A new survey by British consumer advocacy Web site Which? reveals that London Olympics fans still have trouble understanding how to get their hands on tickets.
Questioning 1,275 adults from across the UK, the survey found that only 7 percent of respondents were confident that they understood how the remainder of tickets for London’s 2012 Summer Olympics will be sold, less than a year before the Opening Ceremonies of the Games.
In terms of resale, only 6 percent of respondents reported an understanding of the process by which they could resell their Olympics tickets.
To be fair to the British public, the London Olympic Organizing Committee (LOCOG) has not revealed many specifics regarding the possibility of ticket resale beyond announcing that a resale site, where ticket holders can put their tickets up for sale at no more than face value, will be launched early next year.
Graham Burns, chairman of the U.K’s Association of Secondary Ticket Agents, sees this confusion as a natural consequence of LOCOG’s management of ticket sales thus far. “It comes as little surprise the public are confused about Olympic ticket sales and resales,” Burns told TicketNews. “We have long been aware that the Olympic ticket distribution system is confusing, and a great deal of research is required to fully understand this complex mechanism.”
Burns continued, “On the surface, it appears that a whole spectrum of tickets are available, but further investigation reveals that, by and large, if you were not lucky in the draw, you need to buy a ‘package’…. At the end of the day, [fans] just want a ticket, and of course some people are prepared to pay for that over and above the original price. This is where the danger lies.”
The Which? survey also found that about 20 percent of respondents remain interested in purchasing Olympics tickets, and, in concurrence with Burns’ appraisal, a percentage of these are willing to pay more than face value for the tickets, with some considering purchasing from unauthorized sellers.
Scams certainly abound in the online Olympics ticket market that prey on this general confusion. Earlier this year, Norton AntiVirus identified at least 1,500 problem sites which appeared to be either asking users for money without providing tickets or spreading internet viruses.
Indeed, 61 percent of those in the Which? survey reported not knowing which sellers are authorized to sell tickets, making them easy prey for scammers.
The British public’s confusion over Olympic ticketing is not the first of LOCOG’s public relations problems during the lead up to the Games. From the very start of ticket sales in March of this year, the Committee has confronted its share of snafus, from mass denial of credit for fans who failed to read the ticketing Web site’s fine print, to critics’ complaints about the cost of attending the Games, to London hoteliers who were enraged when they learned that rooms they had provided to LOCOG were being offered at a significant mark up in hospitality packages provided by third parties.