Is the Olympics discriminating against non-internet users?
Got Olympic tickets that you no longer need? If so, you can now resell them. Unless, that is, you don’t use the internet. Even though you can buy tickets offline, you’re excluded from the reselling process.
The Olympic ticket resale website is finally back online. Well, I say back online – I tried to sell some Equestrian event tickets over the weekend and got a message saying ‘We’re sorry but we haven’t been able to complete your request at this time.’
But even when they’ve fixed the website glitches, which many of you have also complained about here on Which? Convo, it still doesn’t address a key problem: the whole resale process is only available online, which excludes anyone who can’t access the internet.
You can buy, but not sell, offline?
In the first round it was possible to purchase tickets using a paper application form available in high street bank branches. But if you were awarded Olympic tickets that you now can’t use, it’s not possible for you to resell them in the same way.
Almost six million older people in the UK don’t have internet access. So what are they supposed to do? Amazingly, the Olympic authorities suggest using the internet service at your local library or at an internet café to create an account.
In other words, you’re being advised to enter your personal details on a potentially unsafe public computer. And in an open environment where Tom, Dick or Harry could be looking over your shoulder. I think this advice is irresponsible.
Why does it have to be so complicated?
And it’s not even as simple as that. Once you’ve set up your online account, you have to ring customer services to get them to link your online and paper accounts together, enabling you to sell your tickets through the website. So, anyone who struggles to use the phone is penalised too, let alone this whole process being incredibly complex.
Surely the whole point of having a paper-based application form in the first round of ticket applications was to enable those without internet access to take part in the Olympic experience.
The ticketing process so far has been a shambles. Is it really beyond the London 2012 organisers to operate a ticketing process that (a) works and (b) doesn’t exclude those consumers who can’t get online? Never mind a world-class Olympic Games with access for all, right now I wouldn’t trust the London 2012 committee to run a bath.
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