Tennis fans have bemoaned Wimbledon’s new online ticket ballot after it did not send reminders that the ballot had opened.
The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) launched its fully online ballot for the first time this year, after scrapping the traditional paper-based ticketing system.
Fans across social media complained that due to there being no reminder, they missed out on the ticket window as passes sold out.
One tennis fan wrote on Twitter: “Wimbledon no reminder re ballot tickets? Just checked my account and looks like I may have missed them. No email or written notification? Can anything be done?”
Organisers of the tennis grand slam pointed to data protection (GDPR) rules as the reason many did not receive reminder emails. After fans pre-registered they were sent a message telling them: “After the registration phase has closed, we will contact you in November to invite you to complete your application.”
However, unless customers ticked a box giving permission for them to be contacted by email, they would not receive the reminder.
A spokesman for the club said, according to The Sunday Times: “In accordance with the GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation], each individual has access to a ‘consent and preferences’ section within their account, where users are able to select which types of communication they wish to receive. One of those is ‘tickets and ballots’.
“Under GDPR regulations, unless this box was ticked by the person to explicitly indicate their consent to being contacted about ‘tickets and ballots’, the AELTC was unable to email them regarding the application phase of the ballot.”
The Public Ballot, introduced in 1924, does not automatically entitle applicants to tickets for Wimbledon, but to a place in the draw for tickets. It is not possible to request tickets for specific days or courts, as a computerised selection process chooses the day and court offered randomly, and sends offers via letters.