To Whomever Managed the Presale,
I've loved this band for years. My first chance to see them was twice on the U2360 tour. What a show! Even though I had to wait 2 years, it was worth it!
I recently purchased the subscription, mostly because it was being sold as a way for people to gain access to early tickets. Yeah, the other offerings are nice, and I'm sure I'll enjoy the vinyl, but really it was about having the peace of mind to access tickets early and make sure I didn't get sold out.
The first time I tried to access the site (iNNOCENCE group) was Friday evening after work. I'm looking for tickets in Vancouver. Unfortunately I received a message that there were no tickets available for that show. Weird, I thought. I browsed through the U2.com forums and found a lot of people having similar experiences but then more tickets would pop up some time later. So, I waited. On Saturday morning I logged back in, and was able to access the tickets page for either show. So, I chose which seats I wanted and punched in my code. And nothing happened. The site continued to say 'searching for tickets' for over two hours. I tried to work with the site on multiple platforms and continued to have the same issue. Eventually, time expired on the presale and nothing had changed. I then called TicketMaster customer service to see if they could help me. They informed me that since the presale had closed there was nothing they could do and that TicketMaster itself was NOT to blame for the issues I had experienced, rather the "fan club" was the problem.
Now, I'm pretty sure that Ticketmaster was trying to give me the run around, though the one representative I spoke with seemed mildly helpful.
However, I am VERY DISAPPOINTED in those that managed the presale on behalf of the band. First, I feel that the presale should be a way for U2's fans to have a pleasurable experience buying tickets, knowing that they will not have all the tickets swept out from under them in a moments' notice. The presale should be over a period of a few days (it was) so that at any moment a subscriber can log on and purchase tickets at their leisure. Sure, if someone desperately wants front row seats, they may want to enter at the very beginning. For me, though, I would have been satisfied with just about ANY tickets I could get my hands on, just to have the satisfaction that I was FOR SURE going. I also wanted to attend both nights in Vancouver with a friend of mine. None of the aforementioned aspects of purchasing tickets should be an issue.
The experience was not a pleasant one though. As you can see going through all of the forums a lot of people had problems with the site and accessing tickets. Some of it, I'm sure, was ticketmaster's fault. But I also believe that tickets were being released in stages (by those organizing the presale) so as to avoid re-sellers.
Well mission UNaccomplished. Not only was I and so many others unable to access tickets multiple times, I ended up with no tickets at all and now the hope that the Ticketmaster site works well enough when the tickets go on sale to the public that I will still be able to get some. Given the experience that many had purchasing their pre-sale tickets, I'm doubtful that the general sale will go much better.
So I'm asking, 1. Why the hassle in purchasing tickets??? Some people said that it was to avoid re-sellers. Well, if that was the case it didn't work. A quick look at StubHub (only StubHub, not any other sites) reveals that there are hundreds of tickets available for every American show on the tour (Boston has 999 tickets available for one show...that's a lot of subscriptions gone wrong). There has to be a better way to manage whether someone is a real person or not. I know that there is no way that there are 999 U2 FANS that decided to give up their tickets. So something went wrong. Also, another problem is the limit placed on the number of tickets: 2 across the whole tour. That seems outrageous! For me, I wanted to go to these shows with one other friend and to be able to buy 2 tickets to each show in Vancouver to get the full "Experience." So, apparently that means, however, that I need my friend to also have a U2 subscription. And what about subscribers that are married to or in a relationship with the person they want to come to the concert?? I'm sure most households don't need two copies of the exclusive vinyl or the book. So it would seem that asking people to pay $50 per person to gain (faulty and sketchy) access to (possibly) pre-sale tickets seems a little selfish on the part of those organizing it. We're already spending a LOAD of money on tickets, do we really need to fork out so much more on a subscription that may or may not work?
So, it is now well past noon local time for the Vancouver shows. I have no tickets and am regretting this subscription. Sure, the vinyl will be nice, but the overall ticket-buying process didn't seem like a nice treat for committed fans, but a way to get some more money out of a bunch of sucker's that will pay anything.
To those of you subscribers that settled for tickets you didn't want because the whole system was a mess, I feel for you. For those, like me, who had such a bad experience and received no tickets at all, I also feel for you. I wish there was a formal place to send these complaints but there isn't, so I'm posting them here. I guess if you can't get tickets just know that there are literally thousands of tickets available at a 100 - 500% markup on resell sites. So, if you really want to feel screwed, go shop around there.
A Very Frustrated Fan.