Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ticketing Solution Part I: Acteva?

Refering to our "simplest ticketing solution" rules, I'll start with the most obvious service provider - or is it obvious? I never imagined that Acteva would be simple - and cheap - but I had heard a colleague once refer to them as "free and easy" and I was curious.

Acteva has absolutely no start-up fees - instead, it charges a fee based on the per ticket transaction ($1.50 for ticket prices less than $15, and then $1.50 plus 4.5% of the ticket price (credit card fees) for ticket prices above $15 - unfortunately, this information is not available unless you register or contact a sales rep....). You can decide whether your organization wants to pay the service fees, or pass that charge on to your patrons.

A fuller, albeit year-old, review of the system by another great "technology for nonprofits" organization is here.

One nice feature about Acteva is that you never need to front the money - Acteva will deduct the fees from the check it sends to you. So if you're a small company, you don't even need to set up an online merchant account.

Some other notes:
  • Every single day of a performance has to be set up as a separate entry (otherwise, you end up with general seating tickets over the span of all of your shows). However, it's fairly easy to copy an event, then change the dates.
  • You can check the status of up-to-the-minute (?) ticket sales online. You can even set up the event to stop selling online tickets at a certain time (great to avoid having seats sold online after you checked that one "last time"...).
  • Refund requests tend to make their way slowly through the system - only because people typically contact Acteva, who then have to contact the event organizers.
  • You can set up "free" events.... And since there is no start-up fee, you can essentially set up your organization profile and do a test run without incurring any costs.

At least, I think so. That's what I've done, and I'm waiting to see what happens. It took me about 15 minutes, but I was playing around with all the options (there are quite a few, but most of them are fairly obvious).

Typically, I would have event listed under a URL of my choice:

http://www.acteva.com/go/baletech

But to avoid having this "freebie" event listed on Acteva's general site, I made it private, so instead, I have a "private" link to my event. Go ahead and register - just remember, the "event" is nothing else then you reading this blog then registering, adn me finding out that you registered.... How is that for modern performance art?
Use made up names if you want - just answer my poll question!

In the meantime, I'm going to check out what the reports look like, and whether I've incurred the wrath of Acteva techies by using their system without "paying for it."

Finally, fwiw: I have heard from a source that their nonprofit organization dumped Acteva because the company was slow to pay out the revenue. It's second-hand, but there it is....

Anyone else have experience using this company?

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My experience with Acteva is that they are not ideally set up for theatres, but rather for one-time events like seminars and the like.

This is true especially if you want to do any trackable promotions. They can set up online promotion codes (which will cost you money, by the way) but the fact that each event is set up as an individual item does complicate the process.

The biggest problem with using Acteva for doing online promoting of a multi-performance event is that there is no good way to create a single, compelling landing page to drive your online people to. They have to pick a date before they can even see the show information.

They are very inexpensive for the consumer though, if you choose to pass on fees, as most theatres will.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is true that you have to pick-up a date out of your events but don't you think this is a facility which helps you consumers to choose the date they want to attend the show for. Acteva provides you with many different types of facilities within the core product like the ability to set-up a free account,set-up a page with the look and feel of your own website and upto the second reports. Whatelse one looks for in a service. They also provide you with pass-word protected pages.
According to me Acteva is the perfect solution for online registrations and payment management.

Even if you don't have a website you can use acteva by providing your consumers with the link via emails. You have the full control over the information of your consumers and you don't have to worry about security as they don't market your data.

It is the perfect solution!

2:37 PM  
Blogger Greg Beuthin said...

Hmm - I can't let this comment go without critique:
* Look and feel: if you use the "free" service you can only pick a logo and change a color palette - as it specifies in the Acteva FAQ:
http://www.acteva.com/helpcenter/index.cfm?cat_id=0&faq_id=38

* What else do people look for? Read my several-part breakdown of online ticketing solutions as opposed to just trolling for negative comments about Acteva.

* Essentially, all of the bonuses you specify (free setup; minimal ability to customize pages; password-protected admin; no existing website required; privacy policy) are _no_ different from the other online ticketing solutions I have reviewed. The only potential difference is the price-point, but since few ticketing solutions share their pricing information, it's tough to tell.

* It may be the perfect solution for you. Others absolutely should look around and do research, and find out if it's the perfect solution - *for them*.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a current user of acteva product. I have personally used them 3 times for two organizations. I must admit I am seeking an alernative for the flowwing reason:
1. slow payment. Our eent was in October and we still haven't gotten paid (now it is dec 26th).
2. We have wrtten several emails and a phone call, and have below satisfactory results. I am worried because this was for a fundraising event..in their contract there is no mention of how long they can hold your money. However on their website they have a payment schedule, which has not been met at all. A year ago we did not have this problem.
3. I am seeking a service that is a pass through and will deposit the funds electronically within a week to our account. Any ideas...pleaae post.
4. Lastly, their sales people are great and helpful. They know greaat solutions and they are committed to thier product and have seen a lot of examplesn and ways to customize for your needs. HOWEVER...this is important, each year we have had to hire our web developer to help set up the pages for our event. This is a hidden cost and frustrating to say the least. We are preparing to submit a better business bureau complaint with the company for slow payment (hopefully we will finally get paid).

1:43 AM  
Blogger jparker said...

I tried Acteva for a few days and quickly abandoned the platform in favor of RegOnline. Compared to RegOnline, Acteva's UI is primitive and clunky. RegOnline's technical support is also vastly superior to Acteva's. Acteva puts you into VM and follows up with email after a few days. RegOnline takes the call immediately and their tech support personnel are genuinely helpful.

Final note: I unwisely prepaid five events on the Acteva service, none of which I'll use. Acteva refused to give me a refund ($400) which I find odd and somewhat dishonest.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slow to pay, slow to resolve "lost" payment issues. We have used Acteva for two years and 2 of 4 checks last year were "lost" and had to be re-issued, after several requests to do so. A 3rd payment was late. This year, we are still waiting for a response to our request for replacement of a check that also was "lost", and the payment that is currently due also hasn't been seen.

When I can get a response, it is not useful and only serves to extend the time it takes for them to respond to the issue at hand: Where is OUR money??

I don't want excuses or deliberate delays. If Acteva needs to increase their fees or change their payment structure, that is understandable. Playing games and not honoring commitments is not good business, and it is not acceptable. And a 67% FAILURE rate is what we've experienced with Acteva.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is something shady about this organization. not only are they slow to pay (they still owe us 10's of thousands of dollars) you can't speak to anyone in the accounting department EVER. i would NEVER use them again and urge you not to.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree with several previous posts with regard to late/"lost" payments. We are in the midst of trying to resolve that same issue at the moment. Apparently a check for $29,000 was sent to us on November 15th (it is now 12/19). Instead of being concerned that this check is lost and stopping payment on it, they have only sent vague emails about how they are investigating the issue, but there are many internal and external sources and it could take up to 7 business days (we are now on day 10). Also, who sends a check for such a large amount out in the regular mail? I would gladly pay the shipping fees to have it sent with some means of tracking. Basically, I find their lack of responsiveness extremely frustrating and the lack of concern they show a bit suspicious. Perhaps they're not worried because they know the check was not sent.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Our organization has just filed a complaint with the BBB and the CA Attorney General. On 10/16/2012 this company's accreditation in BBB was revoked by BBB's Board of Directors due to failure to respond to one or more customer complaints filed with the BBB and failure to eliminate the underlying cause of complaints on file with the BBB.

After dozens of phone calls, voicemails and emails that have gone ignored, we are now seeking an attorney to recover the nearly $20K that is owed to us. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!!!

3:13 PM  

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