Olympic ticket buyers could face hefty bills

Published by Rebecca Rutt on 04 May 2011.
Last updated on 04 May 2011

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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