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Accessible Odeon – an update

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)

Published in China & Japan Industry Thoughts and Rants Uncategorized