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London 2012 ticket sales stifled by e-commerce issues

18 March 2011 - 10:22 by David Aiken

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This week the first tickets for the 2012 Olympic Games in London went on sale via the internet but issues with the e-commerce platform supporting this big event, meant that many thousands of eager spectators were experiencing problems with making a purchase.

Often when a big event begins offering tickets on a first come first served basis there is a huge spike in visitors to the e-commerce site, resulting in downtime and frustration for all. However, the organisers of the Olympic ticketing system decided to avoid this rush by letting fans apply for tickets over a month long period, rather than allocating them to those who manage to get through on day one.

This seemingly well planned system for fair, safe shopping online did not result in the smooth transactions which had been hoped for, with many customers unable to make payments or secure tickets as a result of card issues.

Payment card firm Visa has secured control over the operation of the ticket purchasing because of its sponsorship of the 2012 Olympics, but it had to apologise to consumers this week after it emerged that card expiration dates were excluding some people from eligibility to make purchases online.

Anyone with a card which expires prior to August this year was not able to buy tickets for the Olympics, which is obviously a significant flaw in any e-commerce platform which promises convenient, safe shopping online.

Visa released a statement in which it apologised for inconveniencing customers and explained that although the problem with card payments is not currently fixed, it is working hard to remedy the situation as soon as possible.

The London Olympics will be a once in a lifetime experience for many Brits and so getting the online ticketing system right is essential because there are less than 500 days to go until it begins.