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New ticket storm hits 2014 Games organisers over lack of resale site

GLASGOW 2014 organisers are facing more criticism about ticketing amid concerns no official resale site has been set up with just weeks to go until the Games begin.

The site would be the only authorised way for sports fans to sell tickets they no longer needed. Officials have vowed to cancel tickets sold for inflated prices on sites such as eBay.

A similar site for unwanted London Olympics tickets was set up six months before the Games began but was forced to close due to technical problems, only to be opened again months later.

Following the recent ticketing fiasco at Glasgow 2014, which resulted in sales being shut down for more than a week, concerns have now been raised that organisers have left it too late to try to have the resale site up and running.

Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson, said: "I am disappointed that this isn't up and running already. People need to know that there is a legitimate way in which they can sell tickets they no longer want.

"We need this to stop ticket touts and we can't discourage people from using other means when we don't have a proper channel in place.

"I hope that once the ticketing system is up and running again, the organisers can move swiftly to get this resale site up and running. Now that tickets are landing on people's doormats, this is really urgent."

Scottish Conservative sport spokeswoman Liz Smith MSP said: "People are obviously concerned about whether they will be able to resell their Games tickets should their circumstances change so they can no longer attend.

"If the Glasgow 2014 team are promising to set up a website allowing this to happen then they must keep their word, especially if it will be the only official channel allowing resale of tickets.

"It is to hoped that these ticketing problems can all be resolved so we can concentrate on enjoying the great sporting occasion the Games should and hopefully will be."

Any resale site would be run by Ticketmaster, the firm responsible for the main ticket sale and the Olympics ticket sale back in 2012.

The Glasgow 2014 site states that, under the ticketing terms and conditions, customers cannot resell, trade or otherwise transfer any ticket, unless it is through an official resale.

The website states: "Glasgow 2014 may open an official ticket resale platform in 2014.

"This will be the only authorised way to buy tickets from people offering their tickets for resale. Further details regarding ticket resale will be announced in 2014."

A spokeswoman for Glasgow 2014 said its focus at the moment "was enabling everyone who wants to be part of one of the world's greatest sporting parties to be able to secure the tickets to do so".

The criticism over the resale site follows a week of controversy over the main ticketing sale.

Around 100,000 tickets went on sale on Monday morning but by that afternoon numerous complaints had been made about long delays and problems with finalising transactions.

Online sales were temporarily suspended in the early hours of Tuesday morning but this failed to resolve the issues.

As the problems continued, all sales were halted at 6pm on Tuesday, with just over 60,000 tickets sold.

To add to the problems, customers who had tried calling the sales hotline were charged up to £100 by phone operator TalkTalk, even though they received an engaged tone.

The debacle was raised in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday after widespread anger from the public.

During First Minister's Questions, Alex Salmond said the problems were a matter of "great regret and frustration". Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the episode had been shambolic.

The remaining tickets will go on sale on Wednesday in a phased release with briefs being sold in batches.

Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg said: "With additional measures in place aimed at managing demand and the addition of free postage on all orders and a ­freephone ticketing hotline, we aim to get back to the business of ensuring remaining tickets are sold and that thousands more people can begin to look forward to ­experiencing the excitement of the Games.

"While we cannot change the past experience of some of our customers, we do want to thank everyone for their huge support of the Games."

TalkTalk has said that anyone who was charged incorrectly will receive a full refund.

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