you don't care.

If you were trying to pay your electricity bill and the service did what the ticketing system did to those frustrated customers, you'd be complaining. and you'd be getting pretty annoyed if the providers response to your complaint was that they 'did better than the last time you paid for your electricity so stop complaining.'

Yes we got tickets, but the process of getting them shouldn't be the cause of this amount of stress - either for customers or you.

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by sevcham » Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:24 pm

Here's my experience of the ticketing situation.

I speculatively clicked the link to get tickets about 20 mins early, around 11:40ish to see if it would help with the queue. Once it hit 12:00 it refreshed to a static page and I realised it wasn't a good idea so decided to refresh and start queueing at 12:00 as a new session.

What was really frustrating was the expected wait time - it said 45 mins to begin with (the estimated time should be looked into, it was waaay off), in the end it was over 1hr 30mins to be able to get to the next stage of selecting screens/seats! Already annoyed it had taken so long, we realise most of the seats in Screen 5 had gone, we selected our seats, hit next...endless rotating circle. Nothing happened for a good 5+ mins so we felt we were forced to start all over again.

Again another hour+ wait - this waiting is what really frustrated a lot of us. If we were able to select our seats within 5-10 mins, I am pretty certain there wouldn't have been so many complaints. It's the fact that we had to wait an hour+ each time that made blood boil. It was then patronising to read tweets from frightfest about people buying 9+ tickets (surely buying so many tickets at one go should be limited to give others a chance?) and constant retweets that people only waited a few mins to buy tickets - why was there such inconsistency in the queue process?

There should have been more support early on - a lot of the tweets seemed to ignore that people were having problems and were highlighting ONLY the positive tweets - it wasn't until a good 2 hours+ in that the tone changed and it seemed like the tweets were now a little more support focused.

So from queuing at 12:00 to actually purchasing tickets (in a different screen/seats from originally selected) at 3:23pm - I don't see this as much of a success. Last year's horrific experience took us 4 hours, so this wasn't that far away in the slightest. Can ticket purchasing begin at an earlier time like 9am in the future so 3+ hours isn't wasted around lunch time on a Saturday?

I love frightfest, but buying tickets shouldn't feel like torture. Being frustrated when handing money over is never a nice experience nor easy to forget.

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by Eddie Krueger » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:49 am

sevcham wrote: Again another hour+ wait - this waiting is what really frustrated a lot of us.
For me the frustration was more that after the wait I'd selected my tickets and then lost them (repeatedly, due to the system). They felt like they were mine! I accept that I'll have to wait in line for tickets, but felt really let down that the system failed me once I'd done my required waiting.

This isn't like a football or rugby match where lesser seats behind the posts are cheaper than ones on the halfway line. I, and many others, had queued, selected our preferred seats and ended up paying the same amount for seats in a less preferred position and (in my case) in a less preferred screen. It's hard not to be a bit upset about that, especially when you then get billed 5% for the pleasure.

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