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An update on Winter 2015/16 Booking for Friends of Covent Garden

Following extensive tests, booking will open on 29 and 30 September 2015.

By Sally O'Neill (Chief Operating Officer)

25 September 2015 at 3.49pm | 10 Comments

Booking for Winter 2015/16 will open on Tuesday 29 September 2015 for all ballet performances, and Wednesday 30 September 2015 for all operas. Performances will be bookable online via our website from 9am and 10am on these days via telephone.

Over the course of the last week, our Digital Development team have run extensive simulated tests on our online booking system. These simulate the online environment of Friends booking days and have allowed us to identify the majority of issues and apply fixes where appropriate.

However, to ensure your experience is as smooth as possible, on 29 and 30 September we will implement an online queue which some bookers may be placed into. Please be aware that the queue may take a short while to process. This is not a decision we have taken lightly and following these booking days we will continue to work with our technology suppliers to resolve issues for future booking days.

As always, we will keep you up to date via our website’s News and Features section and Twitter feed. The Box Office and the Friends’ team will be fully informed, and will be on hand from 10am to explain and assist you in your booking if necessary.

We are extremely grateful to you for your patience, support and above all cooperation over the course of the last week.

By Sally O'Neill (Chief Operating Officer)

25 September 2015 at 3.49pm

This article has been categorised Off stage and tagged booking, Friends of Covent Garden, Winter 2015/16

This article has 10 comments

  1. Geoff responded on 26 September 2015 at 9:29am Reply

    Well, as someone who has complained publicly in the past about the ROH booking systems, I stand vindicated. For the many patronising, blame the victim, marketing speak defensive comments from ROH staff (we-have-all-under-control-blah, we-have-invested-in-state-of-the-art-blah, we-work-with-worldclass-blah,we-have-done-extensive-blah) it is time for loud apologies for what has been obvious to us paying customers for a long time.

    Maybe the ROH could revisit the idea of staggering booking dates (a la say Vienna, as has been mooted in the past) as this announcement clearly reveals that the system is not able to cope with the pressure of bookings.

  2. Jane green responded on 27 September 2015 at 5:17pm Reply

    I think this is very poor.
    Are the bookings via the internet booking at different times.It is very unclear.
    I think for the cost of the tickets we should have a foolproof system.If the Met can do this why cant our Opera House?

  3. Susy Canvin responded on 28 September 2015 at 4:07pm Reply

    Well said Geoff, you've summed it up perfectly!

  4. B.J.Mulady responded on 29 September 2015 at 3:47pm Reply

    Perhaps you will publish this email. This has been gross incompetence. As writers above point out, other major opera houses can make their booking systems work, why can't ROH? Clearly you do like blunt criticism. I spent over 90 minutes trying to get on line this am. Do you think we have nothing more to do than wait in your queue?

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 29 September 2015 at 4:49pm

      Hi Bernard,

      Sorry to hear you experienced 90 minutes trying to get online this morning. We're investigating this isolated issue you've reported.

      Can I ask if you made it to the booking process/queue? If so, could you recall whether your queue position and estimated duration was stated on the queue screen. Did this count down?


      ROH Digital Producer

  5. B.J.Mulady responded on 29 September 2015 at 4:58pm Reply

    Of course this was an isolated incident. It always is when you are trying to excuse failures. I never got beyond trying to sign in. It then told me that the page did not exist/was not available. I never received a position in a queue/ no estimated duration was ever quoted. I will be trying to book opera tickets tomorrow and wonder what time wasting experience I will get then.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 29 September 2015 at 6:16pm

      We can see in our web logs that you were stuck in an unfortunate vicious circle between our sign in page and a page that doesn't exist: - it was the latter that was giving you the page not found message. Can you please let us know how you first accessed the website this morning? Did you follow a bookmark, a link, a search result?

      For tomorrow's booking please start your visit at this page to ensure you avoid this problem.

      Apologies again.

      ROH Digital Producer

  6. Nina Battleday responded on 29 September 2015 at 6:59pm Reply

    My booking this morning was fine . I logged in just after 0900, was told there were 260 people ahead of me,waited a couple of minutes, got my tickets and was finished by 0908. So no complaints.

  7. John Reid responded on 30 September 2015 at 9:22am Reply

    This worked perfectly on 30 September. Logged in bang on 9:00, was 400 in the queue and got onto the booking screen in 2 minutes. very helpful to see the queue time.
    Well done ROH!

  8. Tim Wood-Woolley responded on 30 September 2015 at 9:23am Reply

    Well, no complaints from me. Logged on at 09:01 this morning, was 581 in the queue, waited less than three minutes and completed all my bookings and received the e-mail confirmation by about 09:10.
    Well done all!


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