Ipswich: Angry Ipswich Town fans criticise club for season ticket renewal error

Town fans are angry about an error on season ticket renewal forms Town fans are angry about an error on season ticket renewal forms

Friday, April 4, 2014
10:19 AM

Ipswich Town chiefs came under fire last night after it emerged large numbers of fans could have been left more than £100 out of pocket amid confusion over season ticket renewals.

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The club said there had been a “printing error” on season ticket renewal forms which may have resulted in fans unwittingly signing up to pay £10-per-month extra towards the club academy.

Portman Road bosses have apologised and said ticket holders can still opt out of the extra payment.

But fans remained angry over how the matter had been handled - with one describing it as a “PR own goal”.

Renewals for season ticket holders paying by direct debit are being processed automatically by the club for the first time this year after a new payment scheme was launched at the end of last season.

However it yesterday emerged that these fans are also being automatically opted in to the ITFC Academy Association Ramsey Friend contribution of £10 per month over a period of 12 months, with the club aiming to achieve top-level academy status.

The contribution comes with an offer - if Town win promotion next season (2014/15), those who sign up will get a free Premier League season ticket for 2015/16.

The offer was advertised with an application form in a season ticket brochure sent to season-ticket holders around a week ago.

But the club said it made a printing error which suggested that supporters wishing to sign up needed to tick a box, which should not have appeared on the direct debit renewal form.

It did correctly appear on non-season ticket holder application forms.

When the direct debit payment schedule was sent out, it was highlighted twice that supporters had to opt out of the offer.

Supporters have until April 17 to opt out, with the first payment due on May 1.

Ipswich Borough Council councillor Alasdair Ross said: “It seems to me this is certainly not the behaviour you would expect of your local football club.

“Disappointingly, it seems like another PR own goal from those who run the club.”

In a statement, the independent Ipswich Town 1st Supporters’ Trust said: “ITFC 1st has become aware that season ticket holders whose renewals have been processed automatically by the club, are having the £120 Academy Friend charge automatically added to their direct debits.

“The trust believes that this is totally unacceptable and it will be putting pressure on the club to ensure that only fans who have specifically opted in to this payment scheme are charged the extra £120 - rather than putting the onus on the season ticket holder to cancel it.

“We will be taking this issue up with the club at the earliest opportunity.

“We urge all members to check the amounts that the club are planning to deduct via direct debit, either by logging in to ITFC Direct and looking under “Purchase History”, by contacting the ticket office on 0844 801 1555, or by looking carefully at the letter, giving payment schedules, which we understand is being sent out to season ticket holders soon.”

Elizabeth Edwards, chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters’ Club, said: “It is a great shame that this issue has taken focus away from the great work that the Academy is doing to help to secure the future of our club.

“Fan surveys (and a huge petition) demonstrated support for the investment to achieve Cat 1 Academy status, and many fans have already chosen to show that support financially.

“Surely there is no issue with all season-ticket holders being given every opportunity to support and make a real difference – though of course some will feel that this could have been achieved in a different way.”

An Ipswich Town spokesman said: “Many of our fans have been incredibly generous and continue to financially support the Ipswich Town academy by making payments including regular monthly donations to the academy.

“For those that have renewed their season ticket with us on an interest free monthly repayment basis, our direct debit payment schedule clearly sets out that if our fans do not wish to provide a donation to the academy and take up the chance of a ‘free’ season ticket if we are promoted to the Premier League next season, they can remove this donation by advising us and accordingly a revised payment schedule will be issued.”

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49 comments

  • At least they cannot blame Simon Clegg this time.

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Brian, 'what does that say about you poor spelling'? Oh dear, really, you couldn't make this up.

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    Tom

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Interesting comments on here regarding this slip up which indicates that season ticket holders are so thick they dont know what a season ticket costs although they received all the prices recently. I didnt know anything about this error with direct debit payments but phoned the switchboard because I was checking my new concessionary price had been put through. A very nice lady explained that the Academy addition had been added although I thought I had to let them know of my intentions (which I was going to do anyway). So it wasn't that difficult to carry on with my season ticket and have an input into the Academy which I am happy to do. Even so the way the club has messed up a tad is unfortunate but to blow this up as some sort of scam is pathetic. However you would have guessed who have done the 'blowing'. Those with the most hot air ;-) lol.

