Web Sales Management

The internet sales module has a number of key features to enable a patron to buy from you. You don't need to spend time allocating tickets to another web ticket provider - and, as with all Theatre Manager modules - you control the final cost of all tickets, retain any fees you may wish to add for using the internet, and get the money immediately. Or, as many Theatre Manager users have expressed to us, keep the prices and fees low to facilitate a patron's use of the Internet.

Features and Benefits

The internet sales module has a number of key features to enable a patron to buy from you. You don't need to spend time allocating tickets to another web ticket provider - and, as with all Theatre Manager modules - you control the final cost of all tickets, retain any fees you may wish to add for using the internet, and get the money immediately. Or, as many Theatre Manager users have expressed to us, keep the prices and fees low to facilitate a patron's use of the Internet.

What can a patron do with the web sales module:

  • Existing patrons can maintain their name and address information online
  • New patrons can add their name and address to the database
  • Logon via email address and password
  • Both main patron and spouse can login separately and do their own purchases
  • Patrons can purchase tickets, passes, gift certificates, make donationsand purchase anything that you currently sell using theatre manager
  • Items that a patron purchased are added to a shopping cart and tickets are held on the venue for as long as you like (we recommend 10 or 15 minutes). If the patron has been inactive for that time period or fails to complete the sale, the tickets are automatically released for somebody else to purchase. The box office will see these tickets as 'holds' in their seating maps
  • Purchasing tickets will use the 'best seat' feature. As with Theatre Manager, the web module will never leave a single seat - so you won't waste seat inventory to ensure that more customers can be seated without leaving empty seats.
  • You decide which events, donations, passes, etc. are available for sale and the patron will only see those you've selected. Payments are made via credit card and appear in the end-of-day wizard. You do not need to do any additional processing when a sale is made over the Internet
  • Patrons can elect to add themselves to selected mail lists. This feature is intended for a few mail lists that you wish the patron to have access to. For example, a patron could sign up for 'send me audition notices' or 'advise me of my performance dates' - those kinds of things.
  • The internet sales module comes with fully customizable web pages. You can change the look and feel of any web page and integrate it into your existing web site. All you need is an HTML editor (such as Dreamweaver or any number of other page editors).

To try out the Web Module, please check our Test Drive the Demo page for additional information on the technology, performance, security, how to get the Internet modules, etc.

Online Calendars

The online Calendar allows you to see Performances, past and present, that you may wish to purchase tickets for, have purchased tickets for our are participating in.

The Upcoming Event Calendar can be accessed through a direct link. It can also be added to the main marketing site using iFrames. The My Upcoming Events Calendar allows a quick view of Performances the patron has purchased tickets to. The My Upcoming Activities Calendar displays upcoming activities the patron is scheduled to participate in.

My Upcoming Activities Calendar

My Upcoming Events Calendar

Upcoming Events Calendar

Shopping Carts

You must have purchased the Web Sales Module in order to use the Web Sales Listener.

Choose Patron Sales menu item>>Web Sales Monitor>>Shopping Carts.

You can access the shopping carts created by the web listeners in one of three ways.
  • The toolbar - to search for and see all the carts for a specific time range or status
  • The patron window - to view all carts for a specific patron on the shopping cart tab
  • by using 'Patron Sales->Web Sales Module->Shopping Carts
Once you find a specific cart, you can view the contents of them, as well as the web logs associated with that cart. If a cart
  • is still active and the patron calls for assistance, you can also help them check their cart out manually and take over the sale for them.
  • is completed but there have been some tickets left on hold for some reason, you can also use the detail window to move those held tickets into the patrons record. Carts that are eligible for this are those that are completed, yet have an order balance as per line 1 of the example below.

Current Internet Holds

The Tickets Held in a Shopping Cart window will list all tickets currently being held by the web listener. It can be accessed by going to Patron Sales >> Web Sales Module >> Current Internet Holds.

The window lists the status of the cart, the patrons information and the performance details. To refresh the list click the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the window.

The Status column will indicate if the cart is Active or Expired.

  • Tickets in an active cart can never be released - ever. Thats because the patron has them in their shopping cart and, essentially, that would stealing from them. You can, however:
    • help the patron manually check out the shopping cart if they have logged in. You cannot do anything to anonymous shopping carts except let them expire -OR-
    • you can force the cart closed so that the tickets will release when the hold expires
  • Expired carts rarely contain held tickets. If they do:
    • check the status of the ticket in a cart - if there was an issue checking the cart out, TM will hold the ticket for up to 96 hours so that you can manage this rare situation. You many need to add that ticket to the patrons cart, or close the cart that need to be manually released.
    • In the rare event that a ticket is stuck as held long after the cart has expired, please see the steps below the image for details on released expired holds.

Forcing Carts Closed

If you chose not to manually check out the shopping cart for the patron, and the cart is active, you can force it closed. That means tickets will release in short order.

Forcing Carts Closed

If carts are old and have any 'partially checked out' status error, or you simply want to force them closed, you can do so by:
  • Opening the list of shopping carts and searching for the status codes of the ones you want to clean up
  • Investigating why they are not complete, if necessary, and fulfilling ticket orders
  • Selecting the carts
  • Picking 'Force Carts Closed' in the menu
  • You will see the image below. Selecting 'Force Close' will change the cart status to cart closed-operator forced it closed. Once carts are properly closed, the patron can be merged with other patrons.

