My post today is about my experience with Smirnoff, a club brand called Sensation and their sale of discounted tickets. Smirnoff sponsor many music events and Sensation put on large events across the globe, that I must admit set them apart from the rest of the events with spectacular production visually along with booking international DJs. The events are always held at large venues with the theme being white, meaning everyone wears white clothing.
Their latest event announced is being held at the o2 Arena in London. This is the first time Sensation have put an event on the UK and having been to Sensation Black at Amsterdam many years ago (they later ended the Black themed events), I am looking forward to an event being held in my own country.
Leading up to the event they mentioned there would be exclusive discounted tickets available through the SmirnoffGB page. These tickets it turned out to be reduced by £5 from the original selling price of £55. After wasting half an hour of trying to get these discounted tickets that were available exclusively from a tab on their Facebook page, which was giving me a blank page, I reluctantly just bought a pair through Ticketmaster (which then charge an extra £7.25 per ticket for booking fee and £2.50 postage). So £127 spent and being early to the game I didn’t get a discount either.
So Where Did Smirnoff and Sensation Get It Wrong?
My experience was unfortunately not just about missing out on a measly fiver, but more my expectations as a consumer as we use our smart phones more and the way brands interact with us on Facebook.
Optimise For Mobile Phones
It turns out that the tab on Smirnoff’s page with the discounted tickets was not optimised for mobile phones. Which is really frustrating considering I had switched my view on Facebook to full site and I use a HTC Desire!
To make matters worse, even Ticketmaster’s site was not optimised. I had to enter a captcha and my Swype keyboard when typing the letters was blocking my view of the darn thing and radio buttons were slow in responding wen pressed upon.
Help Your Customer
After I got home I checked the tab on my Mac and the tab simply had a link redirecting to Ticketmaster with a special page for the Facebook promotion. Why could they have not just sent a message with a link to those complaining of the same problem or include it in a status update that fans could only see?
One Call To Action
Here is Sensation’s status update:
Exclusive discounted tickets for Smirnoff Presents Sensation in London are now on sale at Smirnoff GB! There are only a limited number of reduced tickets available – so get involved. Deluxe tickets are not included in the offer – buy them now at The O2: http://bit.ly/fFGjaV – See T&Cs here http://bit.ly/f0swbH for full details.
Four links there, and rushing to try and buy tickets I kept trying the tab that was not loading anything, then checking the links above on a way to get this elusive £5 discount. With so many messages and links on offer I couldn’t see the wood through the trees at the time when the message needed to be this simple in fact:
Exclusive limited amount of discounted tickets for Smirnoff Presents Sensation in London are now on sale at the Smirnoff GB page by clicking the Sensation tab – get involved! Deluxe tickets are not included in the offer.
There I have stated the event, where to get the tickets and how to buy the tickets. Anyone wanting to know the score about Deluxe tickets knows they aren’t on sale at discount. Now if it was me, I’d comment under this status with a link to where buy the Deluxe tickets and also make another status update with the same information. If the T&Cs need to be included legally add them, or add them straight afterwards.
My Facebook Message on Smirnoff’s Page
Like many customers who are dissatisfied with a brands service I had my little rant:
Totally disappointed with the way selling the discounted tickets is handled.
First we sent to the o2 arena site where tickets weren’t even on sale, when they were they linked to Ticketmaster where no discounted tickets were on sale.
Now you are directing people to click the Sensation tab. I’m at work having to use my HTC Desire and the tab just loads a blank screen even though I am running Facebook in full site mode.
In the end I’ve paid full whack through the not so friendly to mobile Ticketmaster website. You had me jumping through hoops to try and save a fiver, you should reevaluate this process in future for your customers and consider mobile commerce more.
Disgruntled customer with full price tickets and wasted half hour of my working day.
I do apologise for my bad grammer in that message 😉
Maybe I flew off the handle a little signing off as I did, but their was reply was simple and unhelpful (in my view).
Hi Stuart, the reason you could not access the discounted tickets via the O2 site is because this offer is only available via our page, as we have always communicated. Sorry you couldn’t access the tab on your mobile, we’re working with Facebook to try and make this possible in the future. We hope you’re looking forward to the event as it’s going to be pretty special. The Smirnoff Team
Funny, their ears must be burning as just whilst I’m typing this I received a message to my trance music Twitter account @iLoveTrance from Sensation:
I do not understand why a smaller promoter such as Slinky based in Bournemouth can offer early bird tickets with less fuss, where as these two massive brands could not. Lessons to be learnt all round I think. In hindsight I should of just waited to buy the tickets until I got home, but it still does not solve the problem that existed in the first place (plus it would not of led to me analysing what happened and writing a blog post about it).
None the less I am looking forward to the event, and I hope to see some top name trance DJs on the line-up which is yet to be released.
Yes call me crazy for spending £127 on two tickets for an event never held in the UK before and could have Noel Edmunds and Paris Hilton playing their favourite music as far as I’m aware right now Haha!
If anyone from Sensation reads this, more than one international trance DJ and you’ll make me a happy man, thanks!
For everyone else if you are selling a product; try and make sure you include mobile users, especially when you have a promotion where time is of the essence, or at least marketed in such a way.
Photo credit: Alexa