Monday, June 18, 2007

Online Movie Ticket - Are you game?

A friend told me his frustrating experience of booking tickets over the ticket booking website of Chennai's happening Satyam Cinemas ; and it goes like this....

It took a very long time for a lady friend of mine to convince me to watch hours and hours of pain. Worse I do not even understand the language of the proposed movie. Obviously I was reluctant to pay for the tickets but I agreed to her request of getting the tickets. Her reason is that she is not a computer wizard; calling me a geek, while she works for a multi national computing company herself.

The Website

The most wanted websites are always unusuable, deal with it. You don't believe me; try booking a ticket in Satyam Cinema's http://www.thecinema.in/.

Even before you get into the site, you are welcomed with a security warning, which is not a big threat, but not a good impression to make. I have no other choice, ignore the warning and proceed.

I have to be honest, though it is not straight forward, it seems to be the quick way of selecting the show and the tickets you need. Once you are happy with it, then the pain starts.

The 1st Attempt

I was cheeky and noticed that Oceans 13 was still available. Unbelievably, only 2 tickets were left. I was in a hurry trying to get it before any body else grab it. I logged in; it presented me with a seat selection page which scrolls exactly the opposite way a normal page does.

I was really annoyed at the extra screen as there were only 2 seats left and I am booking them both, what option can I have? Well anyway, I was glad it was next to each other and as far away from the screen. I said OK, OK and then OK to all the other screens that followed which I didn’t care to read.

Finally its pay time… I selected my card type and wanted to type the numbers of my card. But, hey the numbers I type are going no where. I thought it is my love to the firefox browser and so I quickly loaded Internet explorer and went to the website and guess what the movie is gone. The show is houseful, I cannot get a ticket.

This sort of nonsense would never happen if I stand in a queue.

The 2nd Attempt

Now that the movie I wanted to watch is houseful, I had to tolerate my friend's selection of Indian. After my selection it came up with a message: "Seats are not consecutive" or similar, which in my opinion sounds too technical. Anyway, I didn’t care as my friend only want to watch the movie and I only want to watch the girls and we are not romantically involved to be specific. I let the computer select the seats but there is no way I can book two tickets at one go. So i decide to book the first ticket first and then go through the cycle once again. But there comes a plethora of forms for the Snack selection, signup for some special offer form, etc etc, etc. For which my response was "Don’t want or don't care". Next comes to the payment, this time, I took time to read all the options. It was a long list of cards, master card, visa card, that card, this card, fuel card (their own brand of something, who comes up with these names) and I wondered why did they leave visiting cards, post cards and greeting cards.

Finally I filled in the numbers this time amazingly, it recognized it all. While am at it, a surprise stopper, the thing said "time out". Apparently I have to finish it all within 120 seconds. All this time, I was not even aware that I was racing time too, apart from others booking online.

I ran out of patience and next time I probably get it from the counter direct. Now I realise why you have to be a geek to get the tickets online. I am glad am not.
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