In another huge blow to consumers it has been revealed that customers buying tickets for the London 2012 Olympic games could be hit with a huge £50million interest bill due to the way they have to buy tickets.
Customers have until midnight tonight to apply for tickets via a ballot system, with many applying for way more tickets than they can afford in the hope that they get at least something. The money will then be taken from their accounts between the 10th May and the 10th June, before the customer is notified of what they actually have won on June 24th.
Customers who have ended up with too many tickets will then have to wait until next year to sell the tickets they don’t want through the official resale website, leaving them with a large interest bill until then.
The Bank of England’s figures suggest the average interest rate on a Visa credit card is 18.84%, leaving customers with a £50million interest bill before they can sell them again.
Leading consumer groups have expressed dismay that the Olympic group will be taking money from customers before they know what they are buying, and a full 14 months before the event actually takes place.
Matt Bath from Which? said, “People have to have the money in their bank accounts, because the money is taken from their account often many weeks before they even know what tickets they are going to win.
“I do worry that many families will be caught out. Organisers of other events up and down the country only take the money out of your bank account when they send out the tickets; that’s standard practice. But the Olympics will be sitting on your money – causing many families to pay a lot of interest – for possibly a whole year before they send out the tickets.
“And there is no guarantee of being able to sell the tickets when the resale site actually gets up and running next year.”