Ticketmaster helps customers buy tickets to many of the hottest events such as professional sports and concerts. By logging online or making a phone call, you can be on your way to receiving those hard to find tickets in no time. They can even be reserved for you if you want to pick them up the day of the game.

Online Ordering photo
Photo by JeepersMedia

Having ordered hockey and concert tickets through Ticketmaster several times through both services, I understand which one is easier to navigate and will suggest to you which one to try. Before I do, though, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of each service.

Ordering online through ticketmaster.com:

When you order online, you can go straight to the venue or performer page if you already have it bookmarked. In other cases, you can type the event name into the search engine and click search. You will then get a calendar of all available dates for that event and click on buy tickets.

The next page will tell you the name, date, time, and location of the event. Then there is four drop down selections: number of tickets needed, preferred price, section preference, and seating location. Once you have filled in all the forms, you have to type in the correct code (a string of letters and/or numbers) to “get in line” for tickets. This can be a problem if for some reason you can’t read the code; you will be trying numerous times to get past that part.

Once you are “in line”, you will find out how long your wait time is; usually only up to two minutes. If you hit the back button, you will lose your place in line.

After your seats come up, you have two minutes to claim the seats otherwise they will be put back in the database for others to buy. You will be able to view your seating section (Ticketmaster provides venue seating charts for you to get a sneak peek), location, and price per seat. When you decide if you want them, you fill out the order form for picking up your tickets. You can either have them delivered to your house, have them e-mailed, or pick them up at the venue Will Call.

If you decide you don’t want the seats, you can give them up and search again.

The online ordering system is pretty easy to navigate, but typing in codes or coming up empty handed on tickets is a pain. You could search a few times and still come up with nothing different except for a shift from seat five to seat seven for example.

Ordering by phone

Ticketmaster.com also provides a directory of local Ticketmaster outlets and their phone numbers. When you order by phone, it is an automated system with little, if any, live person interaction. You have to press 1 to order tickets, then tell the computer automated voice what state and city your event is taking place in, the name of the venue, and the name of the event.

The system then searches for tickets for you. If it finds what you need, they will tell you the tickets have been reserved. You can then hear the details of the seats. If you want them, you can press 1 to accept the tickets and start your order. If you don’t want them, press 2 to search again.

Assuming you accept the tickets you have to go through the payment process. First, regardless of delivery method, you have to punch in your credit card number and hit pound. Then you have to press a button to indicate which delivery method you want to use.

If you are having your tickets mailed, you will have to record your name and address that you want the tickets sent to. You can play back this recording and if you don’t like the way you sound or made a mistake, you can start over again.

Ordering via phone is frustrating if you prefer speaking to live people because you won’t get a real representative until you get through the menu to talk to one. It may also be annoying to you to press so many buttons, or repeat your event information because the “representative” didn’t understand it.

After going through both ordering systems, I prefer to use Ticketmaster online. I don’t like dealing with recordings on the phone and besides, I am an Internet junkie so I can order tickets while going about my normal business. However, both systems are secure so you won’t experience any trouble with your payment. Plus, in most cases today, your computer is probably faster than punching everything in to your phone.

In the end, the decision is yours. The most important part is not how you order your tickets, but if you get the ones you were hoping for.