London 2012: Jeremy Hunt apology over Olympics tickets

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Media captionJeremy Hunt: "I apologise for the frustration that people feel"

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has apologised for the frustration felt by people trying to use the London 2012 ticket resale site.

The website has been suspended for a week after it crashed on its first day.

The BBC understands Games organisers Locog and Ticketmaster are close to being able to relaunch the site so people can sell and buy tickets.

Mr Hunt said: "We're working night and day to sort it out" and "apologise for the frustration that people feel".

"We're going to get it right and make sure we get as many people as possible to the Games", he said.

Locog closed the site on 6 January - the day the resale window opened - and said it could not say when the problem would be fixed.

The process was designed to allow people to try to resell their unwanted Olympic and Paralympic tickets.

Ticketmaster, which runs the site, refused to comment.

Frustrated customers

Locog said in a statement last week: "We want buying and selling Olympic and Paralympic tickets through Ticketmaster to be a good customer experience, and so we will reopen the site once Ticketmaster have resolved these issues."

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.

A spokeswoman for Locog said they had not had discussions about extending that deadline, in light of the current problems, as they were focussed on getting the website up and running.

Michael Pickles, from Hull, is disabled and resold his tickets for diving, while retaining one he bought for the tennis.

He tried to buy other tickets but said he struggled to find any for people with disabilities.

"It was a complete mess," he said. "I was originally all for the ticketing format, if it was going to stop ticket touts and it was a plus for me was that you could put down that you wanted disabled tickets."

But in this latest round of sales Michael said there was no option but to keep searching and there was no way of checking whether there were any tickets for people with disabilities.

"I'll keep checking and hopefully then it will be in a better format so I'll know they are for disabled people.

"I'm calm about it now but if you had spoken to me last week I'd have been more irate. It really wound me up. I went from 9am in the morning then had to work. Friends had to keep looking for me until it was closed.

"The organisation has been horrendous and the lack of communication is very off putting."

Lucky ones

Chris from Wales wanted to buy tickets to the rowing as he is involved in the sport.

"It's just frustrating as it doesn't even tell you whether it's working or not," he said.

"I'm getting pretty fed-up. I've looked at spending £360 for a night in a hotel and to see the rowing heat and women's volleyball heat. At more than twice the price it's far too much.

"I'm going to keep applying but I can't see it being any better than what it is, which is incredibly frustrating."

"For rowing, the Olympics is the pinnacle, there is nothing quite the same, but I've not been able to get a ticket so far. I don't hold out much hope."

Katrina Blunt, from Aylesbury, was one of the lucky ones who managed to get the tickets she wanted on the day the resale window opened.

"Perhaps everyone else gave up so the website was clear for me to take a punt," she said.

"I had no trouble buying tickets. I searched for the event I was hoping for, found a ticket I wanted and bought it. This was even after the whole thing was supposed to have been suspended.

"Perhaps everyone else gave up so the website was clear for me to take a punt. It took only 10 minutes to complete the transaction."

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

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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