Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blizzard fails yet again, underestimating their popularity.

This is basically an update to what my experience has been trying to order out BlizzCon tickets.  Earlier today, Blizzard claimed:
The bulk of the BlizzCon tickets we had available were sold out within minutes of ticket sales going live again this afternoon. We have a small reserve of tickets left -- to make these available to some of you who might not have had a chance to purchase yet, we will be releasing the remaining reserve tickets for sale tonight, August 12, at 8:00 PM PDT. We appreciate the enthusiasm everyone has shown, and wish we were able to accommodate even more attendees at this year’s BlizzCon.

So they gave people a second chance to buy the remainder tickets at 8PM.  Well 8PM rolls around and their servers are still marked with their "Down for Maintenance" message.  It isn't until 11 minutes into the hour their servers are back online.  I managed to pull up the shopping cart, and saw that they had tickets available.  So I add 1 ticket to my cart, but seeing as their servers were getting slammed up the ass, it was taking forever for the cart to update.  Eventually it timed out, so I refreshed the page again, and clicked "Add ticket," the cart reflected the changes instantly this time and I was able to checkout my purchase.  I'm not about to hit submit 100x and end up with a $1200 charge.

The next step is to login to my Blizzard account I setup earlier, agree to their Terms of Service, and proceed to fill in my personal information for the ticket.  I get up to the point where it asks me for my billing info, to make things faster earlier I attached two credit cards to the account to speed up the purchasing process.

So finally I get to the last step and I need to provide my billing information.  I choose my Discover card and it prompts me for the CVV code, I type in the 3 digits, and hit submit, and wait...  After 5 seconds of loading on my browser, the 3 digits in the CVV code disappear.  No error, no nothing...  No indication that something was wrong with my card.  So I try again to make sure, and end up with the same result...

Ok whatever, lets try the Visa card.  the changes take effect and I can see that it has my Visa information displayed below showing the last 4 digits.  The CVV field again is blank for you to confirm payment.  So I enter in the payment and AGAIN I get the same error...

[caption id="attachment_277" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="This is the last step for purchasing tickets... However their merchant account morked"]This is the step for purchasing tickets... However their merchant account morked[/caption]

You can probably see where this is going.  In any result, their fucking servers once again can't process my payment EVEN THOUGH I'M AT THE LAST STEP & THEY HAVE ALL MY BILLING INFORMATION!  So all this time spent for nothing.. This is the EXACTLY the same shit that happened to me earlier where their fucking merchant accounts weren't accepting payment.

Other people also had this exact same issue.  Player Domojin from the Suramar realm had this to say:
My biggest problem in all of this was: I was prepared for the traffic and site congestion. I had multiple computers running on high speed connections with multiple browser windows open (both IE and FF, and even Opera at the end.) in case any one of them had a problem.

I was able to get through to the confirmation screen EVERY SINGLE TIME there were tickets available. But could not continue. The CVV code on my CC was getting kicked out. My bank confirmed it when I called them. My bank stated that "The charge did not go through because the information passed to us was not complete. The CVV code was not able to be authenticated." My bank confirmed at least a DOZEN declines. It was not entered wrong.

It is solely due to this error that I do not have tickets. This is an error on Blizz's side. I was there when Blizzard said I should be. I was patient when things went wrong. I stayed alert and was able to get in every time tickets were up (to my knowledge) and at 8pm last night when the last batch of tickets went up I tried multiple CC's and and had the same problem.

After dealing with this for 2+ days now, I'm pretty sick to my stomach over it. (1)

Domojin and I were in the exact same situation, experienced the same difficulties, and in the end both feel the same.  Last years BlizzCon had tickets available for 3 days before they sold out.

Every month that goes by, their audience grows.  Blizzard certainly has the census information of its customers and knew how successful BlizzCon was last year, I don't understand why their Marketing department didn't pick up on this and better prepare for the rush.  I would say that the number of people playing WoW now compared to last near has grown at least 35% .  I don't understand why Blizzard couldn't fucking use a service that better handles ticket distribution like TicketMaster.  At least their servers can handle the traffic as well as inform users of errors, etc as you're purchasing tickets

I can't remember being THIS frusterated ever...  I know I'm not the only one here.  Many other people put alot of thier own time and money hand designing costumes for BlizzCon and I'm sure they're 100x more pissed off then I am.  People all around the word booked flight tickets, and hotel reservations, and I'm sure quite a few of these people are going to lose money when they ask for their refunds.

All I can say Blizzard, is YOU fucked this up big time, and there are thousands of other people who would agree.


  1. WoW Forums - Blizzcon Group