Olympics Ineptitude part 1 – 10,000 Synchronised swimming tickets oversold

January 4, 2012

The ineptitude has begun

Just. Where. Do. You. Begin? That title is correct. Not only did 10,000 more people than can fit inside the aquatic centre apply for tickets to watch synchronised swimming at the 2012 London Olympics, but they actually got allocated tickets, only for the organising London Olympic tickets distribution monkeys to telephone the poor unfortunates to inform them that inepts had been running the ticket allocation machine and that there weren’t any tickets after all. Welcome to part 1 of what will surely be a very expensive experiment into Olympic organisation ineptitude.

The London Olympic ticket distribution system is one of two things, depending on who you believe. Either it is a fluid, mathmatically perfect, exceptionally accurate, 7th wonder of the ticket allocation world, or, it is a big fat pile of biased, coporate mollycoddling crap. If you believe the 50% of the fee paying public who will be lucky enough to sit behind a pillar and watch the blind-folded syncronised dog sledge events, then its the later. If you believe the pampered corporate 75% who will be watching the good events and didnt even need to join the lucky dip for tickets, then its the former. Join an orderly queue.

For those who don’t know how the Olympic ticket allocation system works, Harvard business school is running a 4-year course on theoretical mathematics. Essentially what you have to do is – over the course of 2 gauntlet running draws – is put in an “order” for a sum total of tickets – the higher the bid, the higher the mathematical chances of getting a ticket – and then wait to see what you get. As you have to put in an “order” for an amount which could be anywhere between 10 and a billion pounds, you run the risk of getting all of your tickets granted, and thus having to pay out thousands, or none. Or, synchronised swimming. But at least you can be part of the biggest sporting event to hit London since.. well… ever. Or can you? No you cant. Because in an exceptional piece of ineptitude which is already being covered up with “ah, but you will now get a ticket for another event” excuses, the ticket allocation system can’t even count.

10,000 extra tickets available for this

According to a spokesman in conversation with the BBC

As a result of finalising the seating configurations in our venues and reconciling the millions of Olympic and Paralympic ticket orders against the seating plans for around 1,000 sporting sessions, we have discovered an error in seats available in four synchronised swimming sessions…. In December we contacted around 3,000 customers who had applied for tickets in the four sessions during the second round sales process. We are exchanging their synchronised swimming tickets for tickets in other sports that they originally applied for.”

So 10,000 too many tickets were sold. Why?  ”a human data error”. Thats good old-fashioned ineptitude to thee and me.

Tickets? what tickets?

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