Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Justice is Served Upon Ebay

The people have spoken.
By causing untold chaos by placing crazy bids, the online auction site changed it's stance over the Live8 issue. It has now backed down and decided to ban the selling of charity tickets.
This won't be the end though. Apparently there was something similar going on with football tickets a while ago, but the lousy touts managed to get round it by selling ballpoint pens for about £50 and including "free" tickets as part of the deal. No doubt the slime that tried to sell Live8 tickets will now resort to this low tactic.
How many attempts from the 2,060,285 applications, were wealthy touts trying to monopolise the ticket allocation for themselves. We know, at least roughly 1,000 tickets were being sold on Ebay; by my reckonings each single application has a (mathematical) 1 in 27 chance of being a winner. Yet fairly early on, we had a high number of people selling on Ebay, so it seems to me the same people have texted in bulk, counting on making a profit online.
There is an obvious way of preventing this. The computer that was picking by random should have been programmed to eliminate a person's number from it's database as soon as they had received a single successful application. It's unreasonable for people to assume they have a divine right to more than one set of tickets, most decent people would accept that and be grateful/consider themselves fortunate to win even one set. It's a fairer system and it means the average Joe on the street has a decent chance of beating money loving fat cats.
What the Live8 organisers should have done following this incident, is suspend the ticket distribution and get government pressure find out which winners have been doing this... and summarily void their applications, and furthermore remove all further applications on their number, then restart the draw with the remaining numbers. However, that's too much like hard work, so it's unlikely that will happen... good as it might be.

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