London, Mar 12 (ANI): Michael Jackson's fans were left fuming after touts got their hands on tickets for the King of Pop's London concerts, leaving them empty-handed, and later demanded up to 2,500 pounds for every bill.
Over 1.5million people clamoured to snap up the first batch to go on sale for Jacko's concerts at London's O2 arena, leaving phone lines jammed and a website crashed.
While fans were left with just mega phone bills, it was a bonanza for touts as the 50-year-old singer added 18 more shows to his ten-night run.
One of the callers, Rich Diment, 28, blasted the shambles as he was among O2 phone customers, meant to have been given priority after registering and getting a special code for tickets that went on sale at 7am on March 11, but was left in lurk.
"I've been a Michael Jackson fan all my life. It's frustrating as well as a rip-off," The Sun quoted him as saying.
Rich phoned authorised seller Ticketmaster on the dot but got an automated message saying there were "problems", and tried in vain to buy tickets online.
"I don't want to pay a tout, but I may have to," he said.
On the other hand, fan-to-fan online ticket exchange Seatwave was offering two tickets for 2,999.99 pounds, while another seller was asking 5,000 pounds for a pair.
While face value is priced between 50 to 75 pounds, a pair of tickets among the scores on eBay was priced at 1,000 pounds.
"I have bought these tickets from Ticketmaster this morning. Lots of people with pre-sale codes missed out," said a tout.
While Ticketmaster blamed a "technical issue" for the chaos and said it was sorry, boss Chris Edmonds told that the demand was "unprecedented".
Meanwhile, the 20,000-seat arena said: "We apologise."
Jacko, 50, will reportedly earn 35million pounds from his "This Is It" tour, and the London leg of the concerts will run from July 8 until September. (ANI)