I’ve been going to Munich for the Bavarian Opera Festival for the last couple of years, mostly because it’s in the summer and it’s a good excuse to visit my uncle. Now, I want to get tickets for shows there WELL in advance, and you’d think that a German website would be the height of internet wow. However, I’ve got some problems with the data validation on the <a href="Bavarian State Opera website. If tickets are available immediately for purchase, it doesn’t seem to be a problem: but the problems start when they are in pre-purchase mode and you need to fill out a form saying what tickets you might like to buy _if_ any are available (in imitation of mail in pre-purchase requests). While this drives me mad, what makes me even more frustrated (than not knowing if you’re going to get any tickets) is how pig-headed the form is. Yes, yippee hurray, the required fields are marked and it clearly is willing to accept foreign addresses as it asks what country you live in: however, when I was trying to fill it out, the post/zip code and city field kept bombing out. My UK post code, with its mix of letters and numbers, was not being recognized, and the error message said I needed to enter a value into both post code AND city fields, although I clearly had.
Now since I am in software testing, I saw this as a challenge more than anything else, as I was sure this form would not be up there if it didn’t work for most users. After re-entering the number four or five times, I tried switching the city and the zip code fields, with no luck, then fiddling with the post code field (by removing the space). Success was reached by entering 11111 into the post code field (a number that would be valid in the US); I had added a note to the order beforehand stating that my correct post code was BLAH BLAH and could they please use that.
Well, we’ll see if it REALLY works. I have my doubts but now I remember why I failed to get tickets for the first year I wanted to go to the damned festival – the online pre-order form just would not work for me!