FRUSTRATED fans have been left out of pocket after the Usher Hall website crashed as fans scrambled for Billy Connolly tickets.
Many saw duplicate payments taken from their bank accounts and still don’t know for sure whether they will get golddust passes to the highly anticipated four-night run.
The Lothian Road venue, which is owned by the city council, had tried to cater for demand by putting on extra staff and doubling its website capacity as tickets went on sale at 9am yesterday morning.
Around 100 people queued up at the Usher Hall from the early hours to buy tickets hassle-free from the Box Office.
Online, however, many customers who refreshed their page when payments were not being authorised found that they had been charged multiple times. Others could not access the website at all.
The Usher Hall apologised for the issues and urged customers to get in touch to resolve payment problems.
Fans were allowed to buy up to six tickets at a time – and within minutes of them going on sale, single seats were being re-sold for as much as £440 on website Get Me In, while Ticketmaster was offering tickets at £129, a significant hike on the original price of £33.
Throughout the day, the Usher Hall restricted access to its website to help with a backlog of transactions as fans of the 71-year-old comedian grappled for tickets. Lesley Watt, 34, of Moredun, was looking forward to enjoying her first ever stand-up comedy show with 37-year-old husband Malcolm.
Instead, she believes that she has paid three times for the same set of tickets – a total of £201 – with no confirmation she will get any.
She said: “I was trying to buy two tickets for myself and my husband. I am absolutely fuming. I have had no e-mails confirming anything, and I’m not the only one.
“It took me ages to get through to the website and I tried again later and eventually got on.
“The first time it said ‘payment not authorised’. I tried again with a debit card, and it said the same thing and then I did it a third time.
“But then someone said ‘watch out, you are actually being charged’ and right enough the money had gone out of my account.”
Jackie Wilkie was among the upset customers who tweeted the Usher Hall. She said: “My transaction kept saying to try again, now I have loads of tickets and an empty bank account. This needs to be sorted ASAP.”
Unallocated tickets will now be ringfenced until Usher Hall chiefs work through the backlog.
A spokesman said: “In light of the phenomenal demand for Billy Connolly tickets, we have taken the decision to ringfence unallocated tickets to enable us to deal with a backlog of requests. Once we have dealt with this backlog, we will then place any extra tickets back on general release.
“We would urge everyone who has ordered tickets but has not received correspondence from the Usher Hall to get in touch with us.”