No. of Recommendations: 0
This one was sent on May 24th and I never received a reply to this one...and I thought this was a lot clearer than my first letter!

May 24, 2001
299 South Main Street, Suite 1300
Salt Lake City, UT, 84111
Dear Mr. Romney:
This will be the second letter that I have sent to you, Mr. Bullock, and now Mr. Schueren, in an effort to resolve a grievous error on the part of the Salt Lake City 2002 Ticketing Committee. While I do appreciate the timely response to my original letter (included) it appears as though there may have been a misunderstanding by your organization as to exactly what I was attempting to address. I hope that this correspondence will make my position abundantly clear.
As I stated in my original letter the request for the purchase of and subsequent payment for tickets to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games were made on October 10, 2000 and October 11, 2000 respectively. My position still remains that every communication from the SLOC leading up to the October 10, and for several weeks thereafter, gave the general public the impression that tickets for the 2002 Winter Games would be placed on sale on October 10, 2000. Further, by demanding and accepting payments in full, the SLOC bolstered the belief that these tickets were in fact available to the public. I again point back to the email that I received from the SLOC prior to October 10, 2000, stating that tickets to the 2002 Winter Games would be "on sale" on October 10, 2000. And I feel that I must once again point out that when something is said to be "on sale" people tend to believe that once those items are paid for they are no longer the property of the individual, company, or organization that had offered the items for sale.
In researching the your organization's reply to my initial inquiry I came across several more instances that reinforce the idea that these tickets were in fact on sale October 10, 2000. The first item that I will refer to is a statement made by John Benion, Director of Games Services for SLOC on October 10, 2000. The author of the article quotes Mr. Benion as saying, "If it keeps up at this rate, we'll be sold out in 10 days." This type of statement, again, misled people. I can imagine a person reading this statement and thinking, "I better get my tickets now! They're going to be sold out in 10 days!" This gave the impression of a danger of missing an opportunity to get Olympic tickets. In fact, no such danger would have existed had your present interpretation been in effect in October. The next remark that I would like to bring to the SLOC's attention is a statement made by Caroline Shaw, Spokesperson for the SLOC. Mrs. Shaw is quoted as saying the following, "Preferred seating will be given to those who request tickets first." The final statement I would like to bring to your attention was made on October 23, 2000. Mitt Romney, CEO of the SLOC stated, "My advice is, get in early." With the SLOC's ticketing policy as clear as they claim it to be, I am shocked that individuals in such high position within the SLOC would make statements, such as these, blatantly misrepresenting those ticketing policies.
I would like to now refer to the SLOC's reply to my first communication. Throughout the SLOC's response, there are constant references to the fair and equitable approach taken in the distribution of the tickets/OEPs. The following are direct quotes taken from the SLOC's reply to my original letter:
"Regardless of when a Ticket Request was submitted, everyone had an equal chance to be awarded tickets through the Virtual Wristbandä random selection process."
"Anyone in the United States had an equal opportunity to request, and pay up front for tickets to any or all events to Salt Lake 2002."

The later statement has no bearing on the issues I brought up in my original composition. I have never contested the fact that all American citizens had an equal opportunity to request tickets. In fact, I am a little unclear as to why this statement was even made by the SLOC. A request, in this case, is simply asking to purchase tickets. I would like to request that you send me tickets to all of the events in the 2002 Winter Games in exchange for one dollar. See how that works? Now that "request" will more than likely not be honored but I still made it as can everyone else in the world.
The SLOC goes on to explain the process of the ticket distribution.
"If a Preferred Choice request was not selected in the first cycle of the Virtual Wristbandä random selection process, one of two things happened:

The Virtual Wristbandä system automatically searched to see if a lower-priced ticket was available for the listed Preferred Choice event. If available, Virtual Wristbandä automatically awarded the lower-priced ticket and credited the balance. If a lower-priced category was also oversubscribed, Virtual Wristbandä was run again including all requests in the oversubscribed lower-priced category and the unawarded requests from the higher-priced category. This process continued through all A, B, and C price categories

If there were no lower-priced tickets available for a Preferred Choice session, Virtual Wristbandä automatically proceeded to the event listed as its corresponding Alternate Choice. If tickets to the Alternate Choice event were available, they were automatically assigned tickets; if the Alternate Choice event/OEP was oversubscribed, the request was routed through the same Virtual Wristbandä random selection process for that particular event/OEP."

