IRFU Supporters Club Ticket Sales Balls-Up

I haven’t seen any media coverage (broadcast or internet) of the fiasco that was the IRFU Irish Rugby Supporters Club sale of 6-nations and Autumn International tickets this morning.

The tickets were originally supposed to go on sale at 9am, but after very apparent difficulties, it was postponed until 10am, and then again until 11am. The load on the site was presumably enormous, but you can see another example a problem that I encountered during the aborted 10am attempted sale of tickets.

About 25 minutes into the 11am attempt to sell the tickets, I had about 5 browser windows open – including a mixture of Firefox and Explorer. After being kicked out numerous times, I finally logged back in to be told that I essentially had my tickets waiting for me in my “basket” and only had to pay to complete the deal.

Excellent! However, then it took 4 attempts to confirm my credit card details with SecPay, the payment provider used by the IRFU. I finally got my final confirmation that the tickets were mine (at what time).

The IRFU seemed at times to be blaming the capabilities of the SecPay service providers – however, as the image shows above, some blame rests with the IRFU website providers also.

A couple of my friends didn’t have much luck though – about 11.50am they finally game up only to receive e-mails from the IRFU confirming that ticket sales were suspended, again. That was after one of the received 7 confirmation e-mails from SecPay, but no confirmation that the tickets had been secured. (I got home this evening to discover 4 e-mail confirmations myself).

This is the announcement that the IRFU have published subsequently about this enormous cock-up: click link here to see the release.

Unfortunately, there is no indication of when the tickets are going to go back on sale. I have my confirmation e-mail but based on that message, I presume I’ll be getting further confirmation.

These tickets are at such a cost that you’re paying €348 (€340 plus €8 fees and charges) to watch 320 minutes of rugby – the least you could expect is that it wouldn’t take you nearly 145 minutes to actually buy them.

You’d have to wonder why, really, an organisation like the IRFU would even get involved in selling tickets in this way. It’s obviously not their area of expertise, nor even of those they’ve got doing the job for them at the moment.

Ticketmaster don’t field international rugby teams, so why are the IRFU selling tickets through the internet. Are they just that greedy for cash that they do it all for the extra €8 fees and charges over and above the €340 for the tickets?

Its experiences like this that might make you think that Ticketmaster maybe aren’t all that bad!

I only said might, and maybe!!!

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3 Responses to IRFU Supporters Club Ticket Sales Balls-Up

  1. Chartophylax August 29, 2008 at 10:53 #

    I had a very similar experience (shameless blog plug here), as did many others, if the posts on Boards.ie yesterday morning were anything to go by.

    That said – I got an e-mail from the IRFU this morning to confirm that I did indeed have the tickets I wanted to buy (and only the tickets I wanted to buy).

    Still a pretty embarrassing cock-up for the IRFU and SECpay in particular.

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