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Sunderland v Luton Town: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg

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Fan Letters: “When it comes to ticketing, Sunderland have messed up again!”

More complaints about the new digital ticketing system and praise for Tony Mowbray at the Gateshead game are in the RR mailbox today! Got something to say? Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk

Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I’ve just received information from Sunderland’s digital ticketing system, which informs me that my alternative option is to arrange entry with a family member or a friend.

I can’t believe this is the best alternative they can come up with.

Sunderland Association Football Club messes up again!

Bill Fisher

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Bill. Thanks for getting in touch regarding this ongoing issue.

We’ve been contacted by many supporters such as yourself and we’ll continue to highlight the problems with the system as people tell us about their experiences. This is not ‘moaning for the sake of moaning’; it’s a big problem and one that needs to be flagged up.

The launch of this new system was always likely to encounter some problems in its early stages but to be frank, it feels like it’ll get much worse and I’ll be staggered if we all get into the stadium in good time ahead of the first game against Ipswich.

Quite why the club is making it so hard for supporters to get clarity on this issue is absolutely bewildering, and it’s simply not acceptable for a club such as Sunderland. Urgent action is required to fix it, with no more excuses or vague explanations.

Sunderland v Luton Town: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

My niece and nephew are season ticket holders at Gateshead and they were thrilled that Tony Mowbray took so much time to meet, chat and take photos with the kids, whoever they supported.

Thanks!

Kev Ramsay, East Stand

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Kev! Thanks for your letter.

It’s great to hear that Mowbray took some time to meet the supporters last weekend. He’s always come across as an amiable and approachable kind of guy, and those gestures can go a long way, especially in the ego-driven world of modern day football.

South Shields v Sunderland Pe-Season Friendly Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Here’s what I just got from the club, and I’ve included the full email trail so you can see.

They’re urging people who can’t use digital ‘to reconsider’ and they say that physical season tickets aren’t possible due to changes to the turnstile readers. Not good.

‘Hello,

Thank you for contacting SAFC Digital Support. We apologise for the delay in responding to your enquiry.

We have been working behind the scenes with our new suppliers to find all the answers to our supporters’ questions and are now in a position to respond.

We have read your concerns and would like to advise you on why we made the decision to go digital.

A digital season ticket is the safest, most convenient and flexible way to receive your match ticket, whilst increasing security and protection against fraud. It will also improve supporters’ matchday experiences by speeding up entry at the turnstiles, and forms part of the club’s long-term sustainability goals to reduce paper and plastic use.

Due to updating the turnstile readers, previous season ticket cards are simply not compatible and are not a possible alternative to a digital ticket.

We would strongly urge you to reconsider the new digital ticketing system.

If you have any concerns on how to use your digital ticket, please check the FAQ section on our website, which also includes tutorial videos to help support you.

FAQs - SAFC

Thank you for your continued support.

SAFC Digital Ticketing Team’

James R

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, James. Thanks for getting in touch.

Personally, I dislike the way the club are encouraging people to embrace the new system whilst seemingly downplaying any issues people may be having.

In my opinion, a phased transition to the new technology, with physical cards still being accepted, was the way to go, rather than this sudden switch that’s clearly left many supporters confused and frustrated as they try and sort out season cards for 2023/2024.

The idea of a modern ticketing system is perfectly sound, but the execution has been shoddy and the fact that people are still struggling to get answers doesn’t say much for the current standard of customer service at the club.

The Ipswich game is coming up quickly, so let’s hope this is all ironed out before the new season kicks off.

Sunderland v Luton Town: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

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