Norris Box Office glitch ties up A&O online ticket sales for Kenan

Sammy Caiola

A technological glitch on the Norris Box Office website Friday caused complications for students eager to purchase tickets for A&O Productions’ Winter Speaker event featuring Kenan Thompson.

Tickets for the Jan. 27 event went on sale for undergraduates at 10:30 a.m. Friday, said Communication senior Elsa Stahura, co-director of promotions and public relations for A&O Productions. Some students who attempted to buy tickets through the Norris Box Office website said they had trouble determining whether or not they had actually made a purchase due to a lack of confirmation.

“It took a really long time to go through, and then finally it opened up on another page that said nothing,” Communication junior Amy Secunda said. “I was concerned that it didn’t go through so I thought rather than risk it, I’d buy again.”

Secunda ended up purchasing four tickets, though she said she only needed two. Other students may have done the same in order to ensure they would have a spot at the event.

Frank Zambrano, cash operations coordinator for Norris University Center, said he started receiving emails early Friday about the problem.

Zambrano said he determined the lack of confirmation was the result of a programming error and contacted the vendor Friday to resolve the situation. The system is now repaired and tickets are being purchased without issues, he said.

“We placed it on the vendor,” Zambrano said. “They’ve assured me they won’t allow this to happen again.”

In order to determine who had inadvertently bought extra tickets, Zambrano said he went through the system and sent an email to every person who had bought multiple tickets, asking them to clarify how many tickets they actually wanted. Students who purchased more tickets than originally intended will be refunded as soon as possible, he said.

Secunda said Norris was quick to refund her tickets, and though the initial purchase was difficult, she is relieved she has tickets.

“I was frustrated,” Secunda said. “I was very anxious about getting the tickets. Once they called though, they were very cooperative and it took five minutes on the phone.”

Stahura said no one who wanted tickets was prevented from purchasing them, and ticket sales will go on as usual until they sell out.

“When people encounter problems while purchasing tickets, it affects our brand,” she said. “We’re happy that Norris was able to help us out by refunding people.”

samanthacaiola2014@u.northwestern.edu

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