Tuesday, April 06, 2004

BLAME BUSBY: Having screwed up the ticket allocation process for Glastonbury 2004 so astonishingly well, the Glasto organisation is looking around for someone to take the heat. Luckily, they've found a handy Aunt Sally - the Glasto shambles is all BT's fault, claims Michael Eavis:

"I have to say I'm very sorry that so much trouble has been caused by the serious delays within the phone lines and the website. Clearly the engineering specification was well short of what was needed - particularly the BT exchange in Nottingham which was cutting back our calls to the call centre by as much as 60 per cent some of the time. We will make sure that this doesn't happen again at all cost."

Now, we're not quite sure how he knows this - unless he means that six out of every ten operators were sitting, staring at the phones, willing it to ring, like Geri Halliwell dreaming of a Spice Girl reunion. Even if BT was trying to stop the call centre from being deluged, to what extent would have allowing an overloaded system to be swamped with even more people on hold been in any way useful?

There's something else curious here, too. Because the website was buggered, some people have found themselves having bought six tickets when they thought they were buying two (the first four transactions appearing not to have gone through) - so, what checks were actually in place to stop people buying more than their fair share of tickets if some people were over-buying by accident? And, more seriously, other tickets have been cancelled because the organisers report insufficient funds available, even when people have had more than enough cash on hand.

So, what's going to happen to these tickets? Will they be made available again to the public? Erm... no: "Any further returned tickets and duplicate orders will be absorbed by the needs of traders, staff, and locals" say the organisers. Eh? Shouldn't those people have already been dealt with, enough tickets earmarked and set aside for them before they were put on sale to the public at large? How many tickets, exactly, are being withdrawn from circulaton in this arbitrary manner? And shouldn't there have been a warning when it was announced that 115,000 tickets were going to be sold that not all of these would, actually, be sold to the public in the end?

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