My Tale of Woe

Some friends of ours gave us a gift certificate to a well-known ticketing agency* as a Christmas present. Since Randy and I are heading to Las Vegas in two weeks, with our friends Chris and Pete, we decided to see one of the Cirque de Soleil shows. After reviewing the options we picked “O” (the water-oriented one…which also is the most expensive).

I tried ordering the tickets on Wednesday. As I walked through the steps towards making the purchase, an option to use a gift certificate never popped up. The next thing I knew, the transaction was complete, my credit card was charged, and my gift certificate remained un-used.

I immediately called Blicket ASSter to look into getting my gift certificate redeemed. I gave the customer service representative my confirmation number and she said that they have no record of my transaction. In fact, my confirmation had too many digits for their system. She said my best option was to use the Blicket ASSter website’s email function and email my request.

I did that, only to get a response that I needed to call the Bellagio ticketing office directly to fix my problem.

I called the Bellagio and the woman said “no problem.” She said she’d cancel my order and re-place it, taking the gift certificate into account. However, after cancelling it, she realized that my gift certificate wasn’t valid if I re-purchase the tickets directly through her. I’d have to go back to Blicket ASSter.

I called Blicket ASSter and got connected with the rudest, surliest, least professional “customer service” representative I’ve ever had to deal with in my life. After explaining the situation, he said that I was calling the wrong company since I never placed an order with Blicket ASSter since my confirmation number doesn’t macth his. He said that I was lying and got the Blicket ASSter website confused with another website. I told him I had a printed confirmation with the Blicket ASSter name and logo across the top but he would hear nothing of it. I asked to speak to a manager and he said no.

Yep, he denied my request. I asked to speak to another service representative and he said no again. At that point, I started getting surly. I ranted a bit and kept demanding a manager and he kept refusing. He then put me on hold while he spoke with a supervisor, but before doing so, he threatened that he had a few choice words for me when he got back on the line.

Seriously!

He came back to the phone and said his supervisor refused to speak with me and there was nothing they could (or would) do. However, he did say (rudely) that tickets to “O” are through another company that the Blicket ASSter connects to (without notifying the buyer, I might add). He said to go to that other company’s website.

I went to that website and it was all in French (since Cirque de Soleil is based in Quebec so this organization’s website was in French). Luckily, I’d been to Montreal and Paris enough to find my through the website to the “contactez nous” link and found a number to call.

The customer service representative there was incredibly friendly (I love Canada). However, she said that their organization ceased selling “O” tickets 3 years ago and she couldn’t help me. She even spoke to a manager to see what she could do. They suggested contacting Blicket ASSter again (but was so apologetic that it had calmed me down a bit).

Instead of calling Blicket ASSter, I emaled them again. This time detailing my 6 previous attempts at customer service (via emails and phone calls). They responded that you can only use a Blicket ASSter gift certificate if you order through Blicket ASSter. WHICH I DID! They refered me to yet another ticketing agency in Las Vegas (email only, no phone).

I emailed that agency, now detailing my 7 previous attempts at customer service. Finally they offered to let me order the tickets again, but explained that since they aren’t Blicket ASSter I can’t use the gift certificate.

You know, this is crazy. Why does Blicket ASSter have these tickets listed as available through them…and even let you purchase them through their website…if they aren’t being sold through their company? Why doesn’t their website do what they should legally do and have a notice saying “you are now leaving the Blicket ASSter website” before linking you to a purchase screen that is essentially an entirely different company (though still with the Blicket ASSter logo at the top)? I don’t get it at all.

It’s funny – I’ve always hated Blicket ASSter since I was in college and went to concerts fairly frequently. I thought it was a monopoly and that it was obscene how much they charged for fees and such. And back then, in the pre-internet days, I always found their customer service lacking. It’d been so long since I’d ordered tickets that I’d forgotten how much I hated them. I was slightly reminded when we opened the gift certificates at Christmas….but I couldn’t figure out where that brief rush of anxiety came from.

Now I know.

*I won’t list their name here in case they search for themselves and change their mind about my refund. However, I’ll give them the code name of Blicket ASSter. You figure it out.

2 Comments

  1. Comment by Michael on February 1, 2008 2:42 pm

    I *HIGHLY* recommend La Reve at the Wynn. I saw it last year and it was truly amazing. There is also a cheap ticket place on the strip that you can go to and get 1/2 price tickets the day of the show. If you go see O, let me know how it is.

  2. Comment by Karyn on February 2, 2008 11:28 am

    Call HELP ME HANK at WBZ News! She’ll fix Blicket Asster’s…ass. I love your code name for them by the way. I like saying Blicket. Perhaps too much.

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