Cineplex Fail!

So I decided to go to a movie at one of the local Cineplex multiplexes. That’s not particularly unusual nor is it noteworthy. Since I don’t particularly like dealing with the box office and I wanted to be sure of a seat, I did the online purchase thing. Historically that has worked well, and without any particular trouble. However, this time that was not the case.

First, their web site was down for a couple of hours. Okay, I figured there was something going on with their host or something. Sure enough, it was back up later. Again, I’m not complaining about that since nothing can be perfectly reliable. I only mention it because it contributes to my overall annoyance today.

When I finally got to the site and got the correct showtime at the correct theatre selected (my own ineptitude with a mouse at work there), I got on with the checkout process. It went perfectly smoothly until the step where you fill in your payment information. At that point, the site insisted I did not have cookies enabled and helpfully provided instructions on how to enable them. (The instructions were wrong but that’s not the annoying part.) When that message came up, I had a major WTF moment. I never turned cookies off in the first place!

I poked and prodded at things for a bit and finally discovered that I had to allow third party cookies. I enabled that and sure enough suddenly things worked. Now why did I need third party cookies to check out, I wonder? Especially since it has never been required previously. If I wasn’t as technically savvy as I am, I would have just said “Fuck it” and not bothered with a movie.

The moral of this, if either one of my readers is involved with ecommerce in any way, is as follows. Make sure you test everything carefully before you deploy a change to the a site. And don’t, for the love of all that is good and decent, do not require third party cookies! They are disabled by default in any reasonable browser! And if you do require third party cookies, fess up about it on your error pages!

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