/ Money, Technology, Travel & Leisure

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.


I am discriminating against the Olympics by not being remotely interested in it/them.

Simon says:
24 January 2012

I was more shocked at the ludicrous £6 Delivery Fee I was charged to post tickets out to me, added only once I had completed my Debit Card transaction i.e. not up front and transparent!

I had an email today to make sure my details – delivery address etc – are correct by next Friday. As I’m moving early March I tried to call them to find out if changing it now would cause a problem because the address for delivery would not match the address on my card, or if I could change the address once I moved. So after finding a costly 0844 number I rang them, went through 3 minutes of menus, got an automated message telling me due to the high volume of calls they were receiving I should go online and find my answer there. Then they disconnect me! *hopping mad*

I could ring back, but that risk another costly call only to get cut off again. So I went online and emailed my question.

I wonder if I’d have been cut off if I was trying to buy tickets, rather than just wanting to ask an important question. Important because their email stated: “For security purposes, your tickets will be delivered to the address you provide in your ticketing account. This address must match the billing address where your Visa card is registered.”

Not impressed 2012. And the ‘thank you from Seb Coe’ message added at least another 15 seconds of money onto the cost of my call!

So, I’ve not had a satisfactory reply about changing my address other than: we can’t change it after the deadline (today) so please set up Royal Mail forwarding (with a link how to). Noone has yet answered my query if I can still get the tickets delivered if my delivery address is my old address but the address on my card at time of delivery is my new address. I’m not leaving my bank account address (I have no VISA credit cards) in my old address until they decide to deliver tickets in ‘the summer’ as this will harm my credit rating.

I tried calling again only to get automatically cut off. Maybe I need to call and pretend I’m buying tickets – I was cut off after selecting the customer service option. I’m very much not impressed.

As to the original topic – this does discriminate people who are not online if they have queries about their order, because they’re not letting us get through (I’m only calling because I have had no satisfaction with the online route).

Quite shocked at the media storm over taking new babies to Olympics events yesterday, too. Organisers seem to be saying that young babies – even those who wouldn’t have been conceived at the ticket-buying stage – have to have their own ticket. For some events that don’t have the ‘pay per age’ tickets, that would mean buying a full-price ticket. I think this is crazy – for a start, the baby will be sat on your lap/in a sling. Also, if there are no available tickets left for the event you’re going to, does it mean you have to forfeit your own tickets because you can’t take you baby in?

A quick update on my previous comment: ‘Coe admits Olympic ticket requirement for babies is ‘an anomaly’ (The Guardian):


Carolyn Gyseman says:
3 February 2012

When I saw how biased the buying process was was those online I made a decision not to get involved, a shame as my council tax is paying towards them but with everything I have read and heard I think I am bletter off out of it.

Rebecca Watkins says:
3 May 2012

I have 5 tickets to a popular event at this years Olympic Games that I have just realised we are unable to attend- it’s May 2012 now, what I can I do, these tickets cost £180.00!!

That’s a shame. You should have been able to resell them through the official Olympic website:


But I see it’s closed for the moment… not the simplest of systems, as we’ve complained about before:


james says:
18 July 2012

how the hell do i buy olympic tickets for my daughter{8yrs} and myself with out internet access. Phone number anywhere?. this is internet cafe were i dont want to divulge personal info.Anyone???