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I have recently experienced a strange error message when shopping for event tickets with Ticketmaster, and wanted to share my thoughts on how this is presented and how it can be improved.

I was most recently shopping the fan pre-sale for the upcoming New Order/Pet Shop Boys tour, and once I chose a pair of tickets, I tried to move forward and received this message.

I almost don’t know where to start with how useless this is to me as a customer.

  1. there is no explanation of what the actual issue is with the device I am using;
  2. there is nothing here addressing that I waited in a queue in order to purchase tickets, behind over 1000 other people, before I had the opportunity to even buy these tickets, and at no point was I given information on how certain devices might cause my purchase to fail;
  3. when I was buying tickets to a separate event earlier this week,  got this message, clicked “OK” and then tried again and was able to purchase the tickets I wanted.

Anyway, after clicking the go button a bunch of times, trying to somehow to get around this strange error again, I decided to try the purchase via the Ticketmaster app on my phone. Here’s how that went.

Good on them for seeing me in multiple locations I guess? Better to stymie the scalpers and bots I suppose.

I closed the browser tabs on my computer and then clicked “Confirm.”

…and then I was done. I gave up on buying these tickets. I went back the following day and ran into the same issues on the website, and so far, still don’t have tickets to this event.

While the whole experience was problematic, the message about “unable to complete your request on this device” is the one I found the most egregious. Why should one device work and another one not work? Please tell me exactly why my device of choice is problematic, particularly in an environment when purchasing tickets to a popular event requires planning and speed of transaction.

I do think that Ticketmaster has made good efforts to thwart the bots, which is wonderful. However, they clearly have some issues remaining that desperately need to be addressed.