Sorry in advance. Personal rant coming....
London's 2012 Olympic ticketing has left me and thousands of others fuming. Its a case study in how not to do customer service. Worst practice if you like. The following, from a 2007 post on the ridiculous 2012 logo, sums up how I and hundreds of thousands of others feel about the 2012 ticketing:
The first round of ticketing was a ballot. I applied for six events, with a total potential outlay of thousands of pounds. And, like a reported 67%+ of people applying, I got ... bugger all. Zilch. Nada.
Now what pissed me off here wasn't just getting no tickets. It was the total mystery of how 2/3 of us got nothing at all. The process was a total "black box". For example, why couldn't we see the info on how many people applied for each event and how many got tickets?
But if I thought this was bad enough, it was about to get a whole lot worse.
Round 2: shambolic second round
As I missed out in round 1, I was given the "Exclusive opportunity" to have a second go, this time on a first come, first served basis. This new sale started last Thursday, at 6am. So, just back at the airport from Jburg I was at my computer at 5.55am poised and ready.
6am. Off I go. I pick the 2 athletics events I really want to attend with the kids, so they sample the olympics in their home city. And I add in beach volleyball for a laugh. Result! As I'm first on, the tickets are avaiable. I select 5 tickets and the price category. Move to payment, click pay. The logo starts to spin. And spin. And then this:
So, try again. Select events. Select payment. Confirm. Spinning logo... and..... same error message. I try again. And again. And again. By now one of the events is showing as sold out.
I finally get through to the end of the process at 6.45, and get a confirmation of my application. Hooray! I am even, would you believe it, featured in the London Standard newspaper by a reporter, Mark, who had read an earlier Twitter rant on the first round debacle.
I get home and tell the kids and wife the good news. Friends text to congratulate us, having read the Standard. And then, on Sunday, I get a new email from the 2012 team. It says "Due to massive demand for tickets you may not have received all the tickets you requested but we will continue to ensure you are informed as and when more tickets become available."
Turns out we did NOT get athletics after all. Me and 15,000 others, a full 10% of round 2 applicants, fell victim to the 2012 system not being up dated fast enough on Thursday, and so telling us tickets were available when they weren't. And do you know why? According to BBC reports, "the organisers had to rely on manual updating by a team of operatives."
Yup. This is the premier sporting event in the world. In a world-leading city. And the London 2012 ticket availability is being updated by hand. And it takes 48 hours to figure out that the stuff I had been sold was not in stock.
eBay and Amazon manage to sell millions of things in real time. They tell you if your item in stock. Hell, they even tell you how many of each thing are in stock. But not the 2012 team, the Keystone Kops of customer service. They haven't got a bloody clue.
In conclusion, it all goes to show how customer service goes out the window when you have a toxic combination of a must-see event, and a monopoly on supply.