Glasgow 2014 admit unsuccessful customers charged "in error" as ticketing crisis continues

Thursday, 15 May 2014

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By Nick Butler

The Glasgow 2014 ticketing website remains closed after multiple problems in recent days ©Glasgow 2014Callers who attempted to unsuccessfully purchase tickets for Glasgow 2014 but were charged in error will be refunded as soon as possible, organisers have confirmed, as problems with their ticketing system continues. 

This follows numerous reports that callers who were unable to get through were charged anyway as the crisis surrounding the final round of ticket sales, which began on Monday (May 12), takes another turn for the worse. 

One unsuccessful purchaser, Gary Baker, told insidethegames he had received a phone call from service provider BT regarding more than 500 unconnected calls to the ticket hotline for tickets between 10am and 2.30pm on Monday.

Despite the fact he never managed to get through, he has been charged at a rate of 16p ($0.20/€0.27) every four seconds, amounting to a total bill of more than £90 ($151/€110).

Although he has attempted to contact the Organising Committee since, Baker claims they "washed their hands of it" and insisted it is a Ticketmaster issue, as did BT, with Ticketmaster not responding to his email.

But following this, a Glasgow 2014 statement this morning "confirmed that some callers to the Glasgow 2014 ticket line who received an engaged tone on the ticketing phonelines were charged in error by Talk Talk Business, a supplier of Ticketmaster".

The statement added: "We apologise unreservedly for this and are working now with Ticketmaster and Talk Talk Business to ensure customers affected by this are refunded these charges as soon as possible".

The embarrassment for Ticketmaster, who also experienced problems when overseeing the ticket-selling process for the London 2012 Olympics, hit a new low this afternoon when England 2015 Rugby World Cup organisers confirmed they have postponed a first round of 500,000 ticket sales, for English rugby clubs, planned for tomorrow.

Problems with the ticketing process were also seen ahead of London 2012 where Ticketmaster was also involved ©Glasgow 2014Problems with the ticketing process were also seen ahead of London 2012 where Ticketmaster was also involved ©Glasgow 2014



This comes after a raft of problems with the final round of Commonwealth Games sales this week, with the process being shut down twice after proving incapable of coping with the high demand.

Chris Edmonds, the head of Ticketmaster UK, the Official Ticketing Services Provider for the Games, insisted problems will be resolved  "very soon" as an "urgent review" is carried out.

But organisers said yesterday it could take "days" to fix the problems after the website and phone line were shut down at 6pm local time on Tuesday (May 13).

Speaking this afternoon, a further update provided by Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg appeared more optimistic, although no development is forecast until tomorrow (May 16).

"We're pleased to have met with the cabinet secretary this morning to give her a full update on the progress being made in getting tickets back on sale to the public," Grevemberg reported.

"This was a constructive and positive meeting where we outlined the options and testing required to ensure we can put tickets back on sale with confidence.

"Our priority is ensuring the experience of securing tickets for the Commonwealth Games is a positive one for all our customers and we look forward to sharing our plans tomorrow."

David Grevemberg has provided a reassurance that a breakthrough will occur tomorrow ©Getty ImagesDavid Grevemberg has provided a reassurance that a breakthrough will occur tomorrow ©Getty Images




In a distinct case of déjà vu, Ticketmaster also received criticism when responsible for ticket sales ahead of London 2012.

On that occasion people continually complained they could not log on to the website, leading to the process being temporarily suspended, although the company has insisted the current situation is very different the one encountered on that occasion.

In response to the latest setback, a TalkTalk Business statement has also admitted unsuccessful buyers were charged by mistake.

"It has come to our attention that, due to a human programming error, we did not deliver the service that had been agreed with Ticketmaster during the general ticket sale for the Commonwealth Games," a spokesperson said. 

"This meant that some customers who called the Commonwealth Games ticket line and received the engaged tone were charged for the call costs in error.

"We would stress that this issue did not affect all callers to the ticket line and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.

"We will work with Ticketmaster to urgently compensate all customers affected by this error."

The 100,000 tickets due to be sold this week are part of a contingency set aside from the one million total tickets, ahead of the beginning of the Games on July 23. 

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