I would like to take a moment here to explain the meanings of the words "fair and equitable" according to the Encarta Online Dictionary so that in the future the SLOC can discontinue the use of words that they do not fully understand. The word "fair" means, "Reasonable or unbiased: Not exhibiting any bias and therefore reasonable or impartial." There is another meaning of "fair", one that I was unaware of, and this maybe the SLOC's interpretation. "False despite appearances: Seemingly good or true, but actually false and insincere." The definition of "equitable" is, "Fair: Characterized by justice or fairness and impartiality towards those involved." There is one other word that I would like to define and that is the word "impartial". As we see, this particular word is contained in the definitions of both "fair" and "equitable. Impartial means, "Not Biased: Having no direct involvement or interest and not favoring one person or side more than another." I can see how these meanings are somewhat complex and I can understand how they could be misunderstood but, we can now clearly see that the ticket distribution methods utilized by the SLOC were anything but, "Fair" and "Equitable". The Virtual Wristbandä system employed clearly benefits the wealthiest groups or individuals. According to your policy, a request for "A" tickets could go through four or more different Virtual Wristbandä random selections while those requesting "D" tickets would go through only one. Those of us who could only fund the cheapest OEPs were put at an extreme disadvantage. Not only were we forced to "compete" against one another for the rights to those tickets we also found ourselves competing against everyone who had paid for higher priced seating and had not been awarded those tickets as well as anyone who had not received their Preferred Choice and had listed OEP59 as their Alternate Choice.
Now while I appreciate your response to most of the points that I introduced in my original letter there is one, glaring omission. I stated in my prior correspondence that I placed a telephone call approximately one month after I purchased my OEP. I spoke with a gentleman and explained my concerns over some new verbiage on the Salt Lake City 2002 website. I explained that these tickets were to be Christmas presents and I was assured, by a representative of the Salt Lake City 2002 ticketing agency, that I had nothing to be concerned about as I had submitted my request on the first day that tickets were on sale. It concerns me that this gentleman actually works for a company that represents the SLOC and is either a liar or is so unaware of the SLOC's ticketing policies that he continued the misrepresentation of the ticketing program. It also concerns me that this is one of the most important points that I make in my first letter and the SLOC chose to completely ignore the implied question; "Why was I told not to worry when there was very good reason to do just that."
As far as the SLOC's insinuations to my sibling's intelligence level, she happens to be an active member of MENSA and an Honor Student at, The University of California at Davis. I tend to believe that she can manage her way through your "highly complex ticketing process". The following is an account of her experience with the online ticketing purchase through
"To whom it may concern:
The purpose of this letter is to detail as fully as I am able the process I went through ordering tickets for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City on behalf of my brother, Torin Heenan. As I purchased the tickets for Torin in October, and I never expected there to be any problems after I had completed my assigned task, I am vague on some of the steps, but I feel that my memory of the basics is still fairly clear.
At 6 a.m. on the morning of October 10, I woke up and logged on to the Internet. I was armed with a cup of coffee and four pages of notes that I had taken during several conversations with my brother about the purchase. As Torin is not one to take any chances, he had provided me with every possible scrap of information that might be deemed useful - credit card numbers, account number and password, ticket package number, etc.
After attempting to use the account my brother had provided me with the information and not having any luck, I created another account, using my own information. I proceeded to follow the links for purchasing tickets for the Olympics. I requested four tickets for Olympic Experience Package #59 - with tickets for Men's Skeleton, Women's Ice Hockey, Men's and Women's Giant Slalom, the medal ceremony for the Giant Slalom and, most importantly, Women's Ice Skating. After being informed that the tickets I requested were available, I was asked to provide information for payment. Unfortunately, the credit card for which my brother had given me to use was not a Visa card and, hence, I was not able to use it. Instead, I selected the option in which he would have to send in a check or money order.
Finally, I was prompted to print out two pages of information. One was a sheet of paper that was to be sent in with the check or money order, which I did not look over that closely. The second was a copy of the transaction - listing the item and quantity purchased, a surcharge and tax with a total at the bottom - set up exactly like any other invoice.
This is what I remember of the transaction. I do not recall being asked to accept any terms or agreements along the way, and as I am very skeptical when purchasing anything online and always read any contracts involved in such transactions, I am under the impression that no such contract was present or that the link to it was well hidden.
S. Heenan"

I would like to again, offer the following proposal as a peaceful, quiet resolution of this problem; in exchange for my Section D tickets to the February 21, 2002 Women's Figure Skating Event I will return the $200 I received as a refund.
In closing, I find myself drawn back to the quote from Mr. Benion. "If it keeps up at this rate, we'll be sold out in 10 days." Should the SLOC choose to dismiss this proposal, I would like the SLOC to provide the following numbers:
The number of "requests" received for Tickets/OEPs from October 10, 2000 to December 12, 2000, and the amount of requests received for each individual day or week. I am not interested in the names of the individuals making the requests, or any financial numbers, I would just like to know how many Tickets/OEPs were requested and on which dates. Please provide this data broken down by the individual packages available through the 2002 Winter Games official website.

T. Heenan

Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.