Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kennedy Center fails at customer service when "Book of Mormon" goes on sale


Today, the Kennedy Center showed us how not to provide customer service.

The site went down completely for most users after tickets for “The Book of Mormon” went on sale.  It was impossible to get to any areas of the site at all.

Various html error codes displayed, either 103 or 503, or sometimes no data at all, on any computer or mobile device. 
  
In the evening, it finally connected to the site, but then suddenly Oracle prompted me to load a new version of Java.  I did so.  I restarted the machine, and had to get past one hang of Windows Explorer. 

After all of this, the site would load, but the ticket facility could not service me, as it could only process a few requests at a time.

Various scalper sites work.  Cheap Tickets wasn’t too much more expensive.  StunHub looks really pricey. 

It's rather poor of "KenCen" to expect visitors wanting to purchase for other events to know what was going to happen today.  They did have an advisory sheet, but you had to know to read it.

A couple weeks ago, KenCen moved a Millennium Stage event into the concert hall (Afgahn Naitonal Orchestra) and visitors who did not know to arrive early missed it.  There seems to be a problem with advising customers.  Maybe you just do need to follow them on Twitter and Facebook -- admit I hadn't done that yet.

An "Apprentice" for Donald Trump would have anticipated this problem and had a separate server or domain set up specifically for this event.  Otherwise, "you're fired."

Kennedy Center does not run itself particularly well "as a business".  But, again, it's non-profit with heavy government involvement.  So that's what you get.  

Ironically, I had just seen "Book of Mormon" in NYC last Sunday  (by staying an extra night in NYC after seeing a friend's concert) and was looking only at National Symphony concerts.

Why doesn't the KC set up a completely separate domain name, or else A-record alias, to process heavy volume?  

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