Shopping Cart Detail

The shopping cart detail window shows what was in the patrons shopping cart and allows you do do some specific things for the patron. Each of the tabs is shown in separate sections.

On the main window, most of the fields deal with the status of the cart and its value. There are two other fields of particular interest:

  • Source Tag - which is a convenient way of tying back how people started the shopping cart. This can be used to determine how many people bought from an eblast, or another web site referral -- if the &TMsource=xxx tag is placed on the referring URL.
  • User Browser - is the complete string indicating the browser version, platform and application that was talking to the server. You can tell if somebody used a mobile phone, ticket trove, safari and/or a mac, PC or linux machine to talk to the web listener. Refer to the Lookup Use Agent button below.

The Toolbar works as follows:

  • Help - Provides help
  • Delete - allows a cart with no detail to be deleted
  • Print - print some of the lists from the cart
  • Customer - if the patron signed in, this will open the patron record for a complete view of the patron. If it is an anonymous cart, you cannot view the patron
  • Order - if the patron went through the checkout process, then the cart will be tied to an order. The shopping cart window shows what they wanted to buy - clicking on the 'Order' will open up the order and let you change what they actually bought.
  • Checkout - serves two functions, depending on the state of the cart.
  • Lookup User Agent - this will
    • copy the user agent string to the clipboard automatically for you
    • Open a web site that analyzes what a user string means
    • paste in the user string
    • Click 'Analyze' and that will interpret what the user string is for you (you can see a sample in the image below).

Web Cart Ticket Tab

This window shows the tickets that the patron added to the cart. It also compares the tickets in the cart with those that the patron currently owns. The list will show status messages that are like some of the following:
  • Ticket purchased successfully - which means the person wanted that ticket and still has it
  • Hold expires on xxxx and is for patron - which means that the patron wanted the ticket and has it in their cart but has either not checked out yet, or abandoned the cart, or has checked out and there was a processing issue. In any of those cases, the ticket is on hold for the patron for some period of time
  • Ticket is sold to another patron - means that the ticket in this cart is now owned by somebody else. It could be because the patron abandoned the cart, or the ticket was exchanged at some time in the past
  • Ticket is not sold to anybody - means that the patron wanted the ticket and some time has passed -- and it is neither held nor sold to anybody. it means it is available should the patron call in and want it.
You can use the Checkout to take over a cart and check the patron out.

Web Cart Membership/Pass/GC tab

This shows any passes, gift certificates or passes that the patron added to their shopping cart.

Web Cart Donation Tab

This shows any donations that the patron might have made online (or at least added to the shopping cart).

Web Cart Resource Tab

This shows any resource sales or resource rentals that the patron added to their shopping cart.

Web Cart Fee Tab

This tab shows any fees that were part of the shopping cart

Web Cart Prior Orders

This tab shows any prior orders that were added to the cart and paid for by the patron. A prior order is something that they bought earlier and may not have paid for completely (eg they paid a deposit on a school order, or you booked their subscription for them and they did not pay). They chose to pay the balance of that order online and it appears in this list.
A payment for prior orders online follows the rules of applying a single payment for multiple orders

Example: If the prior order was $10.00, you will see THREE payment transactions as follows:

  1. Credit Card payment for the cart - will be over paid by $10.00 to the credit Card used online. This is the balance owing on the prior order.
  2. CASH Credit to the cart - since the cart is overpaid by $10.00, you will see a CASH refund of $10.00 to the cart to bring it into balance
  3. CASH Debit to the prior order - the credit (above) will result in a second CASH payment applied to the prior order for $10.00

Web Cart Order Notes

This shows any notes that the patron might have added at the checkout step in the web sales process. It also has notes added by TM if the patron calls in and the box office manually checks out the cart on behalf ogofthe patron to indicate what happened.

Web Cart Transactions

If the user checked out with the cart, this will contain all transactions relating to the order that the cart is part of for audit purposes.

Web Cart Log

The log window shows all the activity that the patron did at the web listener - but is restricted to this cart only.

By looking at the cart, you can tell:

  • when they started browsing
  • which events they looked at
  • what seats they added to their cart and the sections they were interested in
  • If they discarded seats
  • other fees, coupons, donations, etc that they placed in their cart
  • when they logged in - if they were browsing anonymously)
  • any issues with checkout such as declined cards
  • any TM errors such as seats not priced properly
  • and more

If you read this log carefully in the comments on the right side of the list (not shown in picture), you can actually tell which buttons that the patron clicked on their web browser and help them along if you are mentoring them through a sale.

As a patron clicks on web pages, you will need to use the 'search' icon on the lower right of list to refresh the current cart log. If the cart is still active and the patron calls you, you can take over the cart and check the cart out out on their behalf.

The most common complaint is card rejection. If a patron
  • checks out successfully, you will see the 6 green messages numbered 1 to 6 as below.
  • Has issues checking out and there are less than 6 of these messages indicating a successful checkout, then you may wish to review reasons why the card was declined.

