Fourth-Place Medal

Olympic-sized refunds for diving fans with obstructed seats?

Fourth-Place Medal

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LONDON — Days before the start of the London Olympics, organizers were already offering refunds to ticket holders. But a British trade organization doesn't believe they've gone far enough.

The Aquatics Centre, designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid, had a roof that dipped low enough where 600 seats in the facility wouldn't have a complete view of the action during eight sessions of high-board diving. They could see the approach, but competitors would disappear during lift off before reappearing for their descent.

[Photos: The focused faces of Olympic divers]

LOCOG, the Games' organizer, offered a refund to fans who paid between 30-50 pounds ($46.97-$78.28 US) for tickets that they could collect before or after the event, even if they attended it. Which is a quite proactive response, considering that's 4,800 tickets sold.

Alas, not proactive enough for the Trading Standards Institute, which announced Wednesday that it believed fans who paid top-dollar for 10-meter diving — between 185 and 200 pounds ($289.65-$313.12 US) — should also receive refunds.

From the Telegraph (UK), a Trading Standards Institute spokesperson said:

"When there is a breach of condition there is a complete failure of purpose (as in goods with a lack of satisfactory quality) and there should be a full refund. A breach of warranty is more like holiday complaints where everything is in order but the pool is closed so the consumer is entitled to some money back for the inconvenience or loss of benefit."

Among those affected was Paul Tarrier, a procurement manager, of Hertford, who had spent £1,180 on four category A tickets, at £295 each, only to find that he and his family were sitting at the far end of the pool with no view of the top of the diving board. People at the event said that while the tickets would have offered a good view of the swimming, they offered terrible views of the diving at the far end of the pool.

[Related: Stephan Feck and the most embarrassing dive of the London Games]

LOCOG said that any ticket holder may request a refund by "following the complaints procedure on the London 2012 website."

And once that unhappy ticket holder locates a compass and a road map to locate the refund form, they'll be golden.

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