iconimg Friday, May 29, 2015

Rohit Bhaskar, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 25, 2012
JPSI may have trouble selling tickets for the Indian GP with more than half of the inventory still unsold. If that wasn't enough, they now have competition from scalpers claiming to sell tickets at throwaway prices. What’s more, they're even trying to pass off as authorised dealers. A ticket to this weekend's F1 action for as low as Rs.1,000. Sounds too go to be true? That's because it probably is!


Be careful

Indian GP tickets are one hot buy, but if you're not wary of where you purchase your pass from, it could prove to be a costly one.

Scalpers and fraudsters, claiming to be selling official F1 tickets, have opened websites, twitter accounts and are sending bulk SMSes as they look to dupe you of some hard-earned cash, and JPSI of a chunk of its mad rush of last-minute ticket sales.

HT contacted one such 'dealer', EventoGP, which had sent bulk SMSes offering Indian Grand Prix tickets for as low as Rs. 1,000.

However, there's a catch — the ticket will only get you a one-day Friday pass for the Star Stand.

In fact, they're reselling season passes at more than the official MRP. A season ticket for the Star Stand, which costs R7,500 if you purchase it from official counters, was being quoted at Rs. 10,000.

They were also offering home delivery of the tickets, and spoke in educated accents to pass off as official agents. They've even created their own website where they claim to be authorised partners.

They have also taken to Twitter and launched an account where they are following almost all the F1 drivers and teams.

When asked about this development, JPSI officials acknowledged they were aware of these fraudsters and would initiate immediate action.

"We are initiating strict action against those spreading false information and misleading the motorsport enthusiasts who want to enjoy the sport," said Jaypee Group's communications head Askari Zaidi.

Bookmyshow.com is the official online ticket partner of the Indian GP with tickets also being sold at other authorised zones such as counters at the track, malls and Café Coffee Day outlets. Official ticket sales have been sluggish thus far, with most estimates pegging them at less than half of the 125,000 available seats.

Last season, 95,000 turned out for the race on Sunday.

Hoarding and black-marketing of tickets for major events has become common practice and a menace for most sports governing bodies, from FIFA to FIA. The ones to lose out are die-hard fans, who either miss out on tickets or pay more for them.