     

    It is PCI policy to simply reject the card and not provide the exact reason for rejection - since it gives away possible information regarding stolen cards to miscreants.

Web Cart Letters

The 'letters' tab contains any emails sent as part of the shopping cart experience and they can be viewed by you or resent to the patron by changing the status to 'not done'.

Types of letters generated by TM could include:

  • Forgotten password requests
  • Patron added confirmations
  • Patron changed their personal info confirmations
  • The actual checkout confirmation emailed to the patron

Tracking the Online Cart Source

Many organizations wish to track how patrons purchasing online were brought to the online sales website. Generally, they are looking for answers to questions like:

  • Did they click the link from the organization's main website?
  • Did they follow a link in an email blast?
  • Did they click a link from a partnering website?
Theatre Manager can track this information if the parameter tmsource is added to the URL. The information is a part of the patron's cart and can be used for reporting and tracking purposes.

 

How to use tmsource

The tmsource reference can be implemented two ways:

  1. An internet cookie can be created called 'tmsource'. The text within the cookie can contain up to 100 characters. Using a cookie will prevent the tmsource from appearing in the address bar. The cookie will need to be created by the organizations IT person or web designer.
  2. The tmsource option can be added to a link that points to an organizations online sales (See below for details).

Using tmsource is a character based field and does not require access to or changes within the Theatre Manager database. It does not require changes to the Code Tables within Theatre Manager. Do not put an '&' in the tmsource - as this is the parameter separator on URL's.

Note that parameters in a URL are case sensitive.

Most keyword parameters are lower case unless they refer to an actual database variable. The documentation attempts to show proper case.

Adding tmsource to a Link

To create a link containing a source, add &tmsource=XX to any online sales link. Replace XX with the desired text representing the source the patron would have used to access online sales. The value for tmsource can be any value that meets the organization's tracking needs. Some example of possible options are below (prefix them with https://):

  • tickets.yourvenue.org/TheatreManager/1/login&event=0&tmsource=MainWebSiteBuyButton
  • tickets.yourvenue.org/TheatreManager/1/login&event=0&tmsource=Eblast2014-10-05
  • tickets.yourvenue.org/TheatreManager/1/login&event=0&tmsource=TimesUnion
  • tickets.yourvenue.org/TheatreManager/1/login&event=0&tmsource=FirstTimeBuyer

 

How tmsource works with Theatre Manager

Theatre Manager will accept the FIRST tmsource for the shopping cart sent from the patron's IP address. Meaning if the tmsource is set by the sender/referrer site, it will reference that location. If the patron accesses online sales from a location that does not contain a tmsource reference, the source for the cart will remain blank.

If tmsource is not set and the patron uses the back button or a historical cart, it may draw on a prior source value. This could cause a historical cookie to be accessed and create an erroneous source. Chances of that happening are very limited.

Cookies created by Theatre Manager last until the checkout process is complete. If a patron accesses online sales using a link with a tmsource and they complete the check out process, then come back for a second purchase, the tmsource cookie will have already been discarded. The second purchase will have no source at all if the patron does not leave the online sales site or does not access the online sales site using the same method as the first sale. This is the intended action as the patron has not accessed the site for a location the organization is tracking.

 

tmsource and Theatre Manager

When a source is added to an online cart it can be seen in the Cart Detail window as the Source Tag.

When generating any report that has data tied to shopping carts, the tmsource can be found in the Parameters window as Shopping Cart - Header >> Shop Cart Source. You can use that on most ticketing reports.

  • The criteria search is case sensitive. If using a source that contains multiple cases within one word please use the auto-capitalization override to make the field search option look identical to the Source Tag.


  • Looking at Source in the Shopping Cart List

    In the Web Sales Shopping Cart, the tmsource value is located under the Cart Source column.

    Checkout Cart on Behalf of Patron

    If a patron calls the box office and asks for assistance with a web sale, the box office has two options -after- the patron has logged in to the web site. The Box office can:
    • talk the patron through the sales process. If you look up the shopping cart, you can use the Web Log tab to see what the patron is doing -or-
    • 'take over' the shopping cart on the patrons behalf after instructing them that they will no longer be able to continue.

    You might need to do this is the patron:
    The patron must have logged in to the web site and the cart must still be active in order to take over the shopping cart.

    You cannot take over anonymous carts- those tickets must expire due to card timeout before they are accessible.

    Clicking on the 'Checkout' button provides a warning that you are about to take over the shopping cart for the patron and gives a chance to cancel the process. Once you continue with the checkout, the cart is marked complete and the patron will not be able to do anything with it.

    As per the picture below, if you continue checking the cart out manually, Theatre Manager will

    • Create an order
    • Attach it to the shopping cart
    • Sell all tickets in the cart and attach to the order
    • Add all applicable fees, donations and anything else in the cart to the order
    • Stop at the normal payment window so that you can finish the order by asking the patron for a credit card

    Note: you can also ask the patron if they want any other tickets and purchase them manually as if this were a normal box office order.

