Monday, December 5, 2011

Seatwave.com Ticket Exchange Service: Unprofessional & Irresponsible, Part 2

(Read the first part of this article by following the link Seatwave.com Experience, Part 1.)

On the next day, I began to think about other solutions because apparently Seatwave's support was useless. I was considering several options but the one that appeared successful was to contact them via Twitter. Meanwhile, the support offered me another useless solution by offering me to use a particular courier service to redeliver the tickets (expected to arrive at my home by the end of the day on 25/11/2011). This had to happen eventually in less than a day (from Friday night to Saturday afternoon). Seatwave assumed that this service will cost about 50 euro and they agreed to pay for it. But after I contacted the courier it appeared there was not a standard service like this and a customized one would cost no less than 600 euro, far more than Seatwave's estimate.

Finally, after contacting them via Twitter, somebody (from their headquarters I suppose) contacted me by phone and at the same time I received an email from their support's supervisor who informed me that they would find replacement tickets. And they actually did. But I received them a couple of hours before the concert in my hotel in Bologna and because of some traffic on the way to the venue, I arrived just before the commencement of the gig and I was at an unenviable position in the arena.

Since the article became too long, I intentionally skipped several more inadequate actions by Seatwave like for example, sending me a wrong tracking number for the second delivery. But just to make the whole story even more ridiculous, here is another one. The first set of tickets actually had not arrived on 25/11/2011 at my home. The first delivery attempt by UPS had been on 28/11/2011 (2 days after the event) and it failed due to inability of the UPS guy to find the address (it's strange why they hadn't used a map in 21st century) so the actual delivery happened on 30/11/2011 (4 days after the concert).

So, to recapitulate:
- It took Seatwave.com 15 days to deliver tickets that they claimed were ready for sending at the date of my purchase;
- Seatwave's support was completely unaware of the time needed for a delivery by UPS;
- Seatwave refused to observe their User agreement until I contacted them via Twitter;
- They hurried up to inform me that they were not going to refund me even without asking them about a refund;
- The initial set of tickets was delivered 4 days after the date of the event and would be delivered not earlier than 2 days after the gig anyway (even if the UPS guy had found the address the first time);
- I lost literally two days to write and argue with Seatwave for something that was obviously their fault. Despite all of their guarantees and without any sensible reason, they delayed the initial shipping with 3 days, they used the slowest possible UPS service and their support didn't care at all that the tickets wouldn't arrive on time;
- I didn't know whether I would receive the tickets for the gig almost until its commencement (this was really unpleasant).

For me, it's clear I will never use Seatwave again. I strongly recommend that you avoid them too. It seems much better to use eBay or another service in order to find tickets for an event instead of using Seatwave. My obnoxious experience unambiguously shows (at least to me) that Seatwave.com offers an unprofessional and irresponsible service and apparently, they rely only on luck in order to fulfil their side of the agreement. They try to discourage you from pursuing justice and it's not until you show them you have some legal knowledge and customer rights awareness that they start doing something really constructive and helpful in order to resolve an issue.

P.S. I initially thought the tickets would be sent directly from the person on the other side of the particular "fan to fan" ticket exchange deal. Actually, both of the packages have been dispatched with "Seatwave, Milano" filled in the "sender" field so I don't really know who has initiated the shipment.

3 comments:

Seatwave Team said...

We are a fan to fan ticket exchange and we do not rely on luck, we work tirelessly to ensure that all orders are fulfilled and that our buyers get to their chosen event. We don’t deny that sometimes things will go wrong , but what we will do is ensure that we do everything we can to make it right as we have done in your case. We appreciate that receiving the tickets a few hours before the event is not how we would like it to be, it’s far from ideal however, our main aim was not to disappoint you as we know how important events such as these mean to our customers and as you’ve said, a refund was not what you wanted or requested.

With regard to delivery times, as we’re sure you can understand UPS is a third party and therefore the delivery speed and delivery service is out of our control we rely on the information that is presented to us and do our very best to relate that back to our buyers. We understand that when travelling to another City or indeed Country the times and logistics can be rather tricky and so we do advise our Sellers to send the tickets as soon as the order is confirmed and to use a suitable delivery method. The return address will always be given as a Seatwave office to ensure the Seller’s privacy.

