Dear Roker Report,
I couldn’t agree more with Paddy Hollis’s article on Wembley ticket sales. Our experience of the Ticketmaster process for both the Checkatrade Final and this Sunday’s Play Off has been appalling.
The activation process has been diabolical and any Customer Service provided by Ticketmaster has been worse. Trying to contact anyone by phone is, well, nigh-on impossible.
This week I did phone to get an extra ticket for a friend and I ended up talking to someone I couldn’t understand and who claimed to be working directly for SAFC ticket sales. When I asked she revealed she was based in Bulgaria.
I’m afraid those of us of a certain age are now the victims of cost-cutting finance people and IT and computer systems with absolutely no idea of how much we value people on the other end of a phone and preferably with a warm and personable North East accent.
This will be my eighth Wembley visit [and still drawing from our great win in 1973 against Leeds] and this year has been the worst experience in getting a ticket.
As a postscript I was extremely disappointed at the attendance and support for our home semi against Portsmouth where a number of so called supporters couldn’t even travel within the City to the SoL.
As a season ticket holder I travel up from the depths of Yorkshire with my friend who comes all the way from Burton-upon-Trent. Apart from the ticketing point I’m afraid the club has too many sceptics and cynics who just forget where we were 12 months ago and just do not give Jack Ross enough credit for taking us this far from a dreadful base line inheritance last summer.
Win or lose this week, let’s get behind the Lads and stop the whingeing.
Sunderland Til I Die!
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Re: Ticketmaster - we best get used to it... they’re here to stay, sadly. I too have had a bad experience with them this week, where an error meant I bought a ticket in the wrong age category. Despite trying for three hours to speak to someone - anyone - on the phone, I wasn’t able to. I kept joining a long call queue before being disconnected. I eventually gave up, reached out to Chris Waters from the club who was really helpful and said the club’s Ticket Office would be able to help me.
I just worry that the chew on that comes with using Ticketmaster and their customer services will have put off a lot of people from bothering to buy their tickets, and it’s a shame that it took until yesterday morning for the club’s ticket office to run sales from Black Cats House.
I know it’s difficult for the club to announce such plans ahead of time because there’s always the possibility that it could have sold out early doors, but the constant changing of the goalposts and what qualified you for a ticket during the various phases has just been really disruptive and confusing for some folk. Never mind - we’ve just got to hope that lessons are learned and any issues are ironed out before next season.
Dear Roker Report,
Re: your article yesterday about the 1985 Milk Cup run.
I remember that day and night so clearly.
It was the day after the strike had been called off, there were 2 coach loads of us all from the East Durham area.
After an early start, the decision was made to come off the M1 for a few beers - and given the fact it was the day after the strike had official finished we ended up in a pub on the the outskirts of Nottingham (talk about cat and pigeons, lol). Yet for the hour or so we were there, not one bit of trouble came our way. Perhaps the locals were a bit shy, though.
Once in London even on the bus you could feel the tension, we were stuck in a traffic queue for ages - I don’t think the Met Police on that day expected the size of the Sunderland support. Suddenly the back window of the bus was smashed out with a brick, in the melee that followed we all scrambled off the coach to “demonstrate” with locals, it was chaotic and we were all ushered back to the coach by a handful of very worried (to say the least) looking coppers.
The funniest thing about that incident though - if funny is the correct term - is that whilst we all got back on the coach the bus driver didn’t. He’d been arrested! In the chaos he’d been lifted after trying to find the numpty that had smashed his window; however, when a copper got on the bus demanding to know why we weren’t going any where and holding the whole of West London up, he looked a little embarrassed to say the least when we told him he was in the back of a police van. Strangely enough, though, he was returned to his driver’s seat without charge within seconds,
What happened in the stadium, though, should be confined to the history books,
With the back window smashed out it was a long old cold journey home, but a cracking day out.
Ed’s Note [TA]: Thanks for the email, Racey! A cracking read. Hopefully Sunderland can come away with a smashing result (excuse the pun), and that a whole new set of Massive Lads Fans come away with cracking stories. Ha’way the Lads!
Dear Roker Report,
Whatever the outcome on Sunday, I would just like to say what a year we have had. Stewart Donald, Charlie Methven, Juan Satori, Jack Ross and last but not least, by any stretch of the imagination, the football team.
Once again playing with pride for the colours they wear and a never say die attitude. Very refreshing to watch. Hopefully we start the new season in the Championship. Ha’way the lads.
Ed’s Note [TA]: I agree it has been a refreshing year, but I do hope we manage to make a return to the Championship at the first time of asking. League One has been fun, but now it’s time to start back on an upward trajectory.