Alcina (alcina2) wrote in bad_service,

Somewhere I won't be buying tickets from again...

OK. A few months ago, I’m looking to buy tickets for a couple of rock gigs in London. One of them is at a fairly obscure venue that isn’t normally available through Ticketmaster etc., but I see an advert for a ticket agency (which I shall not name here) which does advertise these tickets. I phone up and order a ticket, and, while I’m at it, one for another gig I’m planning on going to.

Now OK, one of these gigs was only a week away, but I figured it would be OK as Ticketmaster etc. always manage to send me tickets in a couple of days, and I’ve often bought tickets at this kind of notice from them. But the day of the first gig dawns, post arrives: no tickets.

I phone the ticket agency up and enquire. The girl who answers the phone is most disagreeable. What on earth did I expect? I couldn’t possibly expect them to get the ticket before the gig if it was only 7 days away! I wonder to myself why, in that case, they took my money for one….

The girl explains: ‘I mean, we have to send off to the box office for the tickets, then they have to send them to us, then we have to put them in a new envelope and send them on to you…’

Me: ‘OK, let’s get this straight. You don’t have any tickets to sell, then?’

Girl: ‘No we order them from the box office when we get an order.’ *exasperation and a lot of attitude*

Me: *Thinks* so in other words, you charge me L5 for doing _exactly_ what I could have done myself for free, namely buying a ticket from the box office…

The girl then goes on to add that the tickets were posted to me that morning…Second Class Post. Is it just me, or is posting tickets Second Class on the day of the concert pretty bad service?

Anyway, 3 days later when the tickets _did_ arrive I had yet another conversation with Girl With Attitude, who seemed to find it hard to understand why after the gig wasn’t an acceptable time to receive a ticket, and that I wanted a refund.

Anyway, the ticket for the other gig I bought from them came in time, and off I went. Unfortunately, when I got to the place named on the ticket, a notice on the door explained that ‘For reasons beyond etc etc etc,’ the gig had been cancelled. I curse, check with the girl behind the bar in the pub upstairs (owned by the same people as the venue), have a few beers there, go home.

Next day, I check the website of Not Really A Ticket Agency to find out what to do about cancelled gigs. The website FAQ says that money will be refunded automatically for cancellations, and specifically asks customers not to hassle them about this. Ok, I don’t want to be a sucky customer, I wait.

28 days later, no money. I phone them. Girl With Attitude has a go at me for waiting all this time after the gig before contacting them; she tells me I should have called straight away, and that I’m most inconsiderate. So that’ll be why the website tells us not to then?

She then goes away for a bit and comes back to tell me that the gig in question wasn’t cancelled, so I can’t have any money back.

Me: I’m sorry to contradict, but it was cancelled.

She then becomes extremely patronising and tells me that I shouldn’t believe that a gig’s cancelled just because I hear a rumour to that effect, and the problem is mine for listening to rumours.

I point out that I went to the venue myself on the night, I asked an employee of the venue, there was a notice on the door of the venue, I spent the evening drinking in a bar where I could see the (closed) door of the venue, etc.

She gets even angrier and tells me she can’t refund my money till she’s phoned the promoter for confirmation that the gig didn’t happen. I say OK.

I then phone every day for a week, only to hear that she hasn’t phoned said promoter yet. Eventually she realises I’m not going to go away and informs me that the promoter says the gig happened. Yes, really. She tells me to my face that I’m lying.

I suppose I could have sued, but since I’d need to get the venue or the band to testify that there was no gig, it seems like a lot of hassle, and as it was all telephone, there were no records of the conversation. And it was only 8 quid.

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