Thursday, September 06, 2007

Wimbledon Tickets | Pain in the Ass

Next summer, to celebrate our 10 year anniversary, my wife and I have decided to spend a week in London. Since I'm a soccer fan and she's a tennis nut, the last week of June should work well for both of us. I'll get to watch the Euro 2008 matches (being held in Austria & Switzerland) in the pubs and she'll be able to go Wimbledon. Plus, we'll probably be able to find a few concerts to hit while we're there. Sounds like a good plan, eh?

Well, everything sounded great until we started the ticket process for Wimbledon. What a major league hassle. Wimbledon does everything possible to make it a pain in the ass to get tickets. In today's age of technology, this process is completely unreasonable and seems to be purposely designed to weed out the half-hearted.

Let's go through the steps:

Step 1

According to their website, the first thing you have to do is mail a envelope to them so they can send you a ballot. It would seem much easier to just have the ballot online but, hey, let's play along.

The instructions say that the envelope must be "a self-addressed, stamped envelope DL size ( 110mm x 220mm, 4 1/4 " x 8 5/8")". Guess what, folks? That size envelope is only sold in the UK. Oh, that's convenient. Why not just ask me to include a whisker from the Queen's chin?

But we persevered and got one.

Then regarding the stamp, they throw this little nugget at you:

OVERSEAS BALLOT APPLICANTS

Please enclose an International Reply Coupon (in place of a stamp) where possible.

As expected. the guy in the local post office in rural Vermont thought I was speaking Swahili when I said, "Hi, I need an International Reply Coupon." However, after consulting with Clem, the two of them found one in the backroom. We were on our way.

Step 2

This week we received our ticket application (aka "ballot") in the mail. We were half-shocked that we had even received anything back from them. However, then we read through the application and realized how far we were from actually getting tickets.

I scanned in a few parts of the application for your amusement. These are the rules for what will get your ballot thrown in the garbage. Some highlights:

1) You have to use the address you have on your town's Electoral Roll or you'll be disqualified. So, if you don't vote...don't even think of setting foot on their hallowed grounds.

2) Black ink only and it must be in block capital letters. e e cummings is screwed.

3) If you have to have someone fill out the form for you, you must also submit the legal documents granting them power of attorney. This is tennis we are talking about, right?

4) You aren't allowed to ask for another form. We wouldn't want to waste paper or anything silly like that, right?

5) You aren't allowed to cross out anything you've written. aka Don't make any mistakes and if you do slip a digit in your zip code...well, there's always next year.

I don't think I understand this section at all but, you know what, if I successfully navigate this byzantine system, I'll take whatever tickets they happen to grace upon us.

Now, here's the kicker...the grand finale...the big whopper. If we manage to get our application in without being disqualified and are lucky enough to win tickets, how are we asked to pay for the tickets??? Credit card? Ha! That would be downright simple.

These Luddites want us to cut them a personal check and it MUST be drawn from a UK bank in pounds sterling. Oh, for hyper-provincial chrissake! What is this?!? 1957?!? How the hell are we supposed to pull that one off?

I will never complain about how hard it is to get tickets to La Sala Rossa ever again.

Cream | Anyone for Tennis | Buy

6 comments:

Nordstrom said...

High-larious.
Great punchline.
Thanks for letting us have a glimpse of this amazing process.

kingdomforavoice said...

Love that last line, last night i bought tickets for the Beirut show at La Sala Rossa, i think.

Anonymous said...

i'm trying to get tickets for 2009 and i feel your pain. so so annoying..

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