My email to Ticketek
Last week the football club I support reached the AFL finals for the first time in what seemed like a geologic eon. You might not be familiar with the AFL or Australian rules football – it’s the top league of a sport played in… anyway, never mind. The salient point is that I really wanted those tickets.
Lots of people did. Good, upstanding Melbourne supporters. And bad, disreputable non-Melbourne supporters. But many of them people who have been turning up every week this season to watch their team play. And not just this year. And not just this decade.
But your online ticketing system blasted dozens of litres of thick yellow diarrhoea into its own underpants and now many of them don’t have tickets. Probably, some of them don’t have jobs because instead of working today they had to sit on a computer piss-farting around while your website told them various unhelpful and contradictory things that weren’t the truth, i.e. “Oh, pwoah! The system has 48 cubic metres of shit in its boxers. Just like last year. This is going to take at least 45 minutes to clean up.” You might not be familiar with an online ticketing system – it’s a digital platform used for distributing… anyway, never mind. The salient point is yours didn’t work. At all.
In fact, it was such a shambles the Melbourne Cricket Club managed to do the impossible and got you to waive those barnacled-on “transaction fees” you charge, better known by everyone in Australia who isn’t a corporate shill as Fees For Printing Your Own Ticket. Incredible.
But that doesn’t really help the people who missed out. Unless you’re going to waive the I Sat At a Computer For Four Hours Waiting For a Looping Message To Switch To Something Meaningful And Ended Up With Sweet Fuck All Fees?
Now, I noticed that you recently renewed your contract with the Melbourne Cricket Club. In their press release on the subject they said they were “delighted” by the re-negotiation. It would “ensure”, they told the world, that “patrons continue to receive world’s best practice in ticketing technology and service when accessing tickets for events at the MCG through Australia’s most advanced multi-channel event ticketing and digital marketing company.”
If you, Ticketek, are the best in the world at event ticketing, and the most advanced digital marketing company on the planet:
a) Holy fucking shit.
b) Let’s nationalise event ticketing immediately.
You’ll probably take issue with point b (nobody could possibly argue with point a). You might insist that bringing an industry or sector under state control removes efficiency and decreases accountability as responsibility for a problem is dispersed across a nebulous bureaucracy.
OK, then let’s talk about responsibility. At Ticketek, who’s responsible for this tropical cyclone of witch vomit and bin slurry and curdled camel semen?
The CEO, Geoff Jones? Well he said he “regretted the inconvenience” and was part of a team that was “disappointed that website issues impacted our service delivery to those fans”. That’s hot hot stuff if you get sexually aroused by corporate prevarication, but I’m not sure it constitutes taking responsibility for anything, let alone a fuck up of these proportions.
And, anyway, while he has ultimate responsibility for everything the company does, he’s not in charge of, say… I dunno… what would you call it? Partnerships and all e-commerce channels? That’s just a rough approximation of what I think the person responsible for this might put in his or her bio.
So who might this man or woman be?
I went and checked your website and, while there was a description that seemed to match the executive position in question, the image was…
… well, put it this way… if this is the person whose head is on the block for the fiasco, would the executioner’s blade strike porcelain or latex or… I don’t know… some kind of ultra-sophisticated self-healing plastic-polymer?
Anyway, it’s probably a moot point given that since early this afternoon someone has taken the image down.
Oh, and just to show I’m no keyboard hero throwing out snide remarks about the appearance of the person directly to blame for this shambles, here, in the same vein, is a very lightly modified image of me looking a bit pouty and radiant:
In any case, I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent. I think you need to start preparing for a full takeover from the Commonwealth Government. As a company deeply involved in arts and communication, you’d be under the portfolio of Senator Mitch Fifield, a man of enormous loyalty and trustworthiness who, for the last three years has been responsible for the National Broadband Network. I think you’ll find, as they say in the classics, “great synergies”.
You’ll need to start preparing in various ways. You may need to consider new cultural practices, new ways of treating customers and, some of you may need to find new places to charge your internal batteries. You’ll also need to consider financial matters; it seems only fair that the government charges you a transaction fee as they absorb you into the public service. You might not be familiar with fairness. It’s a notion of just treatment according to… anyway, never mind. The salient point is you’re widely loathed and if there was any justice in the world every member of your leadership team – human, automaton and other – would be out of a job.
Yours quite sincerely, despite all the nastiness, sarcasm and beguiling portrait,