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Thu Jul 24 17:22:57 SAST 2014

Fans outraged at Lady Gaga online ticket fiasco

ANDILE NDLOVU | 20 June, 2012 00:070 Comments
Singer Lady Gaga performs onstage at the Staples Center
Image by: Kevin Winter

AFTER a disastrous first day of online bookings for US pop star Lady Gaga's summer shows in South Africa, organisers finally gave in to pressure and reverted to the tried and tested method of selling tickets over the counter.

Fans can snap up tickets at Computicket outlets this morning, as opposed to tomorrow, in Johannesburg, and Friday in Cape Town, as initially announced.

Online ticket sales opened at 9am yesterday, and users were required to register on the Computicket website in order to be placed in a queue to book their tickets.

Computicket introduced the new system in an attempt to ease the pressure on outlets and the call centre.

But confusion reigned immediately after the system kicked in at 9am.

Users received messages saying: "There are more than 1000 people in front of you. Please be patient," and were notified of waiting times of as much two days.

Computicket quickly discontinued the service as users took to Twitter to complain.

Three hours later a smattering of users tweeted their excitement at finally receiving their booking confirmations, while others began to grow restless.

Times LIVE asked some readers at about 12.30pm how they had fared with their virtual queuing, and got these responses:

@Karen_Annabelle: "Online queue is ridiculous, still 1000 people in front of us, and accidentally clicked refresh so was sent to the back of the line."

@HiltonBoylan: "My sister waited an hour first time and lost her place. Now been waiting two hours. Disastrous is too nice a word. #LadyGagaSA"

@Monstette: "Got my tickets at about 10:15 and all went well #LadyGagaSA :) little evil lol when i see others complaining. I feel bad tho."

At about 1pm, via its Twitter and Facebook pages, Computicket told customers: "Due to the current issues with the 3D Secure/Verified by Visa security system the Lady Gaga queue has been placed on hold."

In a press statement, Shoprite Group CEO Whitey Basson blasted Computicket for "relenting" [consenting] to Big Concerts' decision to open ticket sales to internet users before opening sales at outlets.

Basson pointed out that the majority of its customers were either not internet users or did not own credit cards.

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