By Brianna Collora and Lexie Zanghi | October 17, 2021
Upwards of 200 students were led to believe that they had purchased tickets to the homecoming Fallapalooza concert, only to find that they received no order confirmation despite holds on their bank accounts.
The event featuring A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Sleepy Hallow was announced on Tuesday, with tickets to be sold just hours later through a link on the Student Association Instagram account..
The website immediately gave students who were trying to purchase the tickets issues. “The link for the concert didn’t even load, I was just stuck refreshing the link for their Linktree page. Ticket Return wouldn’t even load at all and when it did it just kept reloading,” senior Ashley Dollard said. “So after a good 45 minutes, I was finally able to get a ticket and couldn’t even do it directly from my phone. I had to go to a different browser in order for it to work.”
After they saw charges pending but received no confirmation email, students began to question the status of their tickets. The Student Association responded via Instagram post, saying “Keep refreshing the link until you are able to make a purchase. If you have gotten charged you WILL get a confirmation email.”
For many students though, this confirmation never came. “I got no email. I didn’t think twice about it since they said that it was okay; I thought I had secured my ticket,” sophomore Arianny Díaz said. “I was very excited and then I woke up the next day and saw that they were not honoring that anymore and I lost my chance.”
Díaz was not the only student disappointed by the miscommunication. “Student Association told hundreds of kids the wrong information, causing them all to not get tickets,” sophomore Elizabeth Hathaway said. “It was very unfair as we were told to wait and now they are just saying ‘oh well’ and acting like it isn’t their fault when they even posted on Insta to wait so I’m really upset.”
The Instagram post was later deleted, furthering confusion and frustration among students. “I blindly believed that I had a ticket like they posted (now deleted with no explanation),” sophomore Jadira Pinos said.
The Student Association said they posted the information because they were receiving a lot of calls with questions. “At the time the information given to us was that if people got a charge, they would get a confirmation,” Student Association President Abdoullah Goudiaby said. “To my understanding, the thinking on the end of athletics was that it was some sort of a systematic delay. Essentially, the glitch or the issue was larger than comprehensible at the time.”
The tickets were sold in collaboration with the athletics department, who blamed the issue on the traffic to the website. “It is our program, but it was a joint effort with the Student Association. They are basically utilizing our program and we’re using them for the student contact info,” Nate Mason, the Assistant Athletic Director for Ticket Sales said. “It’s not a system crash or anything, any type of concert that goes on sale deals with this type of issue. The sales volume slowed the process down, so some people may have gotten double charged because they’re waiting for the process to complete and tried another transaction.”
Student complaints were tracked, and their emails were collected by the Student Association. In attempts to rectify the situation, additional tickets were made available to these students. “I received an email saying that waitlist tickets were available, and I was given a code unique to me to buy one ticket,” freshman Saanvi Mirchandani said. “I was able to purchase the ticket, got a confirmation email, and then I was able to add the ticket to my apple wallet.”
According to the Student Association, there is an important distinction to be made between a hold on an account and an actual charge. “That's why the ticket confirmation didn’t get distributed or that’s not an actual purchase that went through, and that’s where the confusion lies,” Goudiaby said.
There are students who still have holds on their accounts, some even multiple, and have yet to receive a refund. “I’m still waiting for my refund from the first charge,” sophomore Liliana Cifuentes said. “They should’ve been a lot more organized especially if you’re bringing someone with that much hype to campus.”
Students that missed out may receive an opportunity for a different activity. “Again for the people that didn’t make that benchmark or to that cutoff they are going to get contacted regarding a consolation in a different manner related to the same nature of this event,” President Goudiaby said. “They’re going to be contacted and they’ll get details when that’s figured out.”
Overall, students remain confused, upset, and frustrated. Sophomore Aston Mckenzie feels, “It was just a s----- job all around.”
(Use of profanity within the quote by Mckenzie has been censored by the ASP).