    Complete Cart - Convert Holds to Solds

    You can complete a patrons shopping cart if, for any reason, the following three conditions are met for a cart:
    • The cart has been checked out and completed successfully with a payment made to it
    • There is a balance due to the customer (it looks like an overpayment)
    • And there is at least one ticket in the cart that is in the status of Hold expires on xxx and is for this patron
    In the example below, you can see that Bonnie Hamilton has a balance due of -$105.50 (red) and there is one ticket with the status of 'Hold expires ...' (blue) in the lower list. If Theatre Manager detects that it can help this situation, the checkout button on the toolbar indicates how many ticket can be fixed (it says 'Checkout 1 Ticket').

    Click the 'Checkout x Ticket' button and you will see a dialog that confirms how many tickets Theatre Manager will attempt to convert from a hold status in this cart to a sold ticket for the patron and order number attached to this shopping cart.

    Theatre Manager makes absolutely sure that it can move the ticket from hold to sold for this patron. If there are no issue during the checkout process, then the balance for the order will go to zero and the ticket will change to sold.

    This completes the patron cart.

    Manage Pending/Unsent Emails

    Theatre Manager sends emails within 15 seconds after a customer causes one to be issued by the web site or from an email blast initiated by staff. This window only shows emails that are waiting to be sent Not Done or where an attempt was made to send them and there is an error

    If you want to see when emails were sent, refer to this help page for the web listener log

     

    Typical Reasons Why Emails May Not Be Sent

    Sometimes, emails may not get sent and manage email window allows you to review email issues on a daily basis.

    1. The patron asked for a password reset and did not get it. It is worth checking the web listener logs to make sure they typed their email correctly and/or it is in the database.
    2. You are using Gmail or Office 365 and are getting rate limited.
      There gotcha's and limitations to using a free service like Gmail or Office 365 and we recommend against them for this reason. For our cloud clients, we use Mailgun.
    3. Check your email setup to ensure credentials are correct. It could be one of three places:
    4. Look at the Manage Email window. You can:
    5. If customers complain that they didn't get an email, then look at past history of emails/form letters that were queued to send (if you cannot see them in the pending email list, it probably means that:
      • TM sent them to your SMTP server (you can check your SMTP Server logs) -and-
      • The emails got lost between you and the patron -or -
      • The emails went into the patron's junk mail folder -or-
      • The patron was in a rush and typed an invalid email address or spelt their email address incorrectly. Some mistakes may seem pretty obvious or the patron may confirms a correction. eg, they put in: If this is the case, all you need to do is:
        • Correct any obvious mistakes in email address in the patron contact card
        • Double click on the email line and edit the email address to use the new email
        • TM will mark the email as not done and then send it using the new email address
        If that does not work and they claim that they cannot get on, you many want to refer to finding patrons who request password resets which will send an email to the patron to redo their password. (If they still don't get an email and the email address is right, they are using something that junks the email)
    6. your service provider forces you to change passwords every so often
    7. or some issue with your email service provider such as:
      • Some server setting preventing relaying, which would show up in the log on a particular email, or
      • Review some catch-all email troubleshooting procedures if something above isn't helpful.

     

    Managing Emails that did not get sent

    To Manage Pending or Unsent emails, select menu item Patron Sales >> Web Sales >> Manage Pending/Unsent Emails.. Once you have solved the reason emails were not sending, this window allows you to resend any in error, or pause some while you are looking for the issue.

    The Web Listener keeps track of all emails that originate from Theatre Manager, whether from an eblast or because the customer asked the web listener to send a password request or a completed shopping cart purchase.

    From the main menu bar, go to Patron Sales>>Web Sales>>Manage Pending/Unsent Emails.

    This will display a search list of all unsent emails.

    Search for pending/unsent emails and then double click on one of them to look at the specific error in the email- if any. This will help determine the course of action, which might be one of those below.

    Option Action
    Patron Clicking the patron button after selecting an email in the list will open the patron window to whom the email is being sent. You can edit the primary email address and correct it for the future.

    You should take this action if you can see that the email address was obviously spelled incorrectly. You may want to contact the patron and get the correct spelling of the email address.

    Contact Card This opens the patrons contact card directly so that you can edit the email address to correct it and/or add one in if it is not there.

    After correcting an email address for the patron, double click on the unsent email and change the outgoing email address to the one you just entered and the email will reset and then send in a while.

    Set Status An email has 3 status codes. It can be Not Done, Done, or be in Error. All emails on this window generally are in in the Error or Not Done status as that is what the purpose of this window is.

    Actions that can be take are:

    • If you correct the email address (by editing the patron record, as above) or have fixed the reason why the email was not sent, then
      • select the email
      • change the status to Not Done
      • The web listener will automatically try to resend the email in a short while
    • If you cannot figure out what it causing the email issue, you can
      • set the status to Done and the email will never be sent
      • delete the email so that it never exists
      You may need to contact the customer under such circumstances

    You should take this action if the error message indicates that there was an issue talking to the SMTP server that has been corrected -OR - after correcting an email address.

