Liverpool Football Club continues to have problems allowing its members to get tickets during their sales, but what are they doing to fix it?


LAST Wednesday, those with an LFC membership were allowed to register their interest for tickets to home games for the upcoming season.

Note: This is not to buy tickets, but to tell the club that, qualification credits willing, we’d be interested in buying some at a later date.

This comes with its own problems. Anyone can pay for a membership but can only build credits by being successful in the ballot. You can only buy tickets by having credits. Catch-22.

At 10am last Wednesday I was somewhere in Essex on the M25 on my way to Gatwick. My flight to Denmark left around 4pm, so I had plenty of time to register my interest. I duly logged on.

The first thing that happened was a waiting room with the worrying news that I’d be stuck there for over an hour. Of course, I expected as much. This is a popular system for oversubscribed events these days.

A few days earlier, I’d sat in a waiting room trying to get McCartney tickets. On that occasion, the only billet available was one at £655 for a corporate prick to give to another corporate prick who only knows Hey Jude, so I was forced to demur.

(If you’re selling one at ‘a reasonable rate’ on Twitter, I wish you a year long head cold. Not every gig is a business opportunity. Some of us just like the music.)

I duly did my hour of waiting room porridge and waited for the next screen with a list of games. Ah, there it is. Here we go.

‘You are now in a queue for a…’ A what? A second waiting room? Why?

This one was for an hour too and I had things to do. Airport security for one.

I waited. Glancing at both the queue time and my diminishing phone battery.

Another hour later and I was finally ready. ‘You will be redirected to the page.’ Except I wasn’t. I was directed to a white screen which talked about Time Out and server issues.

I’d been thrown out. I started again. With a waiting room.

This time I got through and registered my games. They sat there in my basket. I simply had to…

‘Error 503 first byte timeout.’

The what now?

This was when I got onto the club via Twitter. They’re really good on that. Maybe my basket was still full and it just needed a click to send it through. No reply.

Actually, they did reply. An hour later when I was at the gate of my flight. ‘We’re experiencing high volumes.’ No shit.

I queued again.

I got through and registered my interest just as my delayed flight taxied down the runway. It took just six hours.

There are two scenarios in play here.

1) The club weren’t expecting tens of thousands to register and blow up the server or;

2) They did, knew it would be a nightmare, but did it anyway.

It’s two, isn’t it?

They knew and if it were done eventually then no harm done. We had a few days’ leeway, after all. I just didn’t want to be sat on holiday with my phone on my lap, moaning about waiting rooms.

I’d foolishly expected some level of professionalism. Even a bit of respect.

If we’re buying anything else, we’d simply take our business elsewhere. The trouble is you can only register for Liverpool tickets through Liverpool Football Club, so we’re stuck with them. We only take this amateurism through loyalty to the club. I suspect they realise that.

If they had to compete for our money, to go out of their way to make their buying platforms manageable, they’d struggle, but a captive audience is a compliant one, so why bother? If you don’t like it, thousands of others will have your tickets. Those credits take years to accumulate so you’ve had it, sunshine.

And it’s such a shame, because the club get so many things right. They’ve made significant steps to make everything a little more accessible, but this registration process is awful and amateurish in the extreme. It’s insulting if anything.

‘Try again later.’ Yeah, thanks.

Yes, but we’re the customers here. You should be making things as easy as possible, or at least buy a workable IT infrastructure to cut down on the massive inconvenience. Six hours to click through a few screens? Come on.

Anyway, Denmark is great. No one booed the German national anthem on Saturday night, though some of the older patrons of the pubs I were in might have cause to. It’s a fantastic, friendly space. I even got travel advice from Jan Molby when I tweeted him. He doesn’t know me from Adam, but he gave me a thumbnail sketch of Kolding’s tourist industry.

We can shop elsewhere but the least the club can do is make the system workable and give us a bit of respect.

That’s all.


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