Firstly, I would like to thank Matthew Somerville (the author of the Accessible Odeon website) for his comments to my previous entry. He writes…
You could never book using my site; I never accepted credit card details. I quote from what it used to say:
“Booking is not possible on my version – you can get all the way to the final stage but I have disabled the credit card form. This site is not secure, your credit card number would be transferred in the clear, and I can’t do anything with the details anyway, not being able to access the Odeon site securely. Also, I wouldn’t give my credit card number out to some random site just because they made an accessible version (of course I am nice, though other people may not be).”
You could register with the Odeon using my site, which did involve entering personal details; I passed them straight through to Odeon, though yes, you only have my word for that. My own fault for being a perfectionist and wanting to implement everything the official site did.
I see your point about letting Odeon off the hook, and did consider it myself. I felt the benefits outweighed this disadvantage (the site was for me as much as anyone else), plus was frustrated by the rebuffs from them over the years, and I can assure you people kept complaining to Odeon whilst my site was up (and nothing changed). I too am strongly against “ghetto-isation” of accessible versions, but obviously could do nothing in this case. 🙂
I would certainly like to take this opportunity to retract my comment about the credit card issue. I was lead to be believe that Matthew was providing an end-to-end alternative, and thus credit card information was being taken from the user.
Although I did have a look at the accessible site a few times, I have to hold my hands up and admit that I never attempted to perform a transaction and as such didn’t see that the site transferred you to the official Odeon site.
That’s my bad. I never book tickets online because I’m fussy and I don’t trust the system when it says “we will select the best tickets available for you” (how does it know whether I like to sit by the aisle or the middle?). But I digress…
I still maintain that collecting personal data – even if it isn’t specifically credit card data – is not good practice nor is it something I could support despite the good intentions of the site.
I do wish Matthew luck with his future projects. Although I don’t agree with the provision of separate “access sites”, I do accept that it’s the most proactive gesture some with Matthew?s skills can take – certainly more compelling then simply writing a letter of complaint/suggestion.
As an aside, for those of you uber perl-mongers out there, a Perl Module has been released to provide some level of API for you to operate your own Odeon site. W00t!
(Thanks to Paul Hammond for bringing it to my attention)