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    bristan

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Marcus Evans Out! Has his name and company name stamped over the club, refused to meet fans or publicise who he was (the first anyone knew of him was playing a game of golf), wants the fans to invest in an academy to turn a poor football team into one with chances of getting promotion through the play-offs and more to the point... doesn't invest any money into the club.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • Oh and Paul I was just making sure that the concessionary price had been applied because I am not thick and as you might have noticed mistakes do happen, doh. It was also an issue with me because the date which I benefitted to a concessionary price was VERY close to the cut off date at which it became relevant. An apology wouldnt go amiss and dont jump to unsubstantiated judgements before you post next time.

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    bristan

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • It shows the contempt football club owners have towards their clubs fans. I suggest he looks at moving on if he does not want to play a better part in the club.

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    Homeland warrior

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Cyril, this is a CLUB issue not a TEAM issue so while the good name of the club should be protected, most of us want the team to get a few more. Surely even you can't think that MM had anything to do with season ticket pricing policy? Or maybe you do...

    Report this comment

    Deep Throat

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • Cyril, I think you DID mean 55 yrs a blue...I never mentioned manor (sic) from heaven. Take a leaf out of your own book and get your facts right...

    Report this comment

    Deep Throat

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • at least it gives you some thing else to moan about Cyril.COYB.

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    david peters

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • It is time the eadt put the supporters in the picture as to just how much itfc is worth to the ME empire, bearing in mind what he puts in is only a loan, but what itfc possibly saves him is real cash. If this is not the case then they should do an article showing where the thoughts of me and others are incorrect.

    Report this comment

    Cyril Baker

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • Someone high up in ITFC has to take the blame for this PR calamity so it must rest with one of the joint managing directors. This is the ideal opportunity to get rid of one of them as in the business world ITFC is not a big company so why do they need 2 people to steer the ship?

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    Alan Chaplin

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • How can we believe this was a genuine mistake, when people trying to change their application are being encourage no to do so because they are not thinking of the future. It is about time ME accepted his position as owner, and make the necessary investment in our youth scheme as a private business situation and not expect supporters to keep forking out.

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    Cyril Baker

    Sunday, April 6, 2014

  • Bluearmy - no, welcome to the real world. In business, there are people that do important, well paid jobs, and people who don't. I am not suggesting that this is the way to create a better world order, but it is a fact. A printing error happens. There is no need for people to get upset. It was a mistake. Get over it. The team are two points off the play-offs. That is the best position we have been in for many years. I suggest that you, and others, get off your hysterical high horse and focus on the one thing that (I hope) we all have in common - wanting the team on the pitch to do well.

    Report this comment

    Tom

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Poor planning and oversight. Bit like the naming of our stands and facilities - we have the SBR stand in SAR Way with the SAR Statue outside it. The SAR stand is at the other end to the road named after him and houses the SBR Suite. What a mess!

    Report this comment

    blueinblue

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Tom quote "what about you poor spelling" unquote "Nuff" said ? Apart from a challenge to you to point out an example of my poor spelling. Judging from your all too frequent attacks on those posters whose opinions you choose not to share, bluearmy78 has got you well & truly taped. If you are so well educated and find yourself in one of those important, well paid jobs you refer to, then you should be aware that these top people are responsible for the work & mistakes of the "low grade employees" so consequently the "buck" stops with them(ie the top dogs)

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    Brian Betts

    Sunday, April 6, 2014

  • Paul Breach, nothing 'nefarious' as one poster has already declared but obviously you and many others feel differently. Whatever the reason it is another big 'cock up' by the terrible twins and the 'feel good' factor among ITFC fans reported by the EADT this week is disappearing at a speed that only our invisible owner can match !!!!

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    Brian Betts

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Tom, you really are a patronising twit, low grade employee indeed ? What does that say for the twin MDs and your hero ME ? You claim a printing error but what does it say about you poor spelling ? Another printing error by EADT ?

    Report this comment

    Brian Betts

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • It may just be me, but I can see nothing clear about the direct debit payment schedule clearly setting out that if fans do not wish to provide a donation to the academy and take up the chance of a free season ticket if Town are promoted to the Premier League next season, we can remove this donation by advising Town and accordingly a revised payment schedule will be issued. I have read the letter from tweedle dum and tweedle dee and their opening address in the season ticket booklet there is no where stating that you are automatically opted in for the academy, nor is there a mention of this on the direct debit renewal form. Indeed in the letter it tells me that as I have bought my season ticket using their 12 months interest free payment plan option my sason ticket will automatically be renewed and nothing has to be done unless there are any changes to my details or if I wish to purchase any membberships or cup prepayment etc. surely this academy should have been an add on at this point? Not assumed that we all want to contribute towards it, what a farce. Now it looks as though I will have to contact the club after all, which I thought I didn't need to do, how inconvienient, and annoying, well done dumb and dumber!

