January 17, 2012 2:22 pm

Olympic organisers apologise for latest ticketing hiccup

Olympic organisers have apologised for the latest in a series of ticketing hiccups, as they announced that people seeking to buy unwanted Olympic tickets would have to wait until April.

The London 2012 ticket re-sale site was partially re-opened on Tuesday after being shut for 11 days. However, the site will now only be open to people selling back tickets, with would-be buyers having to wait three months to purchase them.

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Chris Townsend, London 2012’s commercial director, said: “We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by the suspension of our ticketing re-sale platform.”

He added, “We made a commitment to our customers to give them a safe, secure and legal way of selling Olympic and Paralympic tickets which they are no longer able to use.”

London’s organising committee (Locog) and Ticketmaster, its official ticket provider, were forced to explain the shutdown on January 6, after a slew of complaints about the system being too slow to update which tickets had already been re-sold. Prospective buyers were left disappointed after thinking they had successfully purchased tickets.

At the time Locog said Ticketmaster needed to “resolve these issues” before the live exchange site could be re-opened.

The new platform will give spectators until February 3 to sell unwanted tickets back to Olympic organisers. In April, when those tickets will be available for purchase at face value, Locog is also set to release the last tranche of 1m Olympic tickets.

Organisers created the site to ensure there was a legal ticket exchange platform that could deter touting.

Locog is hoping to raise about a quarter of its £2bn budget from Olympic and Paralympic ticket sales. There are 6.6m tickets available for the British public out of 8.8m in total.

The committee came under scrutiny during the first two rounds of ticket sales, which were highly oversubscribed, with critics arguing that the system favoured people who bid high.

Mr Townsend said: “We believe this system – purchasing the tickets back from customers now and offering them again from April – will result in a better customer experience for everyone.”

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