$60K lawsuit over Olympic hockey tickets

A Vancouver man is suing a local ticket broker over a pair of Olympic tickets for Sunday's highly anticipated Canada-U.S. match.

A Vancouver man is suing a ticket broker over a pair of Olympic tickets for Sunday's highly anticipated Canada-U.S. match.

In a writ filed this week in B.C. Supreme Court, Patrick O'Brien claims he ordered the centre-ice tickets online last week for a total of $4,600, plus shipping, and that he received confirmation by email.

But when he went to pick up the tickets from Allstar Tickets in Vancouver, an employee said the company wouldn't honour the transaction, O'Brien claimed in the writ.

So now O'Brien is suing Allstar Tickets for $60,000, which he claims is the cost of comparable replacement tickets for the match between the two national Olympic teams.

But Scott Ayre, the president of Allstar Tickets, told CBC News O'Brien never responded to the company's requests for more verification.

"For orders under $1,000 we require a signature to be faxed back and if it's over $1,000 we require a signature, as well as a front and back photocopy of the credit card and photo ID for security purposes," said Ayer.

The ticket broker said his company sent emails and left voice messages for O'Brien asking for additional information, but he never responded and the deal was never completed.

"In this industry you can get a lot of people doing fraudulent ticket buys online, and we want to protect our customers as well as ourselves," he said.

Cash refunded

Ayre said O'Brien received a refund and was offered comparable seats, and he can't understand why O'Brien filed the $60,000 claim.

"Why he's come to us for $60,000 in this lawsuit is absolutely mind-blowing to me," said Ayer.  

O'Brien didn't return calls from CBC News.

Ticket brokers and scalpers have come under intense scrutiny during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, which continue until Feb. 28.

Organizers of the Games even set up an official webpage to allow people to sell their own tickets for a profit online in order to cut down on scalping.

Earlier this month, nearly 200 customers of a U.S.-based company found themselves without tickets or refunds after a ticket broker failed to secure their promised seats, resulting in multiple lawsuits in the U.S.