my bout with ticketmaster continues

i have been trying to buy "premier" tickets to the world figure skating championships for the past month (yes, it's not everyone's favorite, but i enjoy watching this unique blend of athletic prowess, balletic grace, and falling on one's ass, plus i'd really like to see it all blend together live for once...), but, as AEG and staples are more focused on packages than single tickets, the pickings have been slim. last week, the ticket manager started releasing more single tickets, but the seating areas were screwed up. i would select "premier," which should be the yellow second-level tickets and search for available tickets. TM would then regurgitate red "lower level" tickets on the side, and label them as "premier" eventhough the color designation said otherwise. confused? me, too. basically, it would pull up tickets to section 116 which are obviously lower level, but the ticketmaster descripton would say "premier." click on the image above for a slightly larger depiction.

--now, as an aside, no one wants to watch skating on the sides. all you'll see are people crashing into the boards and whipping around the corner to skate back the other way across the ice. the ideal place to sit it closest to center ice, where you'll see more spins, in-between moves, and the jumps head-on. it's sort of like if you were sitting behind the basket at a basketball game versus behind the commentators. totally different game. --

thinking this was a system error, i sent ticketmaster an email (through their very confusing "contact us" form page), stating, "I'm trying to buy premier tickets on the 2nd level, the ones that are yellow, but when I select 2 tickets and the premier section, TM brings up 2 side tickets on the 100 (floor) level. It seems these side seats aren't categorized correctly. Please correct!!! Thanks."

then this morning, i went to see if the error had been corrected, and sure enough, i got premier-level center ice tickets. everything's dandy, right? well, sort of.

after lunch, ticketmaster sent me an email reply re: the miscategorized tickets, and here it is, in most of it's entirety. the bolded/italicized emphasis is mine.

Subject: I'm trying to buy premier tickets on the 2nd level, the ones that are yellow,... (Gisela_ZYS724)
03/18/2009 04:40 PM EDT

Dear Becca,

Thank you for your e-mail. We regret any inconvenience you may have experienced on our website. We have been able to reserve two tickets according to your request.

The order number for your requested tickets is xxxxxx/LA1.

We have reserved two tickets for Championships Ladies Free Skating at the Staples Center on Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The seats are located in Section PR4, Row 8, Seats 12-13.

The itemized list of charges is as follows:

Ticket Price: $150.00 (per ticket)
Convenience Charge: $12.85 (per ticket)
Facility Fee: $4.40 (per ticket)
Order Processing Fee: $5.10 (per order)
Total: $339.60

American Express is our preferred method of payment. We also accept Discover Network, MasterCard, Visa and debit cards bearing the MasterCard or Visa logo.

If you would like to purchase these tickets, please reply with the following information:

Order Number: xxxxxx/LA1
Credit card number:
Expiration date:
Credit Card Billing Address:
Evening telephone number:

Please select a delivery method by placing an “X” by the desired option:

__ TicketFast® additional charge of $2.50
__ In-Store Pickup additional Charge of $1.00
__ UPS (additional charge)
__ Will Call

For more detailed information on our various delivery methods, you may visit the link below:

If you do not feel comfortable providing your credit card information via e-mail, you may contact one of our friendly customer service representatives via phone by dialing 800-653-8000.

When we receive this information, we will finalize your order. Please reply with payment by 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, March 20, 2009, to prevent the cancellation of this ticket order.

Please note, in order for your request to be processed, all information must be filled in completely. Additionally, the subject line on this e-mail should not be changed, and you must reply using the same email address when responding to this message.

Thank you for using Ticketmaster. We really appreciate your business, and hope we were able to resolve any problems or answer any questions you had. Please reply to this email if we may be of further assistance.

Ticketmaster.com Customer Support

Did I provide World Class Service? Please take a brief survey about the service I just provided. This survey will take only three minutes to complete. Please click on the link below to begin.[http://xxxxxxx.com]

hey, ticketmaster. you're suggesting that i EMAIL you my credit card number and personal details, unless i might just happen to feel uncomfortable with it. what part of "emailing credit card numbers and information is a horrendously stupid idea!" did you guys miss the day of data security and secure, online sales training? are you intentionally asking to be sued or accused of supporting credit card fraud? did your mom drop you on your head as a child? because mine did (accidentally... i just sort of tumbled off the kitchen counter. wheeee! plop.), and yet i still recognize that emailing my credit card info is downright moronic. um... regardless that i bought tickets this morning, and that i'm impressed that you can get me really great seats via emailing "contact us," this is ridiculous. and scary. and dim-witted. but what more would i expect from you?

and here's what your own website says about data security:

How we protect your personal information

We take appropriate security measures (including physical, electronic and procedural measures) to help safeguard your personal information from unauthorized access and disclosure. For example, only authorized employees are permitted to access personal information, and they may do so only for permitted business functions. In addition, we use encryption in the transmission of your sensitive personal information between your system and ours, and we use firewalls to help prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to your personal information.

We want you to feel confident using our website to transact business. However, no system can be completely secure. Therefore, although we take steps to secure your information, we do not promise, and you should not expect, that your personal information, searches, or other communications will always remain secure. Users should also take care with how they handle and disclose their personal information and should avoid sending personal information through insecure email. Please refer to the Federal Trade Commission’s website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/data.shtm for information about how to protect yourself against identity theft.

funny. it reads like TM agrees with me! wonder if its lawyers do, too...

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