Ticketek site takes hit, Rugby fans go without

Rugby fans across the country inundated the Web site of one of the official World Cup ticket sellers yesterday reducing its speed to a crawl and leaving some fans without a ticket.

Over the past few weeks the Australian Rugby Union has been advertising on television and in print the sale of additional tickets to the Rugby World Cup which starts in October. In preparation for the ticket sales on Monday, Ticketek, the official seller of tickets to games in NSW, Queensland and the ACT, boosted the capacity of its site to handle the extra requests.

However, the increased requests to the site reduced its processing time to a crawl, and coupled with Ticketek's 10-minute session time caps for transactions, meant some fans had to go without.

Paul Kelly, a biotechnologist from West Ryde in New South Wales was frustrated after his efforts to buy 10 tickets to the Scotland vs Fiji game failed, thanks to a slow transaction server. When users log into Ticketek they are allocated a 10-minute session time to purchase their tickets. After that time has expired any incomplete transactions are returned to sale.

Kelly, who logged in around 9am Monday, said the time it took to process the various pages of the transaction meant he had no chance of buying the tickets. "I got to the last part where I had to enter my credit card details. There was over one and a half minutes remaining. But I ran out of time because it took ages for the page to load." Unfortunately for Kelly when he immediately tried the whole process again he could not get a block of 10 tickets in the same row. There were individual seats scattered across the stadium.

The allocation to the Scotland vs Fiji match has since been sold.

Both Ticketek and its hosting provider Hostworks were contacted to comment for this story. However, all press enquiries were being fielded by the ARU, which had not responded to questions at the time of posting.

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