Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2016 scientific society talks in London blog post

Saturday, 13 August 2016

My brilliant wheeze for solving login annoyances on ticket-selling sites

You know how everyone has a blind spot, something that they're irrationally (or possibly rationally) irritated by and their anger is a bit out of proportion to how annoying the thing is, when compared to other annoying things? I'm a bit like that with ticketing websites that force you to log in when buying tickets.

Here's my new plan -
1. Meekly create an account and log in
2. Buy tickets
3. Request that the site deletes your record from its system. As far as I'm aware they must comply with this request (in the UK at least).

This means that in future you'll be able to re-use your preferred email address as you are now creating a 'new' account. Of course you'll have to ask them to keep deleting your account afterwards. This is a bit 'cutting off your nose to spite your face' but how else will they learn ;)

What I don't understand is why everyone isn't sufficiently annoyed about this forced-login irritation, to the point that we all down tools and have a massive collective huff about it.

This article - the $300 million button - gives an example of a retail site which found that sales increased dramatically when they removed the requirement to log in.

Analysis of the site's database showed that "...45% of all customers had multiple registrations in the system, some as many as 10. We also analyzed how many people requested passwords, to find out it reached about 160,000 per day. 75% of these people never tried to complete the purchase once requested."

I've just tried to buy tickets from a site and had to give them my email address to send me the tickets (fine). However I discovered that I couldn't use that email address because I'd previously registered it to create an account (in 2013) to buy tickets for something else. Yes it would have been quicker to use a different email address and create a new account (though I'm quite convinced I've no real need of an account in the first place).

The process went like this, to an accompaniment of grumbling:
  • choose the 'forgotten password' option
  • receive an emailed link to change the new password
  • click that link which opens a new tab to change the password. 
I now had my original tab open (where I wasn't logged in but with my ticket selected ready for purchase) and the new tab open (where I was logged in but with no record of the ticket). On some sites this is a bit fatal, but fortunately refreshing the tabs solved things here.

The site had remembered my address from but I still had to type in my card details so very little time was saved in the process. I realise I'm probaby a bit of an outlier in that I know my card details off by heart but even if I didn't the card's in my wallet which is usually in my pocket. Obviously I know my address off by heart.

Every time this login-fail-and-recover-password cycle has happened it's taken me more time (and annoyance) to recover my account than it would have taken me to type in all of my details from scratch.

Retailers: please let me buy tickets without having to create an account or log in. Those who prefer to log in can still use the option, if they wish, but don't make it a condition of me buying tickets.

Edit
I've just seen a 'tweet this post' link on another website and wanted to try it here. Feel free to ignore it, it won't actually send a tweet until you click 'post tweet' after editing it. I'm not even sure it will work as I've not set anything up, just adapted the HTML code and linked it to my post instead. Tweet this post

Edit 7 January 2017
I've just tried to buy one ticket to an event and in one sense failed and in another over-succeeded. The online site asked me to create an account, which I did. Fortunately I don't seem to have bought tickets with them before because it let me have a new account rather than the 'but you already have an account, please spend the next ten minutes recovering your password and logging in) so that went quite well.

The bit that went wrong was the payment. It turns out there's no option for using a debit card (this wasn't completely clear to me until after I'd entered my card details a couple of times) so I thought I'd use PayPal which I use at most once a year. I reset my password, successfully judging from the on-screen woohooing & email confirming this, but on trying to log in to the payment tab / window rather than the password reset tab / window it refused me and then said my account was locked.

Then I rang the box office and I'm afraid to say I was a bit ranty, but apologised and asked to buy a ticket with my debit card. My card was declined, which is unexpected, so we tried again, and the same thing happened. On ringing the bank I found that there was no problem with my card or account and that there had been a delay in processing the (by now, two) payments so the end result is that I've paid twice for my ticket and am every bit as livid as I was when I originally wrote this post, but for slightly different reasons.

Retailers: please make sure people can pay with debit cards! My other point about not needing an account remains.

Further reading
Don't force users to register before they can buy (July 2015)




1 comment:

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    ReplyDelete

Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

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