Story by Dan Nathan and Ian Baker
AQA Peer Mentor Geoff Dossetor is a keen fan of AFL team the Hawks – and a club member. But this year, getting to see them play at the MCG has been a frustrating process.
Ticketek manages the ticketing for AFL games at the MCG. Buying an able-bodied ticket through Ticketek is an automated, online affair. Buying a wheelchair accessible ticket is not.
Ticketek’s website advises you to fill out and submit an Accessible Seating booking form, and wait for a phone call. Alternatively, you can phone Ticketek’s Accessible Seating booking line.
After submitting the Accessible Seating booking form, how long should you expect to wait for a call-back? Geoff says that in one case, he waited more than two weeks.
He tried the Accessible Seating booking line, and spent an hour on hold. But after a missed call-back, and emails to customer care, Geoff did get accessible seating for all the games he wanted to see.
When AQA/Spire staff raised the question of booking with Ticketek in an online SCI forum, they got similar feedback. Steven Ribarich, booking for AFL and soccer games at the MCG and AAMI park, reported that “In approx 20 games, they have not got it right once”. Sue Stevenson shared that when calling Ticketek’s Accessible Seating line, she is on hold for no less than 30 minutes, every time.
AQA got in touch with Ticketek and asked if they could offer any advice on how our community might better navigate their booking process. It turned out they could, and their response offers some insight on how to reduce the frustration.
Perhaps the key tip is this: use the Accessible Seating booking form, but resist the urge to submit it before tickets to your event are officially on sale.
Ticketek say they can’t secure you a ticket before the on-sale date, and that their accessible booking team prioritises people who submit an Accessible Seating booking form after the on-sale date.
However, Ticketek says that even if you submit the form early, they will still call you back – after the tickets go on sale. It’s just that you won’t necessarily be at the front of the queue.
‘Our Accessible team will prioritise the first customers that get in touch once the tickets go on sale, so that is the optimum time to fill in the form.’
A Ticketek spokesman noted that the agency had been managing more AFL bookings than usual due to Covid-19 related restrictions on venue entry.
However he stated: “We have secured accessible seats for every customer who has requested them since the new Government requirements.”
Here are six tips Ticketek offered for a smooth booking experience:
- We recommend that customers with accessibility needs complete a form over calling because the customer can receive a call back at their convenience instead of spending time on hold.
- Keep an eye on your club’s emails and social media feeds for the date and time that your tickets go on sale.
- As with ticket sales for all customers, our Accessible team will prioritise the first customers that get in touch once the tickets go on sale, so that is the optimum time to fill in the form.
- But regardless of that, every customer who filled in an accessible seating form WILL be contacted by us to arrange a booking.
- We have secured accessible seats for every customer that has requested them since the new Government requirements.
- Please be patient once you have contacted us. We WILL get back to you before the event to book your seats.
- July 7, 2021