The London Olympics is proving to be the hottest ticket of the summer. Spectators worldwide are eager to travel to this event hosted by one of the world’s most treasured cities.
Millions of tickets have already been sold for hundreds of events for the 26 contested sports. Among the tens of thousands of applicants, a limited minority have landed seats.
Further, the London Olympics Organizing Committee has weathered a full slate of ticket ordering snafus – including the crashing of its web site during heavy ticket ordering periods, erroneous selling of unavailable tickets, and most recently, reselling glitches in its recent web site offering.
These frustrating conditions have caused alarm among the empty-handed, who are now desperately seeking what, for some, may be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to enjoy this quadrennial spectacle.
Yet, one person’s plight becomes another one’s might. Enter several unscrupulous ticketing companies, who are to circumventing LOCOG’s restrictive rules and selling tickets (not yet in hand) to the unwary.
The BBC reported on Monday that ads for London Olympic tickets, as listed on Google, were placed by firms who have not been authorized. LiveOlympicTickets is just one of the companies that is breaking the law, according to the Metropolitan Police. Last year, LOCOG increased the maximum penalty for reselling tickets from £5,000 to £20,000 – in response to this recognized threat that could leave purchasers without tickets.
Certain unauthorized resellers are also posting ticket auctions on eBay for some of the more popular events. With starting prices in the thousands, these auctioneers are tugging at the hearts of those desperate to attend the Summer Games. These auctions often require an upfront payment for delivery of tickets “when they become available.” Fortunately, eBay’s payment processing wing, PayPal, assures buyers of certain protections. However, there are some circumstances that may prevent a buyer’s payment from being returned – even in cases where no tickets are received.
While Google removed these “AdWord” links, companies such as LiveOlympicTickets can still attempt to sell tickets without fear of punishment. Reason: Certain firms are registered overseas, outside of UK’s jurisdiction, and therefore cannot easily be prosecuted.
Until then, LOCOG promises further windows of opportunity where newly available tickets will go on sale during the next 200 days – via its web site or other official ticketing agencies worldwide such as CoSport.
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