The whole e-mail chain of Olympic Bus Network fail

[backstory: I’m attending the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in February. Long story short, I had to purchase tickets in two separate accounts, incurring two sets of service fees, because their system conveniently changes my password without telling me on a regular basis. I’m attending two events in Whistler on the same day – VANOC has made it clear that anyone attending events in Whistler or at Cypress Mountain must purchase tickets on the Olympic Bus Network to get there and back, as there is no other real form of transportation to get there and back. This was reminded to all purchases in the first round of tickets, last October (2008) with a promise that further details and ticketing systems would be available early in 2009. Delay, after delay, after delay, after delay, and they finally set a date – November 24th. On November 24th, they announced the date was November 30th. On November 30th, they posted a schedule saying tickets would be put on sale in stages, starting on December 4th and that tickets would be paired with the event – i.e., to buy a bus ticket you enter the event code. This is the series of e-mails that just transpired. After the countless ticketing disasters, I’ve tagged this Vancouver 2010 Multiple Fail Disorder – they can’t stop fucking up!]

November 30, 2009 6:50 PM – From: Me To: info@clickandpark.com <info@clickandpark.com> [the Van2010 outsourcer, I presume?]
RE: Olympic Bus Network

Hello,

Firstly, thank you for finally posting information on the Olympic Bus Network. It is months overdue.
Now that it’s up, though, I’m thoroughly confused by the system proposed. The implication of your website is that a ticket on the OBN will somehow be attached to the event. I will be staying in Vancouver during the games, but will be attending BOTH Biathlon and Skeleton in Whistler on the 18th. Does this mean I have to get on the bus returning from the afternoon’s Biathlon event, only to arrive back in Vancouver too late for the bus to get me back for Skeleton in the evening? Is it not possible just to purchase a return ticket that gets me to Whistler before Biathlon starts at 10 am and leaves Whistler at 9PM after Skeleton is done? I don’t mind walking from one venue to the next – it certainly beats 4 hours of riding on buses to get across town.
Also, due to previous failures of the ticketing system which I won’t bore you with, my tickets to those two events are on different ticket accounts – will this affect my ability to purchase a return ticket? Finally, since the tickets go on sale at different times, when would I buy such a return ticket, if it’s even available??
Finally, I have tickets to an event at Cypress Mountain on a different date, but these were purchased by a friend as there is a group of us attending – will I be able to purchase these tickets myself or will he have to purchase them for the whole group since the tickets are in his name?
Thank you,
Neal

December 3, 2009 2:24 PM From: Me To: info@clickandpark.com <info@clickandpark.com>

RE: Olympic Bus Network

Hello,

With tickets becoming available tomorrow I have yet to receive a response to my e-mail (below). Please respond and let me know what to do!
Neal

On 2009-12-03, at 3:28 PM, Jennifer <jen@clickandpark.com> wrote:

Hello Neal,

Thank you for your interest in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Bus Network. We have received your e-mail and are in the process of following up on your request. One of customer service professionals will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please refer to the following websites in the meantime for further assistance:

http://www.departurehubs.clickandpark.com/ <http://www.departurehubs.clickandpark.com/> <http://www.departurehubs.clickandpark.com/ <http://www.departurehubs.clickandpark.com/> >
http://www.travelsmart2010.ca/ <http://www.travelsmart2010.ca/> <http://www.travelsmart2010.ca/ <http://www.travelsmart2010.ca/> >
http://www.translink.ca/ <http://www.translink.ca/> <http://www.translink.ca/ <http://www.translink.ca/> >

Click and Park

Jennifer Smith
ClickandPark.com <http://ClickandPark.com>
Direct: 866-330-7275 x118
jen@clickandpark.com <mailto:jen@clickandpark.com>
P Please consider the environment before printing this email.
Notice to recipient: This e-mail is meant for only the intended recipient of the transmission, and may contain information of Gameday Management Group and Click and Park (ClickandPark.com <http://ClickandPark.com> ), a combined division of Standard Parking Corporation, that is confidential and/or privileged. If you received this e-mail in error, any review, use, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. Please notify us immediately of the error by return e-mail and please delete this e-mail from your system.

