diamond geezer

 Saturday, June 09, 2012

We all know, for good or ill, that Visa are the exclusive plastic partner of the London 2012 Games.
Why can you only pay with a Visa card, why not a Master/Maestro/AMEX card?
"In recognition of Visa's support of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, London 2012 is proud to accept only Visa cards (debit, credit and prepaid) on the official ticketing website. Sponsor support is crucial to the staging of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and the operation of organisations throughout the Olympic Movement."
And we all know that if you're at the Games, then Visa (and cash) will be the only ways to buy anything.
How will I be able to make purchases at Olympic and Paralympic venues?
"The quickest and easiest means of payment at Olympic and Paralympic venues will be with a Visa debit, credit or prepaid card. Customers who do not have a Visa card can also pay with cash. Arrangements will be in place to ensure access to a Visa card for everyone who wishes to make purchases relating to the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
But hang on, what was that about access to Visa cards? Is it just me, or does the following sound a little unnerving?
What happens if I’m at a London 2012 event and I run out of cash and don’t have a Visa card?
"Please make sure that you have enough cash to last for your visit. If you do run out of cash, Visa representatives will be on hand to offer other payment solutions."
What the hell are "other payment solutions"? If you run out of cash at the Games, are Visa going to sign you up to some instant credit thing? Or do they have a hotline to your bank details and a card-printing machine? Something here strikes me as exploiting a captive audience.

The message is clear. If you're attending a London 2012 event and don't have a Visa card, make sure you're stuffed with cash before you arrive. Or just bring a packed lunch and empty water bottle, and avoid the urge to buy a souvenir bug-eyed mascot, and you should be able to enjoy the Games without prostituting your finances.

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