    Preview This allows you to view the contents of the email.
    Send Will allow you to change wthen the selected emails may be sent. You can elect send them:
    • now
    • ins30 minutes
    • in 1 hour,
    • in 4 hours,
    • in 12 hours
    • or one day later than the existing send date.
    Mail Pref this will open the mail preference setting of the sender (or company preferences if its a company email) so that you can correct any incorrect password or SMTP settings.
    Delete This allows you to view the delete the selected emails completely from the system as long as they are not part of a pledge reminder.
    Print This allows you to print the selected rows and columns to the printer
    Export Export the selected records in the list

    Error Log Detail for Unsent Email

    From the list of pending or unsent emails, you can double click on any of the items in the pending/unsent email list.

    A detail window will open that looks similar to the one below. On the 'email status' tab, any problems with sending that particular email will be shown. If the status tab is blank, it means one of three things:

    • the time that the email is scheduled to be sent is not yet upon us.
    • the email was sent successfully
    • somebody shut down the web listener for some reason.

    Note that there an email address drop down. If the patron has more than one email address, you can pick an alternate one to send to; if the issue is with the specific email and not with the email server.

    Out of interest, this email shows one common error where the SMTP server is not allowed to relay. This can usually be fixed by entering a user id/password in company preferences or fixing the email server to allow outing emails from the second generation listener machine. Please read for other troubleshooting tips for emails.

    TM Server supports auth login, clear-text, md5-cram and communication over TLS/StartTLS or SMTPS.

    It does not currently support NTLM authentication in Exchange servers. Please use any of the above and TLS/StartTLS for security at this time.

    Verify Email Error Log Daily

    The most common error is 10060 unable to contact server

    This means your TM Server machines are unable to talk to your mail server. Thats usually the fault of your mail server or network. Please reset all emails to 'Not Done' and see if they will send. If they don't go eventually, contact your IT people or email provider and find out what the problem is on their end.

    If emails dribble out slowly, it is even more likely to be rate limits at the ISP / Mail Server. Google Mail and Office 365 online accounts are particularly susceptible.

    Read about Office 365 rate limits - if TM receives limit messages, it will automatically slow down sending emails for you. It may delay password requests etc, so it is better to use a proper mail server.

    It is entirely possible that emails may not get sent to the user because of their own issue, or perhaps a system setup has changed.. Situations where this could happen include:
    1. your email server is not working at the current time (reboot it, or call your ISP)
    2. the email server is working, but you can't contact it (a rare situation - call your ISP)
    3. the customer typed in a goofy email address like bob@yahho.com (this is spelt wrong, but a patron is apt to do that).
    4. There is a valid domain for the email address, but the name is wrong. e.g. the patrons name is b smith but they typed bsmth@myemailserver.com or the email address is just plain wrong. (change the email to as best a guess as you have.

    Under such circumstances, there is nothing that you can do to make the mail get sent without reviewing the error list and fixing the problem. This is similar to sending from your own personal outlook account ... you can get the same errors from outlook and so, by analogy, you would take the same action.

    How to fix email addresses in Theatre Manager?

    • Use the menus to go to Patron Sales->Web Sales Module->Pending/Unsent Emails
    • Search for all pending emails
    • Look at the 'Error' message column. You can double click on the row to see a full transcript of the interaction between Theatre Manager and your email server. Based on the error message (as per the sample below), you may need to:
      1. change the patron's email address to correct it. You can pick one from the drop down, or go to the patron and add a new one or edit an existing one. Make sure it is their primary email address, or if the email address in this list is blank, set it as a primary email address.

        After fixing the patrons email address in the patron record, CHANGE the email address on the individual email and it will be resent using the new address.

      2. if emails do not send because your outgoing email credentials are wrong, then fix them in company preferences (Step 2 above)
      3. if you are getting SMTP: 550 Requested..... messages for most emails, see step 2 above
      4. if you are getting SMTP: 535 Incorrect authentication data yet test emails work, it is probably because you were sending test emails to someone inside the mail server, rather than outside. In that case make sure you email server allows relay from the inside of the network to the world.
    • After correcting the problem, change the status of all the emails from Error to Not Done using the tools on the window.
    • Alternately, if you can't figure out why a specific email will not sent, change the status to Done
    • The web sales listener will pick up all the Not Done messages and try to resend them after a few minutes.
    it is advised to check this window frequently (daily is recommended).

    Emails are not being sent by the web listener

    Sometimes the patron may tell you that they are not receiving e-mails from Theatre Manager -or- you get a notification message in the morning that a number of emails have not been sent.

    The first place to look is the Manage Pending/Unsent Emails screen to look at the error messages behind the emails that did not get sent. You can look at the error message column, or double click on individual emails to look at the error message tab.

    The second possibility is that they requested a password reset for an email that does not exist. Refer to finding patrons who request password resets and claim they didn't get an email.

    Based on what you find, you may need to take various actions below:

    Each day, you should review the email error log in Theatre Manager that displays any emails in error status. Errors can come from a few sources.

    Check the Patron Email Address

    Sometimes, an email won't be sent because the user spelled their email address wrong when setting it up in Theatre Manager. If this is the case, send a test email to the patron from your email client program (eg. Apple Mail or Outlook). If they receive it, then make sure that the primary email address on the patron record matches what they just gave you.

