Our new website: First Friends' Booking Day
Tips for making a booking, and our response to your feedback.
11 June 2012 at 7.26pm | 193 Comments
Ludovic Ondiviela as the Nephew and Elizabeth Harrod as Clara in The Nutcracker © Johan Persson/ROH 2011
* Added 12/06/12 - Once you have booked your tickets you will see an ‘Order placed’ page, this will be followed by a email confirmation of your order. There will be a delay before your confirmation email arrives, at busy times it could take up to an hour for order confirmations to arrive. To help make the system stable at busy times we are regulating the speed orders are processed to 1 order every 4 seconds, this means your seats are safely held in our ticket system until the email confirmation is sent. We would recommend that you only contact the Box Office if you have not received your email confirmation after 3 hours.*
We would like to thank everyone who got involved in the recent Golden Ticket Hunt. We really appreciate the time everyone took to come to the website and give us feedback. Over 900 people participated and we received nearly 300 comments on our blog – and countless tweets – allowing us to test how the system reacted to real users, buying tickets in real time. Some Friends of Covent Garden experienced and reported errors so we have been working through the feedback over the last week to reproduce and fix as many of these as possible.
We have been working closely with our developers POP and with Amazon who are providing our cloud (hosting) services. They have worked through the weekend to make sure as much as possible can be done to give as many people as possible a stable booking experience. I have mentioned before that our website is unique; the nature of our historic auditorium presents lots of challenges, which prevents us from simply taking an online booking solution off the shelf. So we have built a bespoke solution and although this comes with its own risks, it does mean we can constantly develop and improve the website for our customers.
As with anything new, it takes a while to get used to a new booking system, so we would like to share a few tips to help you through the process.
If you are coming to buy tickets, whether as a Friend of Covent Garden or a member of the public, it’s always a good idea to sign in first. If the website knows who you are, it can show you the right information. Once signed in, you can manage your account by selecting your name at the top of the page.
When booking tickets I would advise against using more than one internet browser to purchase or hold tickets, this does not give you an advantage and may even prevent your order going through.
When you are selecting your seats you can choose as many tickets as your ticket limit allows. Select all the tickets you want before you use the ‘Add to basket’ button. Following your feedback we have added some text to the page to make this clearer. We have also adjusted the colours slightly on the price plan, based on the feedback we received.
Once you have tickets in your shopping basket you can proceed to checkout or continue shopping. You can select any of the options at the top of the page without losing your tickets. We hold your tickets in the shopping basket for 30 minutes, and you can get back to your shopping basket by selecting ‘shopping basket’ at the top of any page.
Once you are in the checkout you can see where you are in the booking process. On the delivery page you can choose to collect your tickets from the Box Office if you wish by selecting ‘edit delivery address’.
We hope that all goes smoothly on the Booking Days, and thank you for your support for the Royal Opera House. Please leave any comments about your experience of the booking process on this blog.