TickeTXT: How NOT to buy a Movie Ticket via Text

by Ka Edong on August 1, 2006

Last week was my first attempt at using the TickeTXT service of Smart in SM Megamall.

TickeTXT allows Smart subscribers to buy cinema tickets through texting and Smart Money.

I gave it a try and was half-expecting that the service will fail. I just wanted to know how it will fail.

I was right, the service didn’t work for me.

Here’s the transcript of my TickeTXT experiment:

I followed the instructions step-by-step.

1.) Registration: Tix others Edwin/31 (send to 286)
Reply from 286: Tnx! U can now buy SM Movie Mobile Tickets through your Smart phone! Send ur desired SM Cinema to 286 to start! For a list of cinemas sent TIX LIST to 286

2.) Inquire movies showing in Megamall: Megamall (send to 286)
Reply from 286: Now showing at : For more details, send SMMG[MOVIE#] to 286!
Drat, I’m spending P2.50 per send and I’m getting crap replies! But, being the tech-usiyosero that I am, I persist …

3.) I follow instructions written in the TickeTXT booth to purchase tickets for Pirates of the Carribean, Megamall Cinema 4, de luxe section, 1 ticket: Buy mega4 d 1 (send to 286)
Reply from 286: Send MEGA4 to 286 to check for correct parameters or if Cinema is open for selling mobile tickets P2.5/msg

4.) Mega4 (send to 286)
Reply from 286: The theater# that you hav enterd in does not exist. Pls check & try again. For movie listings send ur desired SM Cinema to 286! Ex: MEGAMALL. For Cinemas, txt TIX LIST to 286

5.) Last chance for this service to show me something useful: Megamall4 (send to 286)
Reply from 286: The theater# that you hav enterd in does not exist. Pls check & try again. For movie listings send ur desired SM Cinema to 286! Ex: MEGAMALL. For Cinemas, txt TIX LIST to 286

The TickeTXT service failed miserably! I didn’t even get to the point where I’m supposed to pay via Smart Money! I didn’t even get to the point where I was supposed to receive a datamatrix bar code.

One of the “showcase” mobile technologies that never flew.

ka edong
dat matrix


  • sayang globe ako. Noon ko pa gusto subukan yan.

  • I guess that’s a lesson for content providers. System like that — using SMS — should be straight forward.

  • Lorraine Salazar

    Edwin! happy to find your blog!Glad to know you’re still working on this area! I have a very important question to ask you– more like a survey! 🙂 can’t find your email e– so please write back.

  • Thanks for being a ‘tech-usiyosero,’ and using your credits to find out whether services, such as buying movie tickets, really work or not. That’s an endeavor I’ll be too skeptical to try.

  • hey bachelor girl,

    Found your link back to technobiography from your blog. wanted to leave a thank you note, but didn’t want to register for yet another account.

    So here’s my chance to say thanks for the link!

    keep on clicking, bachelor girl!

    ka edong

  • Pingback: TECHMUNDO 2.0 » Blog Archive » 2D Barcode at work at SM North EDSA, TickeTXT()

  • Here’s my comment to Techmundo’s story:

    hi agwe,

    One of the many pitfalls of the technology gavitec (and/or omniprime) came up with is the technology they used.

    As far as I can recall, the 2D barcode technology is applicable only to a limited number of handsets. Will the developers keep upgrading their technology to catch up with the plethora of handsets that come out every month?

    Quite possibly the 2D barcode is sent via MMS (do verify when you get the chance) which may make 2D transmittal possible for a wider set of handsets. But MMS didn’t take off either, so people aren’t inclined to try it out (except for tech usiyoseros like you and i).

    Simpler solution could have been like the (arcane) app of one telco back in the late 90’s where you send a text to a vendo machine, the system debits your cellphone load and out comes your canned softdrinks. This can be done too for tickets. And the technology (SMS) is simple, familiar, pervasive.

    That said, it was a good experiment — a solution that could be taken further for a more appropriate problem to solve.

    Manigong Bagong Taon!

    ka edong
    tech usiyosero

  • Whatever happened to TickeTXT?


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