    Report this comment

    Paul Breach

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Well I am sure the disciples will accept this explanation, it sounds a little dodgy.

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    Cyril Baker

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • Cyril... you already know the answer to your question, even the deliberately obscure 'accounts' released to shareholders show a debt now approaching 90million - which makes no allowance for the assets stripped out of the club or the cross charging that will be going on. ANnd of course...fantasists, which might well include the owners, foresee promotion possibilities so the entire debt, which has not been subject to close scrutiny and already used for tax avoidance becomes payable... assuming high interest loans aren't reward enough to maintain the debt for tax avoidance.

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    Ray Bidwolf

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • So what we have to believe then, is that ITFC deliberately tried to con supporters out of money, and that they wouldn't notice or complain. Doesn't sound very plausible, but then that's par for the course from our cynics.

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    tel

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Apologies 55 yrs a blue, this should have read deep throat.

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    Cyril Baker

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Oh dear, Cyril and Paul have just proved me right. If you read my comment correctly it says the people who have written about the club trying to fleece people are the ones who are inferring that supporters are too stupid to notice that the price they are paying is too high and hence are being fleeced by £120. You are the ones who have said this not me. Cyril you are the most bigotted offensive little dweeb that comes here and you havevthe temerity to have a go at me. Jog on.

    Report this comment

    bristan

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • should of read 'a few more points'

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    Deep Throat

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • Brian thank god I know that you have similar views, but I just cannot understand the club being allowed to get away with this by the majority. I do believe once it becomes clear that promotion is not going to happen we will see a big change of attitude. A couple of the disciples have been on but cannot bring themselves to give a view on this scam.

    Report this comment

    Cyril Baker

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • The club have made a huge PR mistake and have tried to rectify it with their ridiculous 'printing error' excuse. This must have been manna from heaven for Bidwolf and Cyril to, at last, have a real reason to criticise all and sundry. Unfortunately both have wasted the opportunity by not changing enough words on their cut and paste stereotyped responses. I really thought I would be in agreement with them as ITFC have done little to restore faith in them as credible administrators. It's a disappointing day for supporters like me and I felt obliged to withdraw the 'voluntary donation' on principle. The day to agree with the deadly duo is still on hold though!

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    55 years a blue

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • This is a massive own goal by the club, and a PR disaster, the question to be asked is who is responsible, the joint managing directors, or Marcus Evans. Makes you wonder if the club gambled, by thinking that some people might miss the fact that you had to opt out, some might realise, and just forget, especially older supporters. Its certainly realistic, to have a situation, where say an elderly supporter received the renewal, who say was in the direct debit scheme, say they passed away just after receiving it, then the payment would be deducted from their account, could be that the person lived on their own, which would cause severe problems. Ipswich need to look at themselves, find who is responsibe and take appropriate action

    Report this comment

    jungle boy

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Bristan, nice comments about you fellow season ticket holders, personally I think it is you that is thick, sponsoring a private business, not very bright.

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    Cyril Baker

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • What does it matter to you Cyril, since you brag about having the free use of a season ticket that you rarely use? And before you say it because you don't like to watch the style of football, how about passing it on to someone who would support the team and then criticize on the basis that they've actually seen the match?

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    Deep Throat

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Bristan, I take offence being called a thick season ticket holder. What a very broad brush statement to make. I assume you include yourself in the thick brigade seeing as how you received all the prices etc. yet didn't know anything about the issue and didn't notice the paperwork clearly states that all concessionary changes will be applied to accounts and so really there was no need for you to call the very nice lady in the first place. How to win friends and influence people. Well done!

    Report this comment

    Paul Breach

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Deep Throat, I always thought the team were part of the club, I realise our owner does not appreciate this but I did not know you agree with him.

    Report this comment

    Cyril Baker

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • Cyril, you are going to have to get professional help with this unnatural obsession with Marcus Evans.

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    tel

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Bristan, I suggest you read your comments again. You'll not be getting any apology from me.

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    Paul Breach

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • What is the benefit of direct debit to a customer? All you are doing is giving money to a supplier often as in this case, based on the promise of future goods or services. In the event that the supplier goes bust the customer is not a preferential creditor and will nearly always lose all the money. I would never buy a season ticket anywhere just as I would never leave a deposit for goods that "should be in stock in about 8-12 weeks time". If a supplier tells you "it's company policy" walk away and find another.

