Olympic ticket buyers could face hefty bills

Olympic rings

Around 1.8 million people applied for an estimated 20 million London 2012 Olympics tickets last week, and the signs are that many people have booked more tickets than they can afford.

With the average ticket application exceeding 10 per person and an average ticket price of between £50 and £200, applicants are set to receive bills of hundreds or even thousands of pounds in the next few weeks.

People had to select tickets through the online bidding system but weren't told at the time whether their applications were successful, so many have potentially spent thousands of pounds to make sure they get tickets to something.

Payments are being taken between 10 May and 10 June and an official notification of what tickets they have qualified for will be emailed by 24 June.

Those who have acquired tickets to events they might not be able to attend, or have bought more than they can afford, will be able to sell back tickets through an official re-selling platform but that will not be available until early next year.

Adrian Bassett, spokesperson for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), says details will be released later this year about how ticket money will be refunded during the re-selling period.

What to do if you've got more tickets than you bargained for

It's also possible to sell tickets privately onto family and friends. Selling on the open market is illegal, but it's yet unclear how this will be policed.

If you do receive more tickets than you were budgeting for, it could be worth moving your debt to a card with an extended 0% balance transfer period. For example, the Barclaycard Platinum has a 17-month interest-free transfer period, while the Halifax Rewards card and the NatWest Classic card both have a 13-month 0% period.

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I am one of those who applied for tickets at the last moment. Knew it was a lottery but thought I would be billed for the tickets. Instead I have to keep more money in my account than I can afford. Only a tory could of come up with this style of allocation.

The whole Olympic ticketing system was a farce.
Living in the North of England it would be prohibitively expensive to book for more than, say, two events close together to combine with one visit to London.
There was no way to organise this, so one could find success with only one booking which would make the trip not cost effective.The only way to 'guarantee' the two events was to book several, but as your web site states this has already landed many bookers with huge bills.
One canly surmise that the whole circus was planned with Londoners in mind, who would not have the exorbitant costs of transport and accommodation to face.
One can only be horrified at the minefield that trying to book for a family would entail - there was no guarantee that a booking for several family members would be successful, either in getting the correct number of tickets or that seats would be together
Once again, the rest of the country is contributing to a spectacular event mainly for Londoners.

What a farce!

What a rubbish way of doing things, from the start!!!

iIts a scam to debit you money and hold on to it for as long as possible before refunding if you have not been successful. Its a pity the Olympics organisers didn't make people aware of this up front.

This is exactly why I didn't apply for tickets in the end... I only wanted to go to see the gymnastics, but would have been happy with several sessions. However, the system is so ridiculous I didn't want to take the risk.

People have to take a bit of persoanl responsibility for applying for more tickets than they can afford. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence would simply have used this to apply for the popular events and cross fingers that you'll get something. As anyone whose watched past Olympics on the TV will testify, there will be loads of events that won't sell out and you'll be able to pick up tickets for those later.

This just shows that lessons have not been learned from past mis-selling scandals and poor ways of dealing with consumers. What is the possible justification of taking the money for tickets so far in advance of notifying people which tickets they have been allocated and what possible justification is there for not opening the re-selling process almost immediately? It just leaves a bad taste about how we, the public, are being treated with contempt whilst enormous commercial advantage is being shown to corporate sponsors. Londoners are caught up in this scandal just as much as people in the rest of the country. It is a poor way to start the Olympics dream for the ordinary person who would like to support it.

Can't please all the people all the time. Whatever system that had been used would have been subject to complaint and ridicule and an opportunity to mock whatever political party was in power.

I wonder how they will choose to use the interest they are going to earn from taking all our money up front and sitting on it for as long as they want? Is this how they are repaying the countys debt off?

As a Northerner who watned to take the opportunity of attending a 'home' games we applied for tickets but had to choose for a couple of the weekends. As mentioned earlier we will only want to travel down once but hopefully for a few events. We know we might get more that we wanted but know we can 'sell' them back. However, I had not realised it would be some months before we could enter that process. I expect a refund will take some time as organisers are likely to be inundated.

Not sure what other option of organising could have been adopted. Surely other countries have experience - good and bad - of what works!!

Another great british balls up