The great PTS swindle

Posted by Rushian on January 10, 2004, 12:27:29 AM

Members of the PTS have this week found large envelope's dropping through their letter box from Liverpool FC. Was this to be a reward for loyalty? Was it to be a thank you for supporting the club and putting up with inadequate phone lines in an attempt to get tickets? Was it announcement that PTS sales would resume from the ticket office windows?

No it was an announcement that from the Portsmouth game PTS tickets would be available online. Surely a major step forward for the club and the fans you'd think? Another option enabling you to buy tickets after all. Well yes until you read the small print.

There would be a transaction charge of £2.70 per online booking and on top of this a charge of £2.70 per ticket. Yep that's £5.40 a ticket if you're buying a single ticket.

Many PTS members use the scheme as a surrogate season ticket due to the massive ST queue which doesn't move from season to season (mysteriously so - according to acturial insurance statistics more ST holders die per season than STs are given up - and this of course excludes fans voluntarily giving up STs, which in light of recent performances and the current cost is hardly a small number).

As PTS members they are already charged approximately £40 as a membership fee to cover admin costs . Asking in effect £5.40 extra for your ticket if you apply just for yourself is ridiculous.

Cost of a season ticket on the Kop = £445
Cost of 19 PTS tickets on the Kop = £482 + £40 membership + £102.60 in charges = £624.40

So PTS members cough up around £180 extra and that's without the benefits of being able to apply for away tickets or guaranteed tickets for our first home tie in the League and FA Cups and in Europe.

There's an easy way around this some have said - boycott the PTS online and apply using the usual methods. If no one uses the service the club will drop it. This is too simplistic.

Fans feel compelled to use the fastest possible method for getting tickets as no one knows how the tickets are distributed between online/phone/postal and which receives preference. Basically fans do not trust the ticket office to handle the distribution equitably (and who can blame them with the farce over Man City away or the hoardes of specialist travel company coaches at this years Man Utd game not seen for any other match at Anfield).

This online charge comes on top of a telephone system that for the majority of the season has taken 14 seconds to tell you that the lines are engaged and to ring again. Stories abound of phone bills inflated by £20-25 in an attempt to buy tickets for just one game.

The cheapest method of buying PTS tickets was of course straight from a ticket office window. This option vanished at the start of the season. So much for choice and options.

Gerard Houllier said in his eloquent speech at the AGM this week: "We want our fans to be close to us, to be with us. We see them as supporters, not as customers. That is why this club will always retain a human dimension."

Fine words by the custodian of the team but words that those running the club off the field would appear to disregard. Customers are exactly what PTS members have become.

So what is it to be,  Priority members or Priority to be ripped off members?

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