From Monday week (July 31), people ordering Olympic Games tickets through the 13 72 79 ticket hotline will need to pay for their tickets by Visa card. Cheques will no longer be accepted.

‘As we get closer to the Games we run out of time to allow people to pay by cheque,’ the deputy chief executive of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG), Mr Michael Eyers,explained.

‘That’s because we have to allow time for cheques to be posted to SOCOG and banked – including the time to see if a cheque is dishonoured – before we hand over tickets.

‘Even if everything goes smoothly, this can take up to three weeks from the time of the order. If a customer forgets to put their account number on their cheque or makes a mistake with the amount, there can be further delays.’

Mr Eyers said because seats are assigned at the time of the initial phone call, it was unfair to other buyers if a cheque-based purchase fails after some weeks because during that time the ticket had not been available to others.

The change means that Saturday week (29 July) will be the last day where payment by cheque is an option (the ticket hotline is closed on Sunday, 30 July). People who order on Saturday week must get their cheques to SOCOG on or before Monday 7 August. (This gives our customers notice that they have 16 days to get cheque payment to us, if they order on or before 29 July.)

Tickets ordered over the phone next week are to be collected from box offices, under new arrangements announced on Wednesday.

People ordering tickets by phone next week, and choosing to pay by cheque, will not be able to collect tickets until Monday 4 September, to allow time for the cheque receipt and clearing processes.

‘We would much prefer people who order tickets next week, when the new collection arrangements apply, to pay by Visa card,’ Mr Eyers said. ‘Customers who pay by Visa will be able to collect their tickets at any time after August 1.’

Source: SOCOG