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Ticketek Insanity!

As if the politicians haven’t been bad enough, today we’ve had to put up with Ticketek!

Year after year, they stuff it up.

My two-and-a-half-hour nightmare this morning mirrors that of the hundreds of thousands of members trying to get tickets for the first week of finals.

At 9am I logged in to their website. Nothing. Kept trying. Meanwhile I phoned on my landline. The robot answered. “Tell us in a few simple words what you want”. “Sydney Swans tickets”. “Is that Australian Ballet?”. “NO”. “My mistake, please tell us in a few …”. “AFL Finals tickets”. “Is that Portsea Polo?”. “NO”, I scream into the mouthpiece, feeling my anger rise. “Let’s try it differently …”. And so it went on. I was put on hold.

Back online, and after two hours of screen-watching DO NOT REFRESH, 15, 14, 13 seconds… I finally got through. Putting in the barcodes, and choosing top level seats, the “Next” button didn’t work. Kept telling me “There aren’t enough tickets to meet your request right now…choose “Any seats” and reduce the number of tickets”. What?! Suddenly the payment page appeared, showing seats I’d asked for originally. Credit card details required, then PAGE EXPIRED greeted me, even though three minutes remained!

My blood pressure was through the roof and expletives poured forth.

I burst into tears, fearing I’d missed out on tickets.

The phone then came to life. Instead of listening to, what I assumed they thought was soothing music, that of Mozart, and intermittent messages of “There is a wait time of at least 15 minutes”, a real-live human being spoke! I vented my anger, settled down, and eventually was able to secure tickets.

I was a lucky one. I later learned that thousands were cut off completely, and a reschedule of ticket sales had to be organised.

Surely the AFL, with the backing from the clubs, have to do something to ensure all fans from all clubs get what they are entitled to at finals’ time. And surely that means getting rid of Ticketek!

My brother in Melbourne, also trying to get tickets, emailed me, saying: “Our society is drowning in inefficiency/incompetence, shit service and bureaucratic bungling.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

ps I have been turned off that wonderful Mozart piano sonata for life!


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About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016.


  1. Tony Courtin says

    Jan,I and many others share your ticketek frustration. Several of my clients today have mentioned a similar experience with that useless company when wanting to purchase finals tickets. Most recent customer said ticketek site had crashed. The AFL must change its ticket distributor. Anything less is completely disrespectful to the lifeblood of our national sport,the supporters.

  2. Glenn Long says

    We got tickets eventually but had NO CHOICE on price.Only best available which cost top dollar

  3. We’ll have to vote with our feet and wallets otherwise the AFL won’t care enough to either switch providers or exert pressure on Ticket Wreck to beef up their back end systems. Everyone involved is cynically betting on the almost dead certainty of getting paid regardless of transactions taking 2 minutes or 3 days. Finals are probably a blip of peak activity for Ticket Wreck if you take the entire year into account. Personally I’d be embarrassed. Clearly Gil & co. aren’t .

    Absolutely disrespectful to fans but for years now this maniacal focus on TV $ has eaten at the heart of the game. Tony’s right, you’ve only got to look at the debacles with Sydney Trains and the big 4 banks to see the BS approach major players have towards their IT systems.

    Glad you got tickets though Jan. Even though I shouldn’t I’ll probably grapple with the online beast this afternoon.

  4. Agree with all you’ve said, Tony, Glen and Tom. Maybe you could change them Glen?

    Go Bloods!

  5. george smith says

    Well I got my tickets for the final Giants v Swans – public sales started 4pm Thursday, 2 days after they was supposed to. Some African dude was desperately trying to buy tickets to the wrestling in Melbourne but was told to wait until the footy people had their fill – a queue of about 8 people. Bear in mind this is the premier booking site in Sydney City – and ONE bloke was selling tickets to all these people. I would have liked to chat, but it felt like the Soup Nazi, only much more polite, with eyes burning a hole in the back of your neck, and you had to keep the queue moving.

    Why am I at the Swans game? Fathers Day present…

  6. Same same Jan

    Got tix the following day, but way up high on level four.

    Happy to be going though.

  7. Let’s hope your father’s day present is rewarding at the final siren, George!

    And, Kate, at least you got one – sold out I believe! I usually sit on Level 4, but towards the front. Wouldn’t like to be at the back! Hope you’re rewarded too!

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