Harry Potter fans were left devastated yesterday after a booking system bug left thousands unable to buy tickets for JK Rowling’s highly anticipated two-part theatre show – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Those waiting in line using the Safari browser platform were unable to book tickets because a technical glitch left the browser incompatible with the booking system – a situation that can only be described as an ‘epic fail’.
Nimax Theatre, which is facilitating the sales for the West End production, advised fans to switch browsers as soon as possible but by doing so, it knocked everyone who was in the booking area back out and to the end of the queue.
As one of the 70,000* fans attempting to purchase tickets when they went on pre-sale at 11am yesterday, I understand the users’ pain. The online booking system tries to create transparency for customers by telling you exactly where you are in the queue. Fine in principle. But having gone from ‘guaranteed tickets’ to being knocked back into the queue at ‘User 32,817’, I wasn’t very impressed.
And as one of the millions of people around the world using an Apple computer – and therefore the standard Safari browser – the situation begs the question as to why the online booking system wasn’t beta tested on all browsers before going live to the public.
Anyone in business knows that a seamless service is the key to gaining and maintaining customer loyalty, and in situations like this where demand is so high, quality is not only expected but also deemed essential.
To ensure a successful experience for all, Nimax should have had quality assurance testers at the helm from the outset, attempting to detect as many bugs as possible (and rectifying them) before the system’s public release.
Luckily, the theatre compensated fans by releasing further tickets last night and I managed to bag myself a couple.
Let’s just hope the only thing Muggles have to fear now is the unlikely return of ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’.
Amanda Pauley is Content Creator at the CQI and writes for Quality World magazine.
*(The last count that was made during the mayhem)