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Fair Go: Disabled

Published: 5:16PM Wednesday March 04, 2009 Source: Fair Go

  • Sharat & Sumant Rao (Source: Fair Go)
    Sharat & Sumant Rao - Source: Fair Go

Music is what Sharat Rao lives for.  Every evening he sits with his guitar and sits and practices and practices.As a student in India Sharat played lead guitar in a university band. But a road accident ten years ago left him with severe disabilities and totally dependent on his family.

Sharat is a huge fan of guitarist Eric Clapton, and was so excited when he found out Clapton was playing a concert in Auckland on March 4.

Older brother Sharat bought four tickets on-line for him and his brother to go to the concert.  He bought bronze class tickets at a cost of $99.90 each. It's not possible to book disabled access tickets directly online, so Sumant did what he's done in the past without any problems - emailing Ticketmaster requesting two of the seats be in the disabled area.

But two days after Sumant bought the tickets he got this email from Ticketmaster: "Unfortunately we have had a response from the promoter that the only price for the wheelchair bay is $299.90 that is located in the gold price category there are no bronze pricing seating of $99.90". Sumant was informed by Ticketmaster that the bronze class tickets were never available in the disabled access section.

Ticketmaster says a computer error meant that the wheelchair access seats that were available in all sections were not showing up on its system and says the problem was remedied on the same day.

But Fair Go called Ticketmaster 3 months after that day and were also told the $99.90 tickets were not available in the wheelchair section. Fair Go attempted to get an explanation from Ticketmaster on this but the company would only supply the programme with a prepared statement that ignored the issue.

Ticketmaster has now made arrangements for the tickets to be reallocated to the wheelchair facility in the bronze category.

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