    If you notice that the email address is blank in the error log, it means that the primary email address may not have been set for some reason. To fix those:

    • Open the patron record
    • Go to the Contact Info tab
    • Click on an email address (there probably is only one, but if there is more, select the most appropriate one)
    • Click on the Set Primary button to set that email address as the primary address
    • You may also have to edit the employee's preferences (the gear on the main toolbar) and set the SMTP settings, password, authentication, etc as required

    Be sure to check the error log daily.

    Check the email settings in Company Preference

    An email is not sent to anybody unless the SMTP server settings in Setup->Company Preferences are correct. i.e. this must specify
    • a valid email address
    • SMTP mail server
    • SMTP port on the mail server (generally 25)
    • login account
    • user id and password (if required)
    • the StartTLS/SMTPS settings
    These settings are should be similar to those in your email program such as outlook, entourage, apple mail, web mail, or whatever email client you are using. The email address is generally the outgoing boxoffice@myvenue.com or tickets@myvenue.com. Please decide on a generic email address for your venue as you do not want all rejected emails coming back to your personal account.

    Once the settings are correct, use the 'Test Email' to send a test email from this account to yourself. Verify that the email was sent successfully at the bottom of the Company Preferences screen. If not, adjust the email server parameters until the email is sent successfully. If there is an error using the test email button, you will see the entire STMP dialog which should give you all the information needed to identify the issue.

    If using gmail, you may need to use secure settings because Gmail is warning users if email comes over insecure servers and may not access email unless it is sent with TLS enabled.

    In some cases, you will see errors like Unable to send email. SMTP: 550 ..... These typically mean that a setting needs adjusted on the SMTP server. Typical errors and actions are:

    • SMTP 535 - usually means that the password is incorrect.
    • SMTP 550 - usually means that the SMTP server will not allow relaying the email from the listener to the outside world. We see it most often with MS Exchange servers where somebody tightened down the security. This can be remedied by contacting your IT person, showing them the message and asking them to allow relay of emails from the listener to the outside. Alternatively, you may need to specify another SMTP server address
    • SMTP 5xx - For other SMTP errors, please read the entire message. This usually tells you why the email could not be sent. The mail box might not be reachable, or there may be no mailbox on the remote mail server for this user (eg: they changed or cancelled their email address).

    Once Theatre Manager is able to send emails, then you should change emails in error to not done to send them.

    Verify that Ports are open to the SMTP server

    It may be one of the simplest answers to review the port settings in the firewall to ensure that they are open and allow access to the SMTP server.

    If the ports are not open or there are firewall rules in place that prevent an email being sent, it wont get there no matter how hard we try.

    Warning of pending emails that have not been sent yet

    If you are receiving an error that emails have not been sent by the Web Listener, there are, at first, two possible conditions under which the emails may not have been sent. You can determine which condition is occurring by double clicking on the email in the Web Listener Email Log.

    • Condition #1 reports on those that are actually in error, and will give you the reason why the email was not sent. Examples include: an incorrect or 'bad' email address, an SMTP Error, Pause Email settings in Theatre Manager, or specific router ports that need to be opened.
    • Condition #2: refers to emails that are pending but may not have been sent yet. This results from either timed emails in a blast email setup, or notifications that are scheduled but have not yet reached their scheduled time to go out. If this is not expected (you do not have any scheduled 'future' email blasts or notifications), please verify that the web listeners are active.

    This check happens during each login. Given that most venues send eblasts overnight, seeing something in the morning is indicative of possible issues from the night before.

    Virus Application is Scanning Emails

    When Theatre Manager sends an email it waits for a response from the outgoing mail server. If the mail server does not send back a reply within the timeout the email in Theatre Manager will be marked with a timeout error. The timeout is located in the Web Server button of Company Preferences in Theatre Manager. The most common cause for the mail server not sending a response back to Theatre Manager is a scan of the email before sending the email. Often this is caused by a Virus Scan of the email before it's sent out. This can happen at either the local machine level (applications such as Kaspersky) or be a part of the outing server software. Turning off the Virus Scan software for all outgoing email will resolve this issue.

    Ticket Scanning Monitor

    The Web Sales Listener waits in the background while Theatre Manager is running. The listener allows patrons to connect to the database via the internet. To work, you will need to have Web Sales Enabled in Outlet Preferences, and have your web pages ready for patrons to connect. Click here for Outlet Preferences, Web Listener tab information.

    Using the Monitor you can get a detailed work flow analysis of people through different stages or processes, booths, rooms or locations at an event. Each scan is date and time stamped allowing you to analyze work flow, highlight bottle necks, giving you the ability to better plan and optimize resources. Account for all visitors that attend an event for improved security.

    To open the Ticket Scanning Monitor, you perform the following steps:

    1. Choose Patron Sales menu item>>Web Sales Monitor>>Ticket Scanning Monitor.

      The Lecco Monitor window opens.

    2. The monitor displays all of the scanning information and allows you to choose what to view and the order you want to view it in.

      Parts of the Window

      Takes you to this help page.
      Select date - lets you chose a specific date to see the scans on that date. Opens a pop up calendar.
      Prints the list displayed.

      Exports the displayed list as as:

      • TXT - Tab Delimited Text
      • CSV - Comma Delimited Text
      • xls - Excel 97-2004 Workbook
      • xlsx - Excel 2008 Workbook
      Refresh - Refreshes the list with the most recent transactions.