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    MOTT MIKE

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • So, if I understand this correctly, the onus is on YOU to "contact the club" if you wish to opt out of those extra payments, otherwise you're automatically opted in, and it is not made abundantly clear that this is the case or indeed what you need to do? Many unsuspecting fans, especially among the older and less savvy ones, will be caught out by this ruse. A piece of sharp practice if ever there was one. I even wonder if it breaches Trading Standards rules.

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    blue&white

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • The ticket office has always been a disaster at ITFC and things got worse when most of the staff were made redundant. We are now expected to buy extra tickets on-line but the ITFC system is not compatible with Windows 8!! At the last home game I spoke with my brother and sister and none of us could fathom how we, as season ticket 'renewers' could opt-in to the Academy free Premiership ticket scheme. Nowhere did it say we would have to opt out nor how to opt in. Today I received a letter from ITFC (with the wrong postage on it - surprise, surprise) informing me that I have opted in! The icing on the cake is the comments from the club I have just read. They should be apologising for this monumental error but instead they choose to brazen it out. My years of experience with ITFC led me to conclude that this was a cock-up rather than the sharp practice it looks like. Sorry shouldn't be such a hard word, but as I'm only a customer I do not expect to be treated with respect.

    Report this comment

    peter sadler

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • 55yrs a bluel, why would this be manor from heaven to us, we have told you for months things are not right at PR it is you and your friends that need to smell the coffee. I think another interesting question would be how is the 90m debt made up, parfticularly as the original debt was purchased for pence.

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    Cyril Baker

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Deep throat, just a deliberate mistake to see if you were paying attention. If only that were right, senior moment I am afraid.

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    Cyril Baker

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Are the decision makers at Portman Road really so out of touch that they think it is acceptable to automatically 'opt in' fans into something costing £120? This is not just an admin error this is an appalling exploitation of fans and whoever has come up with this idea should be ashamed.

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    Richard Proctor

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • So Cyril, you are now saying that all supporters who are choosing to contribute to the academy are quote " not very bright". And you have a go at me regarding my post. Not very bright of you.

    Report this comment

    bristan

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • I cannot believe there is so little interest regarding being ripped off. It is interesting that the disciples are all missing, they believe that ME can do anything he wants as long as we get into the top six, come on Daved, Redhotitfc, tel, Bristan, lets hear your condemnation of what the club have tried to do to supporters. They could not get support voluntarily for the acadamy, so it is my opinion its try another way rather than the owner pay for it for his private company.

    Report this comment

    Cyril Baker

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Printing error probably by low grade employee. Nothing nefarious. Club has apologised and no one has list any money. Get over it.

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    Tom

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Tom - I presume the "low grade employee" to whom you rather insultingly refer is one or other of the two stooges put in charge of the club by Mr Evans.....No wonder the board has little respect for the fans if those, such as yourself, who back them to the hilt share such arrogant, self serving, self opinionated opinions of the worth of people in their employment......To refer to anybody as "low grade" just serves to remind us all of how out of touch you are with real people - shameful.

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    bluearmy78

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Well well one of the disciples comes onto the page, does he have a go at whats going on, no he just trys to insult me. Tel when you can point of one thing he has done to benefit the club then perhaps I will seek that help.

    Report this comment

    Cyril Baker

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Are the decision makers at Portman Road really so out of touch that they think it is acceptable to automatically 'opt in' fans into something costing £120? This is not just an admin error this is an appalling exploitation of fans and whoever has come up with this idea should be ashamed.

    Report this comment

    Richard Proctor

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

  • Cyril, take comfort in the old saying "there are none so blind as those who don't want to see" That probably describes the blinkered attitude of the disciples !!

    Report this comment

    Brian Betts

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Bristan, I am afraid it is you that needs to read your entry again and you will find that Paul and I are correct in our claim that you called your fellow season ticket holders THICK, and yes if there are other supporters as well as yourself who have invested in what after all is a private company I do believe your are plain crazy. Tom I think you are an absolute disgrace to suggest that you would be happy gain a few points rather than protect the good name of the club. It is clear that the majority of supporters are very suspicious of what has happened with good reason.

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    Cyril Baker

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • should of read 'a few more points'

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    Deep Throat

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • Deep Throat, I always thought the team were part of the club, I realise our owner does not appreciate this but I did not know you agree with him.

    Report this comment

    Cyril Baker

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

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