May 20, 2005

Fiasco

We went to see a matinee of Star Wars yesterday, and I'd bought 8 tickets in advance through the Fandango online ticketing service. The way it is supposed to work is, you buy your tickets online, Fandango gets its $1 per ticket markup, and you print out a piece of paper and take it with you and go to the theatre. Instead of standing in the ticket purchasing line, you're supposed to be able to walk up to the Fandango kiosk, press a few buttons and presto, your tickets spew out.

The placement of the kiosk at the sprawling Edwards Mira Mesa megaplex in San Diego says a lot about what the theatre company thinks about Fandango. When you walk into the massive lobby, it's very easy to miss the Fandango kiosk because they have it turned around backwards. That's right: as you enter the lobby, the nondescript, unlabeled rear of the kiosk (imagine looking at the back of a video arcade game machine) stands there hiding in plain sight.

I went up to it, and it asked me to type in a code from the printout. There was no code on my printout. Then it asked to run the same credit card through that I'd ordered online with. I ran it through. "We could not find any Will Call tickets for your card -- Please See Box Office". So I had to get in the line anyways. I noticed others who were walking up to the kiosk were also having trouble.

I've never once been able to successfully get tickets from this kiosk. Don't think I'm gonna try anymore.

Posted by brian at May 20, 2005 08:54 AM

Comments

Brian, Fandango pulls this kind of BS regularly. Other online ticket vendors work significantly more reliably, e.g. I've never had a problem with MovieFone.

Posted by: Peter Herndon at May 20, 2005 10:14 AM

The Edwards closest to me doesn't even have a kiosk. You must go to the box office to get tickets. I only use it to make sure I get tickets in advance when I think a show might sell out. Have you tried to get your $8 back from fandango? :-)

Posted by: john at May 20, 2005 02:36 PM

Me and my offspring had a similar thing happen with Movie Phone when the 2nd Harry Potter came out. We had to buy all new tickets from the kiosk.


That really sucked.

Posted by: Keeme at May 21, 2005 06:25 AM

I used Fandango several times in various theatres around San Francisco and never had any problem. I guess it depends a lot on how supportive the theatre is toward the service.

Posted by: amorson at May 22, 2005 03:50 AM

OMG i had the same complaint and I know the manager personally. I kept telling him to turn the damn thing around or put it in the center of the room facing the doors. He thought that putting it at the front of the line would cut down on the overall confusions. I retorted that to cut down on confusion put a f'in sign next to it. The worse part is when you have to stand in line to use the kiosk...I stopped using itI watch movies on Tuesday night now.

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