Legal Quandary

Monday, November 21, 2005

Dear National Zoo,

Your website sucks ass.

As you know, there were lots of people interested in seeing the new panda cub. I thought that I would be the coolest mom on the block and get my kids tickets too. I appreciate that you need to make viewing on a reservation basis - I have no problem with that. And I know I really probably shouldn't bitch about free tickets.

But here's what I have a problem with: your website was clearly not capable of handling the number of responses you got. As evidenced by the fact that I spent over an hour, enduring multiple error messages of "The document contains no data," "Service not available", and more than one server error, trying 5 different dates and multiple times for each date. Only to be told - after waiting for several minutes each time - that the spaces filled up before I submitted my request.

Look, I know the Panda cub is popular, but I don't really have that kind of time to waste. You're affiliated with the freaking Smithsonian - I have a hard time believing you can't upgrade your server to accomodate this kind of volume. Or contract with someone who does have the ability to handle it. It's not like you didn't see it coming.

Work on that, will you?



So I *was* able to get tickets, but when I went to print them, I got another error message. When I tried again, I got a message saying "Our records show that your tickets have already been printed. Please call us at [phone number] if you're having problems." When I called the number, the voice mailbox was full. Do you see how that's not helpful?

Update 2:
Hooray! I finally got in touch with a live body, who was kind enough to email me the link to our ticket. All is forgiven National Zoo, but you still might want to get those server issues looked into before you attempt something like this again...

This means the Quandary kids will be visiting Tai Shan on New Year's Day! Of course, you can get your own preview here.

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