      You can choose to summarize the list by:

      • The Performance /Scanner IP Address
      • Employee
      • Performance
      • Performance / Employee
      • Scanner IP

      Column Information

      Play Title Play title of the performance scanned.
      Play Code Code number of the event.
      Performance Specific performance of the event.
      Time Time the ticket was scanned
      First/Last Name First / last name of the patron who purchased the tickets.
      Scan In Time Scanned in.
      Scan Out Time Scanned out.
      % Records The percentage of the records scanned.

    Web Listener Log Detail

    If you wish to view log entries from all web listeners, you can do so from the Patron Sales->Web Sales Module->Web Listener Log menu item as per below.

    This will open a list of log entries and you can search for any range of days, patron, listener, type of log entry, etc. You can:

    • also view all log entries for all people or view the logs for a specific cart.
    • Search the logs for failed password requests due to unknown email address. This is quite helpful of people say they did not get an email after requesting one - to see if they entered it right. If they did enter it right, you may want to look at Pending Emails in case there is an error in your email setup.

     

    Log of when Emails were sent

    You can use the web listener logs to determine generally when emails were sent from TM and if there are ongoing issues.
    • Open up the web listener log
    • Search the log Message field content for Batch Mailer
    • You will see one type of message that indicates Sent and Failed each with a count.
      • A Sent count reflects the number of emails that Theatre Manager was able to send successfully
      • A Failed count of other than zero indicates some problem with the email that will need to be diagnosed
      • If everything is successful, then nothing to worry about
    • The reason for failed emails is usually in a separate line with an error message. if there are a lot of these, then you can edit/fix some reasons by jumping over to the Manage Pending Emails screen to correct invalid email addresses, etc.

    Patron did not receive Password Reset Email

    Patrons can request a reset of their password online. They may receive a response from the web servers but only if:
    • they typed their email address correctly. (we've found that some people don't type anything).
    • the email address exists in the database exactly once. (If it does not exist, or it exists twice, nothing will be sent - see below to find these messages)
    • they checked their email program, including their spam/trash folders, on all their devices or computers they can use for reading emails
    • the email settings in company preferences are valid
    • and the email is not stuck in the pending email list due to some error

    Otherwise they will receive nothing.

    If the patron types an email address that is not in the database, they WILL NOT RECEIVE A WARNING that the email address does not exist. This also occurs if the email exists more than once because it is an error condition.

    The reason: PCI compliance and privacy laws (like GDPR) require that a system does not divulge any identifying information like names, addresses, or validity of email addresses to anybody who might be trying to determine who or what is in a database. The sample message from web site clearly indicates they will only receive and email if what they type exists.

    This approach prevents 'bad guys' from scamming emails elsewhere and determine if an account exists on a second web site, where they could obtain products (Like reprinting tickets they could sell to others on the secondary market) should they be able to guess a login id.

    Error messages can be changed to provide more infomation - this is not recommended if you wish to implement TM in PCI manner.

     

    Finding requests for invalid/nonexistent email addresses

    If a patron calls and says that they asked for their password to be reset and did not get an email, you can check to see what email address they used by looking at the web listener logs.

    This window is opened from Patron Sales->Web Services->Web Listener Log. For criteria, you may want to use something similar to below:

    • Date/Time to narrow things down to a range of days - searching for a month or two is not a problem
    • Search within the message text for:
      • email does not exist - use Email Cannot to see those people who did not get an email because the email address does not exist.
      • email exists multiple times - use Email is linked to see those patrons whose email is in the database at least twice and need de-duplicated using the find duplicate email addresses

     

    Looking for only Failed Password Requests

    You can see that there are some attempts to request passwords that did not exist. To verify, first ask when the patron requested their password; then using this window, confirm that this is the reason that they received nothing from the system. If there is no message in the log for the email address they described using the day they had the problem, then you will need to check to see if the email is in the queue pending to be sent, or if it was sent.

     

    Verifying all or Specific Password Requests

    The following search might also be used to find both requested and failed password requests. it could also be tailored to only search for part of the email address such as 'artman.com' to see all requests from that one domain. The:

    • request message will always appear
    • failed message will only appear if there is a failure.

    Viewing credit card issues in Web Listener Log (EMV Devices)

    General troubleshooting steps are found in the EMV pin pad setup at the end of the web page.

    If you activate a pinpad, you should see 6 entries spread out in the web listener log that might help identify where things are in the communication process. These are:

    1. the activation of the pin pad
    2. a payment validation receipt with the request id - saying that we are going to request the CUSTOMER receipt
    3. a payment validation receipt with the SAME request id - saying that we are going to request the MERCHANT receipt
    4. a notification that the CUSTOMER RECEPT was retrieved (matching the request ID in step 2)
    5. a notification that the MERCHANT RECEPT was retrieved (matching the request ID in step 3)

    The above messages are followed by a housekeeping message indicating the number of receipts processed and the number that had an error. Normally, that is 1 processed and 0 in error (unless it is declined for some reason)

    Viewing credit card issues in web listener log (card not present)

    If you are looking for problems with one cart, please look at the cart logs to see what the patron has been doing
    You can find the majority of shopping carts that have had problems with their credit cards if you search the web logs for:
    • a range of dates and
    • the contents of the web log as being 3d-

