Ever sat at a laptop waiting to do battle with Ticketmaster? Me too and it didn’t always go well! Enjoy this from my ‘It’s My Life,’ column in the Irish Examiner.
A couple of weeks ago my phone was hopping with excited messages from my daughters. “Westlife are back together.”
“I doubt it,” I texted, remembering singing and sobbing through their goodbye tour only a few years ago.
“They are,” said my eldest, “everyone’s saying so.”
“Well you’re wrong,” I insisted, “I was listening to Nicky Byrne from Westlife on the radio and he said nothing about it.”
So, it continued for days, my girls insisting I was wrong and I, saying, “we’ll see,” convinced I was right.
“So, are you not going to go see them?” asked one daughter.
“Don’t be ridiculous, of course I am,” I replied.
If only life were so simple, that you could wish to go to a concert and hey presto tickets arrived. Unfortunately, the lords of Ticketmaster have your fate in their hands and insist you jump through several hoops before a golden ticket can be bought.
The word came, tickets were going on sale Thursday at 9. a.m. The thought of it sent my stress levels rising. Ticketmaster hated me. I’d failed to get any tickets, four out of the past five attempts.
The night before my daughter texted, “Who is getting the tickets tomorrow?” No one texted back. Oh, dear goodness, I thought, please don’t let it be all down to me!
“I can try,” came a late text from the student, “I’m not in college until later.” Phew, thank goodness for University.
The following morning was torture as time crawled by, 8 a.m. 8.10 a.m. 8.12 a.m. Finally, at 8.45 a.m. I sat down and turned on two laptops and my phone.
The two laptops read, “No internet connection.” My blood pressure sky rocketed as I roared and shouted. Perhaps it was just a coincidence but minutes later they found the internet.
I googled Ticketmaster. “Please enter password,” it said.
I tried again.
I needed a lie down.
I sat watching the three screens in front of me as the clock counted down the seconds. 3,2,1.
“Purchase tickets” flashed on the screen.
I clicked all three screens, full of hope, and waited. And waited.
“Wow, lots of people are here today,” it told me. My heart sank a little.
“We are making a queue,” it said. Oh dear, that hadn’t gone too well for me the last four times.
I waited and waited.
“Do not refresh your screen or you may lose your place in the queue,” it advised. So, I continued to wait, the thought of crowds filling Croke Park ahead of me came to mind.
After fifteen minutes, I feared the worst. I risked moving over to twitter on my phone but came straight back as there were terrible tales of people getting tickets and then losing their connection just as payment was going through. At least they were paying I thought, I’m still in the queue.
As 9.25 approached the news came through on one screen after another, “You are a loser.” Well, maybe not those words exactly but I knew what they meant.
I roared in frustration, scaring the living daylights out of the dog. “Never again,” I swore. “I hate Ticketmaster and stupid Westlife.”
The ding of a text halted my rage. It was my daughter.
“Got four tickets.”
I messaged her back. “Great. Westlife here we come. J”