In an industry-leading move, disabled customers can now purchase their tickets online from The Ticket Factory via theticketfactory.com.
Previously, disabled customers were required to call a separate booking line which was a constant complaint. They were unable to book online because ticket agents needed to understand the details of their disability before verifying those needs for any special requirements.
Now, as part of The Ticket Factory’s quest to provide all of its customers with the same experience, it’s integrated with user-led initiative the Access Card - the first ticket agent to do so – and joined forces with NEC Group venues Genting Arena and Barclaycard Arena to offer disabled customers the same ease of online booking as everyone else.
Those who are in possession of the Access Card can now reserve and pay for their tickets online as well as through The Ticket Factory Contact Centre, making the ticket buying process much quicker and simpler.
Initially designed as a ‘proof of disability’, the Access Card highlights the needs an individual has. The online technology generates an instant understanding of each customer’s disability through a series of symbols shown online and on the card which automatically highlight any requirements they might need, such as free companion tickets or the ability to choose a wheelchair bay.
The new system also cuts out any uncomfortable conversations for customers when talking to agents offline, as the verified information is readily available at the agent’s fingertips when an Access Card number is stated.
Stuart Cain, Managing Director at The Ticket Factory, said: “Why are agents and venues making disabled people feel inferior? Why should they have to call a Contact Centre and try to explain their situation to somebody down the end of a phone, especially when those without disabilities can book online with ease?
“We’ve been banging on about this for ages and it’s taken until now to find the Access Card – the missing piece of the jigsaw. Regardless of who you are, buying a ticket should be fast, simple and fun.”
Guy Dunstan, General Manager of the Genting Arena and Barclaycard Arena (where box offices are run by The Ticket Factory) agrees: “From the venue’s perspective, we’ve also introduced a number of new facilities in both Arenas to improve accessibility for our customers including more disabled toilets, a Changing Places facility at the Genting Arena and dedicated disabled seating areas.
“By introducing the new Access Card, The Ticket Factory is helping us to improve our customers’ experience from the moment they choose to buy a ticket, giving them more discretion and the peace of mind that their requirements will be catered for at either arena.”
Jonathan Brown, Chief Executive of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) - an organisation which has been encouraging improvements in online access to tickets for disabled customers for the past two years through an industry working group - added: "We are so pleased that The Ticket Factory, a STAR member, is integrating its booking system with the Access Card. This is a major leap forward for accessible ticketing."
Disabled customers with an Access Card can book online for shows now at the Barclaycard Arena and the Genting Arena.