In the past, NewYTOWN hasn’t exactly been the kindest of friends to Global Entertainment, the owner of the Chevrolet Centre. We’ve seen mismanagement follies, broken promises and projected revenue shortfalls. Well in the last two days, I’ve had quite an experience with Global subsidiary GetTix.net, and the site has caused me a lot of unnecessary frustration. This exasperating saga began Friday morning, when a friend and I confirmed we would both go to the inaugural Mahoning Valley Thunder game Saturday night. You may say this is troublesome from the start, however the uncertainty of our schedules both ensured it’d be a last-minute decision to go and we decided to just buy cheap seats anyway, so despite reports of a near-sellout we weren’t anticipating many problems. I also offered to take care of getting the tickets, given that I had $75 worth of Chevy Centre gift certificates redeemable for tickets.
The trouble starts later in the day, around 5:00 pm when I got home. I logged onto GetTix.net to see if two “Bronze” level seats remained, just so I could relax knowing seats were still available. I proceeded to buy seats then and there, needlessly creating an account and entering credit card numbers I didn’t intend to use, and when I click the “Promotions” link, assuming they’ll take gift certificates there, I enter the number, three numbers in fact, but each time I’m told they’re invalid. A little confused by the process and worried the tickets will sell out, I log off, vowing to resort to my other options. About an hour later, after 6, I’m on my way to get some dinner, but stop en route at a Sparkle market, the only human location to get tickets since the arena box office closed at 4. Waiting at customer service, a woman comes to my line and asks what I’d like, and I respond with “tickets to tomorrow night’s game”. The woman types at the computer, incessantly clicking the mouse for about five minutes when she then asks “and what do you want again?” I raise an eyebrow, and with a little more specificity I ask for “tickets to tomorrow night’s Mahoning Valley Thunder game.” The woman proceeds to log on some more, with no words exchanged, for another period of time before going to the back room. During this time, I stand in line, a little embarrassed to be holding up people in line to buy lottery tickets, staring at the Hostess cakes and feeling hungrier as I do. Later, the woman returns with a second, older woman, and this one takes over the controls, doing the exact same thing, and save for a quip that “you’d think you were breaking into national security to get into this thing” I was given no update on the progress. The woman asked the other if this was the correct login, and while the other said yes, it apparently wasn’t so as I can only assume she tried logging in to no avail. Eventually, after about 20 minutes of waiting and shifting my weight, the woman gives up and I walk out, actually somewhat happy because if they didn’t know how to work this computer, they would been absolutely bewildered by my gift certificates.
At about 6:50, I’m waiting for a table at my restaurant, and as I look at my vouchers I decide to call the GetTix number (1-866-443-8849), hoping I can score tickets through the phone. I wait a while, impatiently listening to soundclips of Bruce Springsteen and The Fray, while being told to wait for the next available representative, for about 10 minutes when I get on the line with somebody. I ask for two Thunder tickets, and then explain I have gift certificates that I unsuccessfully tried to use on the internet. The guy tells me gift certificates can only be used at the arena box office. I hang up, dejected to know I’ll have to be at the Chevrolet Centre bright and early Saturday morning. You may ask why I wouldn’t just charge tickets if I wanted to go so bad. I might answer by saying I’d rather have free tickets, and if it does sell out, my friend and I would find something else to do tomorrow night anyway. Nonetheless, I go home a little weary, hoping tickets will still be available tomorrow morning. Read the rest of this entry »