On 12/3/09 4:14 PM, "Neal Jennings" wrote:


I’ve already visited all of those websites and not one of them explains how to deal with the situation of attending more than one event in Whistler on the same day. I would think this would be a common occurence that you would have planned for. I continue to be terribly disappointed in the poor communication and planning surrounding virtually every audience-facing aspect of these Games. I’m looking forward to being done with this purchasing process so I don’t have to deal with these messes again.

Neal

—– Original Message —–

From: Jennifer
To: Neal Jennings
Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2009 6:18 PM
Subject: Re: Olympic Bus Network

Hello Neal,

Thank you for your reply and for your patience. While I do appreciate your feedback regarding our site and information, I assure you that our utmost goal to provide the most precise and efficient information to all those who will be utilizing the Olympic Bus Network. As many ticketholders still have yet to receive their actual tickets and the Olympics are not for another 71 days, I would like to believe we have provided this information in a timey manner.

With that said I would like to address your questions from your first email, and I sincerely apologize for the delay.

I will be staying in Vancouver during the games, but will be attending BOTH Biathlon and Skeleton in Whistler on the 18th. Does this mean I have to get on the bus returning from the afternoon’s Biathlon event, only to arrive back in Vancouver too late for the bus to get me back for Skeleton in the evening? Is it not possible just to purchase a return ticket that gets me to Whistler before Biathlon starts at 10 am and leaves Whistler at 9PM after Skeleton is done? I don’t mind walking from one venue to the next – it certainly beats 4 hours of riding on buses to get across town.

Unfortunately, with the purchase of an Olympic bus network transportation ticket, you reserve a round-trip seat to Cypress Mountain or a Whistler area venue and the last Olympic bus departs two hours after the competition’s end. The system was designed to transport spectators to and from one venue per day. After each competition you will be transported back to your originating departure point in Metro Vancouver.

If you wish to stay longer at a second event during one day you are welcome to make other arrangements for the return trip home; please visit http://www.travelsmart2010.ca for commercial motor coaches providing services such as BC Transit or Translink. I appreciate your understanding with this matter and do apologize if this policy inconveniences you in any way. If you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.


Finally, I have tickets to an event at Cypress Mountain on a different date, but these were purchased by a friend as there is a group of us attending – will I be able to purchase these tickets myself or will he have to purchase them for the whole group since the tickets are in his name?


You can make the purchase as long as you have the session code for the event: The session code can be located by signing in to your Vancouver 2010 ticketing account at http://www.vancouver2010.com/tickets and clicking on the My Tickets tab.The session code is a five-character alphanumeric identifier located to the left of the event name and description.— for example, AS001 is the session code for alpine skiing – men’s downhill Each session code is unique to the ticketed event.

As well as the Vancouver 2010 Ticket Account # will be needed to proceed to checkout. Also per our FAQ, you can make the purchase under your name, and although the tickets will bear that name, you may pass them out to the group for which you purchased them.

My name is on the ticket, but someone else is using it, is that ok?
Yes. The Olympic bus network ticket will be validated by scanning the bar code; however each passenger must also present his or her Olympic event ticket at the time of boarding. If you are picking your Olympic competition tickets up at will call in Whistler or at Cypress, please bring your receipt.

I do hope this information was helpful to you and we were able to address all of your questions and concerns. You may also feel free to contact our customer service center at 866-330-PARK (7275) to speak to a representative. Thank you again Neal for your utmost cooperation and have a wonderful Olympic season!

Sincerely,

Jennifer

December 3, 2009 7:55 PM From: Neal Jennings To: Jennifer
Re: Olympic Bus Network

Thank you Jennifer. VANOC never fails to disappoint…

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Ouch 😦

    Reply

    • Yeah. I especially loved the implied “if you chose to be a good customer and buy tickets to more than one event, well, fuck you, you’re gonna be stranded in Whistler”

      Reply

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