February 16, 2013 was a day that many a Geek had circled in their calendar. It was a day that San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) badges went on sale. But my dream of attending my very first SDCC turned into a nightmare.
I knew SDCC was very popular but it never occurred to me that I would never get a badge. Maybe I was naïve, but I honestly thought I was going to get a 4-Day with Preview Night badge or any badges for that matter. SDCC was going to be my vacation this year and was couldn’t wait to attend. Little did I know that when I woke up on February 16 that I would be hit with a cold dose of reality and come away empty-handed.
It seemed easy and simple enough to get a badge. Everyone who had a San Diego Comic Con Member ID was eligible for the badge sale and received an email with a link to their badge ticketing system. Instructions and a YouTube video (which apparently has been pulled from the site) explicitly told you that you must click that link at 9am PT. If you click any earlier, it would just take you back to the link page to the badge system. So I patiently waited for my computer to tell me it was 9am PT. When I did, I encountered a server Runtime error and I wasn’t the only one to. I went back and clicked on the link again. But instead of being taken to the waiting room, I was stuck on that page. My address bar kept on telling me I was on the doorstep. When I tried using another computer and clicked on the link –this was about after 15 minutes of waiting – I was brought to the overflow room and a message telling me that if I was in here, it meant that it was more than likely that all badges were sold out. Basically, it was a nice way of saying I was SOL.
The video that was shared also said that if we were in the waiting room and our number in line hadn’t changed in 5-10 minutes that we were to take a screen shot and then call their customer service line. However, even that proved challenging for some. Reading some posts on SDCC’s Facebook page, many people complained at being at being stuck in their place in line in the waiting room for over an hour with no movement. Some were 350 in line and others were 48,000. It really didn’t matter what place in line you were, there were complaints everywhere I looked on Facebook and Twitter that they saw no movement in their line placement and badges were already sold out within 5 minutes.
And if you were having problems, SDCC wanted you to call their customer service line. The number they shared via their Facebook page and Twitter was 619-414-1028 but when people dialed this number, myself included, all we got was a busy signal, which is odd considering that this is a fairly large organization and would expect that their customer service line would have more than one phone line. Apparently, people on social media were saying the wrong number was posted when the actual number was 619-414-1020.
As I continued to wait just to get into the waiting room, the news just got worse. On Twitter I saw that by 9:50am the 4-day with Preview night badges was sold out. Three minutes later, all 4-day badges were gone and by 10:35am, the badge system was closed, meaning everything was sold out. A tweet later went out encouraging those that didn’t get badges should try their luck in May for badge re-sales.
I am going to try again but it is interesting how the badge sale page was called EPIC Registration as many people on social media were calling the whole process an epic fail.