Arclight Cinemas’ Bad Form

Over the weekend my wife and I decided to go see a movie at the Arclight. I like the Arclight because you can reserve your seats. It's a nice theater with good parking. Now I'm going start a rant and at the same time comment on how the user experience can be improved with a little effort. With that in mind, I was sitting on the couch and went to the Arclight Cinema website on my iPad. Tapped the movie, selected the date and then the time I wanted to purchase tickets and a small popup bubble displayed showing available seats, but there wasn't an option to select seats or purchase tickets.

After looking around the website I was not able to find a way to purchase movie tickets. So I thought, no problem, I'll just give them a call. I tapped the Contact Us link. The link opened a new tab with a contact form, but no phone number. I didn't want to send a message to be seen later, I wanted to buy tickets now. Then I went looking for a phone number on the website and while there was a phone number for parking information, there wasn't a contact phone number to be found for help or purchasing tickets. Hot tip, make it easy for the user to get help or tell the user up front what to expect. Not able to find a contact phone number, I went back to Google which displayed the phone number and made a call to get help. They were busy so there was a wait, which I can understand that since it was Thanksgiving weekend. When I got a person on the phone, they told me that their website doesn't work on an iPad and to use a phone or computer. There really isn't a whole lot of difference other than screen size between the desktop and tablet browser experience. With very little work the desktop website can be made to work on a tablet. Better yet, make the design responsive from the start.

No problem, I have a iPhone in my pocket and I know how to use it. I filled out all the information, got the the credit card page, filled out my credit card information and got my first error. Not just any error, not even a friendly error, but a 500 error. For those that don't know, this means something went wrong on the server.

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