Olympic Ticket Payments Blocked By Anti-Fraud Software

Over 100 ticket applicants for the 2012 Olympics had their requests rejected when anti-fraud software blocked their transactions. 104 applicants, who successfully negotiated the Baroque ticket application process, fell at the last hurdle after Barclaycard’s security software assumed the payments were dodgy.

One applicant, lucky enough to be allocated tickets for three events worth £1,600, was unable to pay after the card company deemed the amount suspicious.

“It’s not beyond the wit of man for Barclaycard to expect there to be a large number of quite hefty demands on their cards around this time to that particular payee,” he told the BBC.

Barclaycard has admitted human error, apologised to customers affected, and taken steps to stop it happening again. Payment will now be sought at a later date.

Meanwhile, those who aren’t affected by such anomalies should check their bank balance at the end of today, the last date when (in theory) money for tickets will be withdrawn from accounts. You won’t find out which events you’re going to until mid-June, however, unless the sums withdrawn make it obvious.

Organisers say that the vast majority of households with applications were at least partially successful. Estimates suggest only one in seven attempts were futile.

But that’s not quite the end. Some events were undersubscribed, and seats remain after this first bout of ticket allocation. Those who were completely overlooked this time round will have priority when these unfilled seats are dished out (by first-come-first-served) later in the year.

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  • Calvin

    if one transaction of £1600 is massively outside your normal spend pattern, then of course they stopped the payment. If your card had been stolen and used fraudulently, you’d be thanking them for doing so. If you know you have transactions like this coming up and it’s unusual, call your card provider first. Then they will allow the transactions through. Simple as that. 

  • JonB

    Calvin, you seem to have missed the point… people don’t know what transactio is coming up because London 2012 has decided not to let successful applicants know how much money they will be paying out until a month after the event.  What do you suggest?  A clairvoyant?

  • wolff

    I had an email from London 2012 yesterday morning advising that they tried to debit my Barclays card and were unsuccessful. They even tried twice and first time was last Thursday.
    I called Barclays fraud office yesterday as nobody did contact me about it. The bank has got phone details and email details.
    The person at the fraud department had no knowledge about the olympic ticketing process. My amount was less than £200, so not that unusual. Barclays must have several hundred thousand customers being debited by London 2012 ticket office. Why would some look suspicious and the majority not?
    Fraud protection is neccessary but something like olympic ticket selling via one source only should be known by financial institutions.

  • http://twitter.com/carlbob carlbob

    I actually had correspondence with Barclaycard on this very issue about a month ago, as I was worried this would happen (I’ve rarely been successful at getting large ticket transactions to go through first time!). After some very unhelpful semi-automated emails from their “customer service” team, I spoke directly to their Customer Relations guys who were very helpful – and ultimately confirmed that a system-wide process was being set up to ensure Olympics tickets weren’t blocked…. so it’s disappointing to here that this hasn’t happened.

    It looks to me like mine appears to be going through ok… although it’s been a “pending transaction” since Friday and I’d quite like it to un-pend to put my mind at ease.

    (Mind you, it’s only 17% of my total, but that’s another story).

  • http://twitter.com/calvinhunter75 Calvin Hunter

    @431f0439d10b73be82d377cb9e99656f:disqus - While specifics of date and amount wouldn’t be known, it would have still been possible to call BarclayCard’s customer relations, like carlbob did, and say “I’ve applied for Olympic tickets. If I’m successful, a big transaction will be coming through from Ticketmaster somewhere between this date and that date. Can you flag my account to make sure it isn’t blocked for being out of pattern/fraudulent?”