The Odeon cinema chain has sent nasty letters to Matthew Somerville, forcing him to remove his accessible version of their site. It’s bad enough that a company which had previously welcomed Matthew’s efforts about-faced and got nasty on a site that made it easy for people to give them money. But it looks even worse if you try to use Odeon’s own site to book tickets.
If you go to a movie at an Odeon you see a lively advert which claims their website is easy to use. I’ve long thought this required attention from Trading Standards given the over-engineered nature of their booking system. It’s bad enough if your browser works with their site. I once raced the site against their telephone booking line, sitting in a lengthy phone queue as I plodded painfully from one page to the next. Despite the length of the queue I still reached the front and spoke to a real person before I managed to complete an online booking.
So yes, the site is bad enough even if you can use it. But should you wish to give them money using a browser such as Safari or Mozilla/Firefox you have no luck. None. All I can see is the page’s background image. It’s not just a little inacecssible, but completely and utterly useless. These are easy browsers to build websites for. When I’m developing sites they generally Just Work in these browsers, so it takes a special kind of talent to make a site entirely vanish.
I can only assume Odeon’s cinemas are too full and they’re looking for ways to cut down on attendance levels.