Penn State Football Oversells Tickets to Sold Out Game

Posted on October 8, 2013 | in Defects, Football, Root Cause Analysis, Sports | by
penn state white out

Apparently a “TicketMaster glitch” caused Penn State to oversell student tickets to Saturday’s game against Michigan.

The opposite of having too much inventory you can’t sell is selling inventory you don’t have and confirming orders you cannot fulfill. Both can be equally costly – inventory absorbs resources that could be better spent elsewhere, while unfulfilled sales means extra effort required to rework the problems and a loss of credibility. Penn State football just ran into such a problem.

Due to a “TicketMaster glitch” Penn State oversold student tickets to this weekend’s white-out game against Michigan in Happy Valley – already confirmed as a sellout – and are now having to backtrack and request that some students voluntarily surrender their tickets in exchange for one of three “please pardon our mess, thank you” packages that could give students discounts or special privileges at future events.

(Side note: could that article have a worse, more offensive headline? Whatever it takes to beat a dead horse for attention and page clicks, I guess.)

Even though the game is a sellout, each of the three packages still allow students to sit in another part of the stadium so they still get to see the game but get the added benefits.

So as a result of this alleged TicketMaster glitch – I say alleged because it is not clear that proper root cause analysis was applied and it’s just what the school claims – Penn State had to put in a bunch of resource-consuming efforts to make things right:

– Create packages that would be enticing to those who purchased the oversold tickets and acquire everything associated with the packages
Get the communication about the packages out to those who could be affected
– Manage the transactions
– Apologize for the inconveniences
– Take a beating in the media (inappropriate headlines included)

Had Penn State done things right the first time (talking about tickets here, not that other scandal) they wouldn’t have had to spend as much in implementing corrective actions.

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