Update 17/05 at bottom of post, after jump
Splendour in the Grass went on sale today, and Moshtix had a pretty good go at ruining absolutely everything. Quick summary for the uninformed:
- 8:45am Everyone in Australia who loves music preps their computer
- 9:00am 32,000 tickets go on sale
- 9:01am – 2:14pm It all goes horribly wrong, site outages, mass complaints, Aussies take their complaints to the social space, Moshtix disable comments on Facebook, realise their mistake some hours later and switch comments back on
- 2:15pm All tickets are sold out, thousands of people are filled with rage
After the jump I’m going to lay out a few examples of the kind of negative sentiment Moshtix have been receiving over the course of the day, and then lay out some blunt advice for what I’d like to see them do now. Yes, there will be swearing.
Now that we’ve had a good laugh, let’s talk briefly about what should happen next. We’ve seen a few brands prominently screw up in the social space, and deal with it in different ways. Nestle got trumped by Greenpeace, and didn’t cope too well with it – censoring comments, and clearly showing how irritated they were in the tone of voice in their “brand personality. Not great.
Dominos however, after having employees release some rather disgusting videos of unhygienic things they do to pizza before it gets delivered, dealt with the situation swiftly and well. The President of Dominos USA quickly hopped in front of a camera, and put an apology out to YouTube, and was transparent about the methods they were undertaking to solve the issue. Media began to focus on the apology rather than the original problem – day saved for Dominos.
What I want to see, is for Moshtix to go down the Dominos road. They need to apologise profusely and accept responsibility for the frustration they caused people today. They’ve started doing this already, but not broadly enough. They need to be 100% transparent about what they’re going to do, to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
They need to do it in song. I want to see, and hear, the head of Moshtix, or a choir formed by the entire company, singing a beautifully composed tailor-made “I’m Very, Very, Very Sorry” song. If they do that, or something equally awesome, then I’m sure they could win some of that lost loyalty back.
Yesterday (Sun 9/5) around 6:20pm Moshtix made a somewhat formal attempt to apologise, and justify the system collapse that occurred on Thursday. I’ll quote it below for you, to save you the effort of going to find it. If you do want to see it on the original site, it’s here.
STATEMENT REGARDING SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS TICKET SALES ON THURSDAY 6th MAY
Thursday was a big day for moshtix. We had over 1.5m phone call attempts to our ticketing hotline, and our website registered more than 3.6m page impressions. That type of demand for one event is pretty amazing, and a great reflection of the incredible significance that Splendour in the Grass now has on the Australian festival calendar.
In preparing for Splendour in the Grass 2010, we analysed data from previous years and prepared ourselves accordingly, taking into account the additional demand that this years incredible line up would generate. The two pre-sales went very smoothly as expected, however the demand for tickets on Thursday, particularly on the internet, exceeded everyones expectations. We estimate that at least twice the number of people applied for tickets compared to last year. Inevitably, some fans had a very frustrating experience when trying to secure tickets which we regret. As always, we take our customers feedback very seriously and are in the process of reviewing the days events in detail to identify any areas that can be improved.
As most regular ticket buyers will know, all major ticketing companies at some stage will experience criticism when demand for certain events significantly exceeds supply. They can also receive criticism when the customers experience in trying to secure tickets is not in line with their expectations. We received criticism on both fronts yesterday, and again, we regret the inconvenience those customers experienced. Coincidentally, the day after Splendour went on sale, one of Australias major ticket retailers was criticised regarding availability and performance around a major on-sale, something we empathised with.
moshtix is extremely proud to be the ticketing provider for the 2010 Splendour in the Grass festival. We are also very proud of the position we have established in the Australian market as the preferred ticketing provider for major festival and outdoor events. That reputation has been built over many years and thousands of successful events. We have learned much from Thursday’s on sale and look forward to working closely with the Splendour in the Grass promoters to deliver an incredible festival in 2010.
They posted the link to this apology on Facebook, and needless to say, it wasn’t terribly well received. Incredibly obvious examples of this below.
A formal statement is all well and good, and they should be congratulated for recognising that there was a problem at all. So, kudos Moshtix, you kind of said sorry. The problem with this approach is that when a brand/company releases a formal statement, it absolutely comes across that way – which means no one has anything to relate to. There’s no personality, and it’s hard to empathise, making it relatively ineffective.
On top of this, they try to justify the issue – “We didn’t know so many people would hit the server!” – as many of you have pointed out in the comments below, this is a pretty weak excuse. By using it, they just aggravate people further – and why on earth would you bother doing that? Being overly defensive almost never wins you friends.
The sentence stating they’re reviewing, and attempting to identify problems isn’t nearly concrete enough to assure customers that the problem is being taken in hand, or that it will ever be corrected.
Personally, I still think they should sing a song (or do something equally awesome to spin this) – but as time wears on, it gets less relevant, will be less effective, and may already be too late. Perhaps someone else will sing it for them, and show ’em how it’s done?
Just a brief update for those concerned, more strange action from whomever is behind the Moshtix Facebook Page. Lynette got in touch with me via the comments below and on Facebook to give me the following facts.
- All her comments from the Moshtix Facebook Page have been removed
- She was then blocked from accessing the Page
- This happened in the last 24 hours
Now, I actually used a screenshot of one of Lynette’s comments to illustrate how grumpy people were with Moshtix – so we have the proof right here that is has in fact been removed. Not only that, we have the proof that the comment itself was relatively inoffensive compared to some.
My first assumption was that she’d been using offensive language, and so had simply been moderated away – but viewing her comment, and viewing comments that have been left untouched, this simply isn’t the case. For instance, my “Personal Favourite” from well up above is still intact, and it consists only of swearing. Removing offensive language from a Facebook Page is fairly standard practice, but it’s not what’s going on here.
So, that’s the big question isn’t it? What is going on here? Who is running the Moshtix Page, and why are they doing it so poorly? Are they not learning from their lessons? So much for taking feedback, good or bad.
I’m going to see if I can get in touch with Moshtix (again) and find out what’s going on here. If you’ve been moderated away from their social channels for what appears to be no good reason, let me know in the comments below.
I’ve also heard talk about amusing anti-Moshtix flyers floating around Brisbane, if anyone has a photo of one of these – I’d love to see it!
Hah, excellent. Here’s an example of the poster I mentioned above.
This is a perfect example of just how angry people have gotten over the incident. It’s rare that people will take their ire from the digital realm, and move it into the material space – it’s just so much more effort in comparison.
Meanwhile, Moshtix still haven’t gotten back to me, or anyone I know that has attempted to contact them.