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Saturday, 3 September 2016

Forest Ticket Office: A Tale in Disorganisation

This theme is somewhat more personal as a nature to usual blogs. Not to me directly, though it does indeed affect me and my match day experience. It’s more a story of how a friend, a guy I have sat with at Forest is suddenly completely unable to attend games through no fault of his own, and how Forest have simply banned him and have no reasons.

My mate, let’s call him Dave Smith, as I’m sure he won’t want to be directly named has sat next to me, or near me for 10 years or more now. Since the infamous we’re serious about promotion season. For some context here is a long version of the background. We bought tickets as a set of three friends. One of those friends, who sat in the middle moved after a year but another friend took on the seat.

For the next few seasons a few friends revolved through the door of that seat, with some seasons it being empty and others it having someone in it. It even had a random guy there for half a season.
For the past three seasons it has been empty, but we always left it and didn’t move as a place to “reserve” for our friends, as very few people would buy a single seat, aside from people wanting to sit with us.

Last season Forest bizarrely made my friend “Dave” move seat next to me, saying his seat was “unavailable” with no other explanation. It had no season ticket in it all season, but on occasion would be sold. The question would be why was it suddenly unavailable? Well it was Forest not wanting a gap being left and filling in gap, but it merely left another 1 seat gap to the bloke who sits next to us and has done for a long time.

So this season he left it late to renew, he always does despite the early bird prices, because it takes that time to raise the funds in savings. In fact this year was later due to other unexpected expenses. So coupled with the capacity reduction he encountered a new problem.

The ticket office is completely sure he’s banned. Despite never being told he’s banned. No letter no communication, just that his client ref is banned. “Dave” was flabbergasted (this was on the phone) and it explained why up till then he’d been unable to renew online. So he went down to the ground. Still no-one cold explain, and indeed it was revealed the previous season when he had to move seat was due to his “banning” and that technically he shouldn’t have renewed but for the ticket office making an error (which pleases me no end to hear banned people can still somehow end up in the ground.)

My mate has tried contacting management at the ticket office and the club through phone and email. The emails have all been ignored, absolutely no reply form anyone at the club there. The email servers are a black hole. On the phone he just gets told he’s listed as banned and there’s nothing they can do.

So a season ticket holder of 10 years, who has done nothing (trust me on him being the world’s most law abiding man) can’t go to games anymore. One assumes this isn’t the first or last error they make. But it appears that either someone with a similar name or client ref has been banned or he got listed by mistake as well. The club are so unwilling to look into it or question it so “Dave” is left in limbo. 

Wanting to go to games, give the club cash, but unable to do so with absolutely no reason. I guess someone in a Cup game or something sat there and got reported or the seat blacklisted which got passed on to “Dave”

Is this merely just a further indicator of the shambles the club is behind the scenes? Why does there seem to be no customer care facility at Forest, no person to try and over see such situations as this? This probably means nothing to you, but maybe, just maybe this finds its way to someone at the club who matters. Or underlines to others the very bad state of disarray behind the scenes at Forest. The lack of regard or care for fans, or the fan experience. Just ‘Computer says No.’

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