    Once you see the message, you can double click on it to see what the message means. Almost all errors are provided to Theatre Manager from the bank such as:

    • Do Not honor! (the bank doesn't like the card)
    • Declined! (the bank doesn't like the card
    • Hold card! (The bank doesn't like the card - it is probably stolen and the want wants to you keep it)
    Some errors are generated by Theatre manager and are self evident, such as:
    • Card is Blacklisted (means the venue said they didn't want anybody to use this card
    • Emergency processing is on (means that the venue turned the merchant processor into emergeny mode and took the cards anyway

     

    Actions that you can take

    checking for scanned tickets

    if you would like to search for particular scanned tickets, you can do so on the web listener log, since the ticket scanners send the scan messages to the web listeners. You can search:

    • for a date range if you know when the ticket was scanned
    • the message for the word Scan if you want to see failed scans, successful scans and checkouts
    • for the word scan ###### where ###### is the ticket number if you are interested in a particular one
    • of whatever combination of criteria you wish.

    Note: the logs of scanning are not kept for a long time - only for the retention period set in company preferences.

    Managing a Patron Account Online

    The amount of information a patron has to add to create their own account online is defined on the Setup >> System Preferences >> Mandatory Data tab. Click here for more information.

    Patrons can edit their own patron account, change their password or add new household members online.

    To do so, they must have an existing online account and be logged in to their account.

    When a patron arrives at your web sales, they click on the Login button on the top navigation bar, in the standard templates. If you have customized your web Sales, the placement may be different.

    Once logged in, using their email address and password, they then click on the Account button to gain access to their account.

    The patron can edit the contents of the name/address cells and click the Update Account button at the bottom of the window.

    To change their password, the patron clicks on the Change Logon Password button next to their email address.

    To add a new household member, the patron clicks on the New Patron link on the let side bar, and enters the information for the new patron. This adds a new household member to the patron's account (such as a spouse, partner or child).


    These instructions apply to the standard template pages that are provided as part of the Web Sales module. If your web pages have been modified or customized beyond simply changing the color scheme, then these instructions may differ.

    For information on "skinning" your web sales site to make it look like your own, click here.

    Test Drive the Demo

    Click here to take a look at the web module and its features. You will see a sample web site for a fictional arts or entertainment organization. None of the events are real.

    When the sample web pages appear, click on the 'Online Sales' button on the side navigation bar to log in. Please keep in mind the following while you are playing with the demo:

    • The demo web site is an example of what a fully integrated web site could look like.
      • It contains the base web pages with only a basic colourization. The pages are designed so that your main web site developers can apply some style sheet changes and make it look like your current web site.
      • You can also look at some sample web sites where customers have take the sample pages above and altered their appearance for their own purposes.
      • The customization guide shows the latitude you would have to make or brand the web experience as your own. Our goal is that the web pages look like your company, not us.
    • You may wish to create an account for yourself. This will include your email address and password so that you can sign on again. Use your real email address so that you will see a sample email that can be sent back to confirm you've signed up and your purchase(s) (all these emails are customizable)
    • The rest of the information is meant to illustrate the data and processes that could be mandatory at any venue. (You can control this at your site - just as you do today)
    • Once you have signed in, you start building a shopping cart. Click on the buttons at the top to look at various items that are for sale. In this demo, shopping carts can contain:
      • tickets - we've allowed up to 10 in this demo - you can set this to be anything you want
      • donations - you determine the campaigns/funds you wish to make available
      • passes/gift certificates - you also determine which ones to sell
      • mailing fees
    • You can also sign up to belong to specific mail lists

    Completing your sample shopping experience

    • When you are done buying what you want, you need to check out - just like at the grocery store. It will ask you for a credit card. The demo is configured so that it will accept various types of cards. If you want to test a checkout, use:
      • Visa #: 4242 4242 4242 4242.
      • CVV2 #: 123
      • Expiry: Use December of the current year or later
    • Some minor notes about the web site:
      • You may log in as often as you wish and see you past activity and shopping carts.
      • You can buy whatever you want and try to do anything you like.
      • We may restore the demo database back to its original state periodically (especially if you buy out the events) in which case any accounts you set up will be erased.
      • Any information entered into the demo web site is confidential.
        • We do not look at it -and-
        • will not contact you if you put your name into the demo.

    If you would like to contact AMS (or for AMS to contact you), please visit the contact page and make a phone call or send the information request form. We'd be happy to tell you more about the most full featured CRM for arts, entertainment and sports organizations that exists.

    Testing Communication between Listener and Apache

    When Apache is sitting in the DMZ it's imperative that port 5111 is open for communication. One way to test this communication is using the telnet tool in the command prompt.

    1. Open the Command Prompt on the Web Listener computer
    2. Type telnet and press enter
    3. Type Open (the IP address of the Apache machine) 5111 and press enter
      This would look something like: Open 192.168.1.10 5111
      If the web listener can connect to the Apache machine the command prompt will return. If it cannot communicate it will return an error.
    4. Type get /index.html and press enter
      A response means the Listener has permissions to access the files on the Apache machine.
    5. Type Quiet