We went to a baseball game last week, buying tickets through a website that shall remain nameless but sounds like Sicketmaster. They were Mobile Only tickets, so we couldn’t click a button to print out the black lines and squiggles that they scan to let people in. We had to download the info on a smart phone. This works on the assumption that everyone has a smart phone, and that everyone is smart enough to use it.
These tickets were purchased by Fred, so they came to him for use on his cellphone. Being the company and family IT person, I tried to download the appropriate app, and when it asked for the password, the one that Fred gave me didn’t work. When we tried to create a new password, the response from the mobile provider (I’ll refer to them as “Peach”) was that it could take 2 days before he was proved worthy and could input a fresh one, and the game started in about 2 hours. I saw that the tickets could be shared, and so I sent them to myself. My Sicketmaster password wouldn’t work, so I had to start from scratch.
Finally, finally, I had our digital tickets on my phone. We’d prepaid for parking in the garage, but those tickets didn’t make the leap, so when we drove to Seattle and got off on 4th, we were happy to see that there was plenty of space in the lot across from the exit. We’d thoughtfully made sure we had cash for parking, and were okay with the $30 price tag.
But wait. You couldn’t pay cash. You had to pay online, choosing one or another of the pay apps that were listed on signs there. The app that I downloaded asked for car make, color, and license plate number, more time wasted. There was a helpful gentleman who walked everyone through the process of downloading and using the app, which was anyone over 60. “These signs here,” the helper said, “cost maybe $200 total. The credit card machine that used to be here cost $15,000 a year. It’s never going back.” Non-contact COVID rules were both the catalyst and the excuse to put the onus on the customer. Of course, the app producers are getting a cut, but not big enough to deter the parking lot owners, whose name I won’t use here. Let’s just call them Cubic Zirconia.
At the game, Fred lost the car keys, which meant a trip home via taxi to get the extra set, and 200 dollars for a new key. All told, it was a $500+ day. It’s a good thing that business brokering is booming this year!
And did I mention that the M’s lost?
September 27, 2021