We at Seatwave believe that every customer interaction is important and acted upon and that our guarantees are always fulfilled. This is something that is crucial to us as can see from our ‘manifesto’ on our website. I’m sure you will agree that our Customer Support Team were in contact with you trying to resolve this issue continuously regardless of your post on Twitter.

Our intension is to make buying tickets as easy as possible and to offer help along the way. However, from the details you have given we can appreciate that this has been a very disappointing experience for you despite the fact that we got you to the gig in the end. The vast majority of our customers do receive their tickets on time and are happy with the service received. However, we can assure you that the feedback you have provided will be used to further develop the way we do things to ensure that Seatwave stays rated the number one ticket site on the Review Centre.

John Moscow said...

Thanks for your comment, guys. I appreciate it. But I do not agree with many of the things you've written.

To begin with, even if we agree to call the sellers "fans", this does not change the fact that the vast majority of them sell tickets on Seatwave for (often huge) profit. But anyway, it's not that important.

I do not agree that you do everything you can to make it right. I can think immediately of at least 5 things you can do in order to improve your service and probably even more if I think further. Obviously, I am not a Seatwave's employee or shareholder in order to tell you how to improve your work and business, so I won't. But just to comment on your comment...

In my case the tickets were sent 3 days after my purchase. I believe, you don't send the tickets yourselves but apparently you have not made it clear enough to your sellers that they should not delay the shipment. Neither you've made it clear to them that they are the ones that potentially could lose money after they fail to send tickets on time. Instead, the first thing your support does when somebody contacts it is to tell you're not going to refund. This is ridiculous and it is very far from "doing everything to make things right".

I understand that UPS is a third party service but since you've been working with them for quite a long time you should have known their delivery speed. Instead, when I said to your support that the scheduled delivery will be after my flight they answered "don't worry, it will arrive 3 days earlier". This is again completely unprofessional and even more ridiculous when the actual delivery was not 3 days earlier but 4 days later. :)

Furthermore, if the return address is always Seatwave's office then your responsibility is even bigger. It's Ok that you want to protect your sellers' privacy but thus you take also part of their responsibility. And by the way, why do you have to protect the sellers when the buyers do not get the same protection? But again, this is just a detail. The more important thing is it's your responsibility to ensure that the delivery will happen on time which automatically assumes that the shipment should happen on time.

Another statement of yours I definitely do not agree with is that your Customer Support Team was trying to resolve the issue continuously regardless of my post on Twitter. I contacted them 6 days before my post on Twitter and until a couple of hours after my post on Twitter there was nothing constructive and useful offered by them. In fact it was just the opposite. And it was more like I was in contact with them, not the support team keeping contact with me. They were busy wild guessing the time of the UPS delivery and more important trying to tell me that everything on your side was done as it should be. But it was not and it was not done properly from the very beginning. It was clear that the tickets would not arrive on time but your support team lost days in absolutely useless and pointless arguments. They lost days of my time as well. If I were you and if I were really concerned about my customers, I would have had a very serious conversation with the current support team. And I would make it perfectly clear that if they continue behaving in this vein, I will fire them. Of course, I don't know whether they act this way because they are naturally stupid or because they've been instructed to act like this.

I appreciate that you respected your part of the deal in the end but this does not change the fact that your support was awful prior to contacting you via Twitter. It does not change the fact that obviously there is something wrong in your whole workflow having in mind that 15 days were needed for a delivery of tickets marked as ready for shipping.

John Moscow said...

As for your position at Review Centre, if you think of it more thoroughly, it's not that good really. Currently you have 4.1 out of 5 stars. This is about 82%. But for a service like this even 95% is not a very good rating. According to Review Centre you have 85% of customers who recommend your service. Again, this is really low for a ticket exchange service. This means you have 15% of customers who have not been satisfied by your service and this is an enormous percentage.

So you have a lot to improve both in your service and on your website. And the right way for doing it is not to say your almost useless Customer Support Team has been great. Neither it is to use some clich├ęs about how you do everything to make it right. There are more practical and effective ways to improve your service and I hope you will do it eventually for the sake of your future customers and long term success of your website.

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