Transaction Error

My favorite band (2NE1) is coming to my favorite city (Taipei) and I am on a quest to get a good ticket! Unfortunately I can’t just walk half a block to my neighborhood 7-11 and buy one on their iBon terminal like people who live there. Thanks to the miracle of the Internet though, this should be no problem, right?

  • Check ticket-sale website at exact announced sale opening of 10:58am Taiwan time.
  • Server near meltdown, but still responding after delays. Go Taiwan IT industry!
  • Go through seat selection & order process. Front section status: ON SALE
  • Cannot check out without having an account on the site.
  • Abort order, start account creation process.
  • Asking for my Taiwan Citizen Card ID number. Which I obviously do not have.
  • Go get my old expired Alien Resident Card which sometimes works for these things.
  • Realize that they also take passport numbers instead. Whew.
  • Awkwardly enter my U.S. mailing address and phone into the account creation form.
  • Repeat seat selection & order process. Front section status: ON SALE
  • Will-call button is unavailable. Can only receive tickets by mail. Remember I entered my U.S. mailing address. There is no way regular mail will get here in time. Abort order process.
  • Spend 15 minutes on Facebook and Skype frantically trying to reach anyone in Taiwan who has a mailing address I can use.
  • Realize I can just send it c/o my friend Drake at the Digimax corporate office.
  • Go to ticket site account management interface. Server still near meltdown. Update mailing address to Digimax.
  • Repeat seat selection & order process. Front section status: 80 seats left
  • Try to pay with American Express, since my other credit cards usually decline international transactions.
  • Find out they do not take American Express. (they don’t actually say this, but the form won’t accept a 15-digit credit card number).
  • Repeat seat selection & order process. Front section status: 23 seats left
  • Try every single VISA credit/debit card in my wallet one after another. Each time I get an error message that my web browser renders as gibberish (because the server is spitting out Big-5 Chinese text without the proper HTML meta tags – boo Taiwan IT industry).
  • Presume it’s some kind of transaction-declined error. This is expected; my VISA card issuers have a hard time understanding the concept that I may occasionally partake in an activity called “travel” that may involve buying things outside of my hometown.
  • Configure web browser to recognize improperly-tagged Big-5. Repeat seat selection & order process.
  • Find out what error message ACTUALLY says: “Sorry, the section you have selected is sold out.”
  • Check seat selection page again. Front sections status: SOLD OUT
  • Have a very emotional moment. (haha).
  • Check account management page again just to see if anything is there.
  • Account says, order history. One ticket. Processing status: “OK”
  • Really?!?! Dance in celebration.
  • Screenshot order page to get some hard evidence in case the thing fails later.
  • Post to Facebook (of course).
  • Wait by phone in case credit card company calls to verify transaction.
  • Realize credit card company may very well call my old deactivated land line in New York.

Still not sure if I got the ticket, but it was a fun adventure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *