Are you planning to buy tickets for the 2012 Olympics? You better make sure your bank account’s full of cash, because if your bids are successful you might, without notice, fall into your overdraft.
I want to watch at least one or two events at next year’s London Olympics, whether it’s athletics, cycling or swimming.
The problem is that the organisers aren’t making life easy for me in the ticket bidding process.
Can you spot the flaw in the following timeline?
- Apply for tickets between 15 March and 26 April 2011
- Payment taken between 10 May 2011 and 10 June 2011
- Notifications sent to applicants by 24 June 2011
The first I’ll know of whether I’ve been successful in my application is when the cash has been taken from my bank account. And I probably won’t know the details of the tickets I’ve actually won until a month after I’ve paid.
Any events that are oversubscribed will be put into a ballot, so I don’t know if I’ll get any tickets at all. And here’s problem number two. If I apply for tickets for loads of events, I might get none, or I might get them all.
I’m planning to go with three friends – we want to attend the same events together so I’ll be ordering tickets on behalf of all four of us.
As the money will be taken from my current account before I know whether I’ve been successful, I’ll need to make sure there’s enough cash in my account to cover the whole potential bill, even though I might end up with just a couple of £20 tickets.
There must be a better way
Even applying for tickets in the middle category for a few different events (say, the 1500m final, the basketball preliminaries and the beach volleyball semis) means I have to keep at least £1,140 in my current account for the whole month from 10 May, just on the off-chance I’m successful in all three bids.
If I change my mind and want to sell my tickets on, I’ll have to wait until 2012 to be able to get my money back on them.
There must be a better method of selling tickets than this. In fact, I might just not bother. As I live in East London, I could rent out my flat while the Olympics is on. If you’re interested, send me your bank details by 26 April. I’ll take the payment on 10 May and will let you know by 24 June if you’re the successful bidder.
I won’t tell you how far from the Olympics action you’ll be staying until then. And if you want to cancel, you’ll have to wait until next year to get a refund, and that’s only if I can find a replacement tenant. Sounds unfair? Tough, it’s the only show in town.