Thousands were left without money after rushing to get tickets to one of Australia’s biggest alternative music festivals.
Chaos erupted online after a frenzy for festival tickets crashed a hosting website and left hopeful festival goers with no passes despite having paid for them – some more than once.
Advance ticket sales for Bring Me The Horizon’s rock, metal, punk and emo festival Good Things, to be held in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in December, went live on Tuesday at 10:00 am.
However, soon after, fans complained that booking site Oztix took their money but crashed before it could confirm that the tickets had been successfully purchased.
Streams of angry people were quick to express their frustration at the technical issue, with many upset that they had been charged up to seven times for tickets they weren’t even sure of.
One angry customer claimed that almost $3,000 had been stolen from him.
“This seems to be standard practice for Oztix. My credit card has been charged seven times, I have not received any confirmation or tickets yet. I have no idea, I have 0 tickets now or 14 tickets.
“Oztix have turned off their phones and are not responding to emails and I have $2,800 out of pocket,” they wrote in a comment on the festival’s Facebook page.
“Could not confirm the sale of tickets on the pre-sale site. But I just discovered that my card was charged several times without confirmation of purchase. Pretty awful,” wrote another annoyed person.
“It seems to happen to a lot of us. Buying tickets for the Good Things festival happens on a timeout, but still takes our money. I’m assuming this means that at some point we’ll get the tickets via email or post. Damn annoying,” said another.
“I tried to call for tickets for two hours, but the timeout kept running out. I didn’t know that he had withdrawn money from our bank account seven times, which I am now frantically trying to somehow return … and still no tickets. Are the organizers aware of the problem with the site?” – said the third.
The company later took to Facebook to respond to customer concerns Tuesday afternoon, promising frustrated Oztix users that they would be refunded for any duplicate tickets purchased as a result of the error.
“The Good Things Festival would like to acknowledge the issues with our pre-sale this morning. Oztix, our ticketing partner, offers an unconditional apology to all affected fans. We are absolutely blown away by the demand for our festival and can’t wait to see you all in the pit in December,” the company said in a statement.
Oztix blamed the collapse on “unprecedented demand”.
“Even though it’s exciting in many ways, there were some technical difficulties. The ticketing system worked as expected, however there were large delays in processing payments between the system, payment gateway, banks and back.
“This delay in receiving confirmation from the bank meant that some customers had multiple attempts to purchase tickets and were charged multiple times. All order receipts are currently being sent to customers and any customer with multiple orders will receive a refund this afternoon and receive a refund receipt.”
Oztix confirmed that those who have been charged will eventually have their tickets sent.
“If you have been debited more than once, you will get your money back. We will let you know as soon as this process is complete and if you have any further questions, please contact us and we will assist you.
While many said they were prompted by the company’s use of the term “unprecedented” given how heavily it was used during the Covid pandemic, others said that its site’s failure was inexcusable.
“Unprecedented should not be a word in the OzTix apology lexicon. A big and fast move should be an expectation for any event like this. Flash sales are not new, and with the proliferation of services like AWS (where you can meet the surge in demand and meet it with the appropriate scaling of resources), this should never happen, ”says one answer.
“I’m sorry, but frankly, not good enough. How many times will ticket agents “underestimate” demand because they refuse to have the right servers online for big events?” said the other.
Others were more forgiving and praised the company’s explanation and work to resolve the issue.
“Looking forward to a refund for an additional order of tickets that I did not need. Thank you for working on this so quickly,” said one person.
“Thanks for the news, I had a heart attack because of how many tickets I bought,” wrote another.