If you tried buying tickets on Ticketmaster but had issues, you’re not alone. Ticketmaster outages and glitches are common, especially for highly anticipated events where demand far exceeds ticket supply. Here are some of the main reasons why Ticketmaster may not be working for you.
High Traffic and Demand
The #1 reason Ticketmaster often fails is extremely high traffic when tickets first go on sale, particularly for hot shows or in-demand events. Millions of fans may be logged in precisely at the sale time, overloading Ticketmaster’s servers and causing slow page loads, timeouts, crashes, and error messages. This rush can start days before the actual on-sale time as fans line up for presale codes or prepare accounts. Unfortunately, Ticketmaster seems unprepared for the predictably high demand.
Bots and Scalpers
Another huge problem is bots created by scalpers to buy up tickets en masse for resale. These bots barrage Ticketmaster and snap up inventory within seconds, freezing out real fans. Ticketmaster does try to thwart them, but the technology and tactics constantly evolve. The presence of bots tends to exacerbate system strain and failures when tickets go on sale.
Glitchy Website and Apps
Even without demand surges or bots, Ticketmaster’s site and apps are prone to glitches and bugs. Pages may not load properly or process transactions. Error messages pop up for no reason. Features like interactive seat maps malfunction. The filtering and search is wonky. Random crashes occur. These issues lower the chances of fans getting tickets.
Payment Processing Failures
Payment processing is another common pain point. Fans may get tickets in their cart but then have payment fail or get declined. The system may time out during checkout due to lag. Sale timers may expire mid-transaction. Card verification steps create delays. Temporary holds on credit or debit cards can block purchases. Overall, the payment system lacks reliability when traffic spikes.
CAPCHA and Verification Failures
To combat bots, Ticketmaster relies heavily on CAPCHA tests, email verifications, and other checkpoints. But these measures backfire on actual fans, blocking access. CAPCHAs may glitch out and not accept the input. Verification emails face delays or get trapped in spam filters. Identity proofs like text messages stall the process. False positives flag real users as bots. The emphasis on verification overloads the system and locks out customers.
Unstable Mobile Experience
Problems multiply for Ticketmaster users on mobile apps and mobile web. Slow speeds, freezes, crashes, and connection errors occur frequently. Navigation and search are clunky. Mobile checkout is a nightmare. Auto-fills and payments fail. Caching and loading cause timeouts. Given over 50% of traffic is now mobile, tech issues on mobile platforms create huge barriers for ticket buyers.
Lack of Load Balancing
At its core, Ticketmaster seems to lack sufficient load balancing, stress testing, and bandwidth to handle peak demand. They don’t provision enough servers, proxies, caches, and resources to flow traffic smoothly when millions hit the system at once. For a company regularly facing demand spikes, their technology should be robust enough to withstand the rush, through better load balancing.
Outages Across Provider Services
Ticketmaster relies on external providers that can also fail and cause ripple effects. Outages at cloud hosting services, broadband providers, DNS managers, data centers, and payment processors quickly take down Ticketmaster too. When third-party tech issues emerge during ticket sales, Ticketmaster has no backup plan, and its platform craters.
Lack of Failover and Redundancy
Relatedly, Ticketmaster seems to lack redundancies and automatic failovers that tech giants rely on. There’s no load balancing across mirrored sites and data centers. So when one area goes down, there’s no automatic switch to backups. For mission-critical ticket sales, they should have failover capacity built in, to avoid any single point of failure.
Fraud Monitoring Causing Conflicts
Ticketmaster’s fraud monitoring systems sometimes misfire, marking valid user transactions as suspicious, triggering verification checks or cancels. These false fraud signals especially occur during traffic floods, when the systems lack context. They then prompt verification steps that compound other issues. More robust fraud tools optimized for their traffic would prevent these conflicts.
Problems logging into Ticketmaster accounts also abound when traffic surges, thanks to backend issues. Password resets fail, logins time out, new accounts can’t register, old accounts get locked out. Oftentimes fans can’t access their accounts at all. Tedious workarounds via customer service rarely help, given the timing.
Poor Page Optimization
Ticketmaster’s web pages are bloated with unnecessary scripts, tags, ads trackers, and design elements. This slows load times, hurts caching, and increases failures. Streamlining pages for speed would allow them to serve more users concurrently and handle demand spikes more gracefully. But convenience and UX are not prioritized.
In addition to bots, spam users deliberately bombard Ticketmaster during sales to try bringing it down. While usually unsuccessful alone, they add more strain to an already overloaded system. Anti-spam systems struggle to keep up with the evolving tactics, which change to maximize damage.
Lack of Transparency
Ticketmaster is also notoriously opaque about systemic issues on their platform, during and after outages. They provide inadequate status updates, incident reports, or reasons. Customers are left confused and in the dark. More transparency and active updates would help mitigate frustrations and uncertainty.
Customer Support Overload
When Ticketmaster fails, their customer support channels get understandably flooded. Wait times by phone can exceed 5 hours. Email and social media replies are delayed by days. Chats may be entirely unavailable. Reps lack resources to remedy issues at scale. Getting one-on-one help in a timely manner is extremely difficult.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by malicious actors occasionally bring Ticketmaster down. These attacks overwhelm servers with junk traffic, using botnets of hijacked devices. DDoS attacks are hard to fully prevent but Ticketmaster seems prone to catastrophic outages, versus just temporary slowdowns. More robust DDoS mitigation would build resiliency.
As Ticketmaster has acquired various event ticketing platforms, integrating them has caused tech conflicts. Different systems that aren’t seamlessly merged can create bottlenecks when moving customers between services. Technical debt from acquisitions seems unresolved, undermining operations.
In summary, Ticketmaster has systemic weaknesses in its platform, centered around load management, redundancy, and infrastructure provisioning. When ticket demand reaches fever pitch, usually the site can’t keep up. Technical and operational fixes could bolster reliability and user experience.