Refunds for cancelled concert tickets
I bought tickets for myself and a couple of friends for a gig. The gig was cancelled and the ticket company refunded to me the face value of the tickets, i.e. they kept the booking and transaction fees that amounted to about 14% of the total price.
I was a bit peeved about that, but they had covered themselves in their Ts & Cs. Then one of my mates pointed me towards Guidance on unfair terms in consumer entertainment contracts. This was produced back in 2003 by the OFT and includes such guidance as “Where fairness requires a refund of the face value of a ticket (for example on cancellation, rescheduling or a material change) any booking fees charged should also be refunded.” When combined with The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 such terms appear to be very likely to be unfair and thus invalid.
With this in mind I’ve opened a PayPal dispute on the matter. In their first reply the ticket company said (paraphrasing a bit) that their Ts & Cs were legally binding so I should suck it up. When I suggested that their Ts & Cs were not binding if they weren’t fair they said that the fees cover their business overheads and as it was their suppliers (the concert promoters I presume) who let them down I should suck it up. Again, a bit of paraphrasing there.
What confuses me is that the OFT guidance is from 2003, well over 10 years ago, but it still seems common for ticket companies to hold onto fees when a concert is cancelled. Is such guidance not worth the paper its written on or are the companies just relying on inertia and the fairly safe assumption that nobody’s going to take them to court over a few quid?
I’m not going to take the ticket company to court over this, but I can escalate my PayPal dispute into a claim. Can anyone with experience in PayPal claims advise whether the sort of arguments I’ve outlined above cut any ice with PayPal or am I on a hiding to nothing or worse?Posted 3 years ago
Flaperon – Member
PayPal pure evil in my experience but usually find on the side of the consumer.
Fill in paperwork online, see what happens.
I presume you mean raising a PayPal claim, or is there something else I should be doing?
mikewsmith – Member
no idea but I just paid about £5 for delivery on a print at home ticket…
If it’s guidance then it would need taking to court for enforcement? (IANAL) and for someone to do the test case? (Cancel a big enough gig and you might get enough people)
Wow, even by the standards of the ticketing industry, 5 quid for a PDF ticket seems unusually steep. 🙁
It says somewhere near the start of the document that “the final decision on whether a term is unfair rests with the courts”, so yes. Except that in this case I think I’d be asking PayPal to make a decision.Posted 3 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
Not really it was the same as postage which these days nobody will bother with, it’s like the CC Charge on airline websites it’s part of the cost of the ticket.
The only difference here is it is actually possible to go to the promoter/venue and buy a ticket with cash on the door. The rest have to fund their business somehow which ends up being fee’s loaded at the end of the transaction. It stinks that they won’t refund though. Small claims?Posted 3 years ago
P&P/PDF ticket charges usually seem to be about £2.50 per transaction (on top of ticket and booking fees), IME. I still do sometimes get actual tickets posted to me as I can be quite nostalgic about gig tickets so it’s nice to have a card one to hold onto rather than a tatty paper printout.
I understand that booking fees are there to cover the operating costs of middle men like ticket companies. However if they fail to deliver what I paid for, why do they get to keep some of it? If I ordered from a normal online shop, which then discovered they couldn’t get it from their distributor, they’d have to refund me the complete purchase cost. Why should the ticket industry get a by on that?
Small claims would almost certainly cost much more than the amount of money the ticket company has held onto. This more seems to be about the principle than the money, spurred on by not getting to see a gig I really wanted to go to.Posted 3 years agoFlaperonSubscriber
Small claims would almost certainly cost much more than the amount of money the ticket company has held onto. This more seems to be about the principle than the money, spurred on by not getting to see a gig I really wanted to go to.
Yes, but if you win at small claims they have to pick up the cost.Posted 3 years ago
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