I used that survey that PF posted mainly to voice my complaints about AXS, but I know they will go unlistened to. Anyways, it inspired me to write a longer list of reasons why AXS is so terrible. I never thought i'd say this, but I want Ticketmaster(/livenation) back.
1. The Waiting Room of Hell.
The premise is to make it fairer, but in reality it does absolutely nothing of the sorts. I think this makes work less stressful for scalpers, who can now open a shitload of tabs in different browsers on their multiple computers and devices. With the amount of browsers/windows they have open on different devices with different IPs, they'll surely get through at least once. They don't have to worry about being quick (or using a captcha bot if they have one). And for non scalpers, it takes away the fairness and in my opinion fun of buying tickets. I love going to the ticket page at 9:58 and continually refreshing and then racing to enter the captcha. Sometimes I get tickets, occasionally I don't, but it's really on me as to whether I select my tickets and enter the captcha quick enough. And if I don't get tickets I can go back and immediately try again. Now, I just sit and wait, and let some "fair" random computer program decide if I get to buy tickets. There WAS a skill to buying tickets, and you certainly got better the more tickets you tried to purchase, but now that's completely gone. Furthermore, the waiting room doesn't give you any sort of time estimate other than "soon" or really vague terms like that. Waiting room, die a painful flipping death.
2. Interface and Usability
The website is all shiny and shit, but it sucks. Why do I have to click on 4 or 5 links to see what time each presale starts. Show me when each one starts on ONE PAGE. Similar to this, why do I have to go to a new page to "Select Tickets". That's just annoying. This is a minor gripe, but still.
Are you kidding me, why can I not switch to the desktop version of AXS on my iPhone?!?!? That's a cardinal sin of web development. You always have to offer a way to switch to the full version!!!!!!
Speaking of the mobile version, why in the world does AXS default to "I would accept split seats". NO! The vast majority of people do not buy single tickets, don't default to that, it makes me click one more button when i am (and the majority of people are) racing to buy tickets.
No iPhone or Mobile app? The ticketmaster/livenation app is great, laughstub has an app, 12 year olds can literally make iPhone apps. Once again, screw you.
I can't view and print tickets from my AXS account? Are you serious? Yes, the tickets were emailed to me at purchase, but what if I lost access to the email account, or deleted the message accidentally, or a magnitude of other things.
The site crashed during the presale for Depeche Mode a while back. Getting ready for a lot more of this. Imagine what's gonna happen when The Knife announce a show at the Fonda.
4. The Big Scam
In 2010, the United States Department approved the merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation Inc. However, this approval was met with a number of conditions. One of these conditions was for Ticketmaster to license their ticketing software to AEG. Additionally, they suggested that AEG develop their own ticketing site to compete with Ticketmaster/LivenNation. AEG soon partnered with Outboox Technology (http://www.outboxtechnology.com) and began to develop what would become AXS. AEG poised this new ticketing site to be more user friendly and fair, doing away with the shady practices of concealing fees and surcharges as well as charging exorbitant fees. Skip ahead a little bit to when AEG announces AXS. They focus on one point. ONE POINT. Do you know what that one point is? They will not charge an additional fee to download E-Tickets. Yes, that's it, their one "we are a more honorable company" point. Do they still have crazy fees? Yup. Do they not include the fees in the initial price when you're on the first ticketing page? Check.
All of this is in vain. Nobody will listen to my legitimate complaints about how terrible AXS is, because AEG does not give a shit about customer service. I know this from firsthand experience, as well as from hearing anecdotes from my friend who is friends with the former CEO of AEG. AXS is significantly worse than ticketmaster/livenation. In my opinion, the Justice Department should not have approved the ticketmaster/livenation merger; it has made things so much worse for the consumer. AEG is not better or more honorable than Ticketmaster/Livenation, they will squeeze every last penny out of fans with their service fees. And they entrap venues into onerous and long lasting contracts. If you don't use AEG ticketing, good luck booking any shows or tours that are promoted by AEG. We all know what happened when Pearl Jam tried to plot a tour without using the ticketing juggernaut--they ended up playing at obscure venues in odd cities that fans couldn't get to, and it just pissed off the fans. They soon scrapped the idea of playing only at venues that use alternative/fairer ticketing sites, because they realized it was impossible.
Now, this is not Goldenvoice's fault directly. They didn't choose to switch their venues over to AXS ticketing, they were forced to, because they are owned by AEG. But I just wish someone over there had said something to AEG corporate, maybe tell them how shit their new ticketing website is and how it can be improved. Even if they did, I doubt AEG would have listened. Oh well, good riddance.
Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on my post or AEG, AXS, etc.