Wheelchair users' anger on phone charges for tickets

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The Independent Online

The organisers of the Paralympic Games have been accused of discriminating against the disabled by making wheelchair users book tickets for events via business-rate phone lines.

Those trying to book wheelchair tickets or check availability can do so only by calling an 0844 number costing up to 41p a minute, while the able-bodied can buy tickets online from organiser Locog without incurring extra costs.

The arrangements have caused outrage among disabled people who say they have been kept on hold for long periods of time running up large bills before being told there are no seats available.

According to communications regulator Ofcom, 0844 calls are charged between 1p and 13p per minute for landline customers. Calls from mobile phones are typically charged between 15p and 41p per minute, depending on the network provider.

A Locog spokeswoman said: "All spectators were able to apply for tickets online for more than a year. From November 2011, we provided a bespoke phone line to ensure customers could discuss their individual accessibility needs.