London 2012: Olympics ticket resales website suspended

The BBC's James Pearce says the ticket resale attempt is a "shambles"

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London 2012 has suspended the Olympic ticket resale system on the day it was launched after problems with the official website.

The main problem appears to be that the site, run by Ticketmaster, was slow to update sessions which had sold out.

Games organiser Locog said it would reopen once the issues had been fixed.

Earlier, Locog stopped customers from putting Olympic tickets up for resale but it was still possible for people to buy tickets.

The process was designed to allow people to try to resell their unwanted London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic tickets to others willing to buy them.

'Very disappointed'

Although Locog said hundreds of tickets had changed hands, BBC sports news correspondent James Pearce said the majority of those using the website had failed to buy any of the tickets supposedly on sale.

For example, tickets were advertised for the men's handball semi-finals when the site went live on Friday.

The tickets were purchased almost as soon as they were made available, but hours later those same tickets were still showing as being for sale.

Analysis

This is another major embarrassment for London 2012. Ticketing has been problematic from the very start.

The website, which is run by Ticketmaster, simply has not delivered the high-quality service which was expected.

During the initial sales period it crashed at crucial times, and now it has failed again during the resale phase.

Of course part of the reason for this is the huge demand for tickets, and London 2012 cannot be blamed for that, but the simple fact is that both London 2012 and Ticketmaster have had years to prepare for this.

At a time when London 2012 is trying to encourage the public to get behind the Games, many Olympic supporters are instead feeling let down and angry by the failures of the ticketing system.

Hundreds of people had been complaining on the micro-blogging site Twitter, added our correspondent.

Locog said in a statement: "We have told Ticketmaster to suspend the resale system whilst they investigate some issues customers have been experiencing.

"We want buying and selling Olympic and Paralympic tickets through Ticketmaster to be a good customer experience, and so we will re-open the site once Ticketmaster have resolved these issues."

Some people have reported that the tickets they have selected to buy disappear when they proceed to the checkout page of the website.

William Young, from Aldershot, told the BBC: "I have spent the last hour trying to buy tickets - I find the tickets through the search menu and then go to check out and it says they are no longer available!"

Nicky Hoare, from Ballymena, said: "Very disappointed. Tickets showing as available for 100m men's victory ceremony session but every time I go in to try and purchase, it says tickets unavailable."

But there was a happier outcome for David Ellis, from Letchworth, Herts, who snapped up three tickets for the men's 400m final.

"It took several hours, but so worthwhile. Keep trying," he said.

Criminal offence

Those who bought tickets directly from Games organiser Locog should be able to submit their tickets for resale on the 2012 ticketing website until 3 February.

London 2012 - Begin your journey here

London view

The tickets will be made available online for other customers to purchase during the resale window.

People who have bought tickets through official overseas sales should contact the retailer if they want to resell.

Locog said the process will allow people who do not want or are unable to use their tickets to sell them and ensure that venues are full during the Games.

If sold, the seller will receive the full face value of their tickets. If the tickets remain unsold by 3 February, they will be returned to the ticket-holder's account.

There will be a further chance to resell tickets from April 2012.

Locog has said it is convinced most people will want to hold on to their tickets, but realised people were asked to buy tickets more than a year ahead of the Games.

Police have warned it is a criminal offence to resell London 2012 tickets on the open market without the permission of Locog.

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