Did you ever wonder why so few Americans go to Eurovision? Yes, we think musical talent ends at our borders (with our “international” taste extending to a few acts in England). But another large issue is that Eurovision makes it difficult and expensive for Americans to attend the show. And I’m not talking about the high prices for hotel rooms in Malmö.
I’ve watched the show via the web the last several years and decided that this year I’m going to see it in person. Got my hotel room, got my airline flight, and went to order my tickets. I went to www.ticnet.se and tried to order. When it came to the credit card, it told me that “there was a problem.” Gee, that’s informative… Tried again – same message. Tried a different card which wanted a 2nd “verified by Visa” form filled out – and then the same message. I spent over half an hour hitting my head against a brick wall which provided no useful information.
So today I called and discovered…that they will not take credit cards issued in the United States for Eurovision. Really? This is taking “Eurovision is for Europeans only” to an extreme level. If Eurovision wants the rest of the world to watch the show, and maybe they don’t, a large part of that is welcoming fans from the rest of the world. We’re the ones that spread the word. But not if we face a big “get lost” message.
Now you can purchase tickets from the U.S. You have to call. First you have to prove that one grandparent is from Scandinavia. No just kidding, actually all you have to do is prove you voted for Obama. Then they enter in your ticket by hand, email you a form and bank routing information, and add a charge for having to create the ticket by hand (as though I had a choice). I now take this to my bank to wire the funds, where there will be a wire transfer fee. By the time this is done the fees will be more than the tickets.
As for Ticnet, where did you hire the programmers that wrote your software? Sven’s school of programming and cosmetology? When you decline a credit card – say why! A simple message of, “We don’t accept money from Americans” would have saved me all that time retrying.