diamond geezer

 Wednesday, May 25, 2011

London 2012  Olympic update
  Ready. Steady. Go?

Did you order some 2012 Olympic tickets? Because the money could start disappearing from your bank account today. No really.

It seems that when they said this...
"If you are successful, payment will be taken between 10 May 2011 and 10 June 2011."
...they were telling the truth, but what they really meant was this...
"If you are successful, payment will probably be taken between 25 May 2011 and 31 May 2011."
So the official account-emptying window is finally upon us. Best be prepared.

Here's how we got to where we are...

» Monday March 22nd 2010: Public invited to sign up and create a ticketing account.
» Friday October 15th 2010: Announcement of draft Olympic timetable, and that tickets will go on sale on March 15th.
» Tuesday February 15th 2011: Announcement of full Olympic timetable and ticket prices, session by session.
» Tuesday March 15th (midnight): Ticket purchasing window opened.
» Wednesday April 27th (1am): Ticket purchasing window closed.
» April 28th - May 9th: Checks for duplicate applications. Ballots for hundreds of oversubscribed sessions.
» Tuesday May 10th: "I know we said we'd start taking money from today but sorry, we're still running those ballots, so bear with us."
» Wednesday May 11th: Announcement of draft Paralympic timetable and ticket prices.
» Monday May 16th: Rescheduled first date for money to start leaving people's accounts (cheque and postal orders first), honest.
» Monday May 23rd: It's strange, but nobody seems to knows anybody who's had their ticket money taken yet.
» Tuesday May 24th: "I know we said we'd start taking money two weeks ago. I know we then said we'd start taking money last week. Well, we'll definitely start taking money from tomorrow. We are not making this up as we go along."

...and where we're probably going next...

» Wednesday May 25th - Tuesday May 31st: For those lucky enough to be allocated tickets, payment will (at last) be taken from Visa credit and debit cards. Remaining cheques and postal orders will be banked. All your money will go in one hit. With a long bank holiday weekend in the middle, that's a brief four-day slot for withdrawing funds (rather than a six week window).
» Thursday May 26th: London Prepares - Tickets go on sale for the first four Olympic test events taking place this summer (Mountain Bike, Beach Volleyball, Basketball, BMX). First come, first served, from 10am.

» Wednesday June 1st - Friday 10th June: Any ticket-buyers who had "issues with collection of payment" (like stolen or lost cards, or insufficient funds) will be contacted "to arrange an alternative Visa payment". If that doesn't work, they'll get no tickets at all.
» Friday 10th June: Final day for collection of money from successful ticket applicants.
» early June: Those who paid by cheque but didn't get all their tickets will receive refunds. Those who paid by postal order but didn't get all their tickets will get a letter explaining how to arrange a refund.
» Monday June 13th - Friday 24th June: Somebody somewhere prepares 1.8 million emails telling applicants which tickets they've got. Apparently they couldn't do this any earlier. At some point, somebody presses a big button and sends those emails. Across the nation, applicants then go either "ooh!" or "oh".

» from late June: Second chance sales - "an opportunity for applicants who applied for tickets between 15 March and 26 April to apply for remaining tickets". Those who applied but won nothing will get first priority. Those who won some or all of their tickets will be able to join in later. Those who didn't apply at all won't be allowed to apply in this phase. Tickets will only be available online, using Visa (no cheques, no postal orders). Tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis. Sports that haven't yet sold out include Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Canoe Sprint, Women's Mountain Biking, Football, Handball, Hockey, Taekwondo, Volleyball, Weightlifting and Wrestling.
» later this year: All the remaining tickets go on sale, online, using Visa, to anyone.
» Friday 9th September: Tickets for the Paralympics go on sale. They're mostly quite cheap. If you don't get any Olympic tickets, this might be your best option.

» early next year: The official ticket resale programme begins. This will give existing ticket holders the opportunity to sell their unwanted tickets, for no greater than face value, to prospective buyers in a secure online environment. eBay is not an option.
» about this time next year: Your tickets arrive in the post (by secure delivery, hence the £6 delivery charge).
» Friday 27th July - Sunday 12th August 2012: Some Games happen. You may be there.

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