Death by Tweet: Toronto Film Festival

Death by Tweet: Toronto Film Festival

Toronto Film Festival Ticketing Software Problems

Today, I saw a flurry of activity on Twitter by consumers trying to buy tickets for the 2010 Toronto Independent Film Festival, TIFF.  The unifying theme of the tweets was the frustration surrounding the ticket buying process, #tiff #fail.  Which ticketing software were they using, I asked myself? Obviously, my curiosity was piqued. I went to the site to see firsthand the challenges the buyers (or "attempted buyers") were experiencing.

With my movie chosen and tickets added to my shopping cart, I was ready to checkout.  Hmm, where was the "Check Out" button?  Oh my goodness, had it been forgotten! Wait! I see something. In a fixed footer at the bottom of the browser window but not on the page itself, I found a tiny, almost hidden, link to the cart.

Clicking it, I received the following message:

ticketing software problems

Undaunted, I was encouraged to see the alternative online box office link where my tickets awaited me.  At the unbranded (may, I say "wholly unattractive?") site, I added a few tickets to my cart.

ticketing software purchase page

Ready to buy, I clicked "Continue" and received the following message:

This error graced by browser page:

send() error 10054

This MaxWeb system has experienced an unexpected error.
Please try again later. Place an Order

For the 35-year old TIFF, this must be very challenging. I'm sure they expected an influx of online sales this morning that just didn't materialize.

When Twitter exposes your faults, it can be a public embarrassment. For TIFF, hopefully this is just a blip in their sales. For the company behind the ticketing, this is not the way to notify the world to know of your existence.

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