Sour note over unwanted refund from Ticketmaster


LORRAINE DONOHUE contacted us looking for some assistance or advice in connection with Ticketmaster in the UK. Herself and her husband bought tickets through Ticketmaster for the Stone Roses reunion concert in Heaton Park, Manchester, last weekend.

“We purchased four tickets the morning they went on sale. We also booked flights and a hotel the same morning as we are travelling from Ireland. We received a confirmation email from Ticketmaster to confirm four tickets were purchased,” she writes.

“At the end of January we received an email telling us that all tickets were now beginning to be sent out by swift post through Royal Mail and to look out for the tickets,” she continues.

By April they had not got their tickets and rang to find out what was happening, only to discover that their reference number did not exist and the only way Ticketmaster could locate the tickets was to go through the credit card number and address.

“This happened every time we contacted them. Eventually we found that our tickets were not sent out and that it was actually listed as box office collection on the day of the gig. We asked if we could have that changed and get our tickets sent over by post as we needed to give the other two tickets to another couple. Ticketmaster said it would cost us around £15 postage and my husband authorised this to be taken from our credit card and the tickets sent.”

By the start of May the tickets still had not arrived, so again the couple called the UK to discover that no tickets were printed.

“We asked again for the tickets to be sent out ASAP.”

June arrived and still no sign, so on June 19th, they rang to once again enquire where their tickets were, “only to be told that they still hadn’t been sent as they were not printed yet and that it was probably best if we collect them in Manchester on Saturday. My husband asked if it was possible to get a refund on two tickets as the other couple might not take them because of all the hassle we had trying to get them to Ireland and he was told, ‘No we don’t refund, sorry’. We were told to give this man 48 hours to see if he could confirm if he could get them over to us before the weekend, so we ended the phone call on the 19th, expecting to hear from him regarding either a collection time and place or the fact that they could send them out to us before the gig.”

When the 48 hours were up and the couple had not heard anything they rang again and were told “that our two tickets will be ready for collection at the box office on June 30th. We explained to him that we booked and paid for four tickets and not two, whereby he replied that a request had been made that two tickets be refunded and that refund was authorised by Ticketmaster, and because the gig was sold out they could not re-issue us with those tickets as they had already been sold, so it was a case of, ‘Sorry but there is nothing we can do’.

“We spent over 1½ hours trying to get this mess sorted and ended up speaking with a customer support service manager who said she would need to take the weekend to listen to recorded calls and figure out what happened, but she did say that under no terms should a refund take place without contacting the client first.

“So Monday came and the customer support service manager called to say it was their fault and a mis-communication between departments took place, but as it is a sold-out gig there is nothing Ticketmaster can do apart from continue to try to source two tickets.

“Even though they admitted liability, Ticketmaster said there was nothing more they could do apart from apologise. We could not believe it. I explained that I wanted to make a formal complaint and she gave me a freepost address in Manchester to send a letter to.”

We contacted Ticketmaster in the UK who told us they would work with our reader to resolve the problem although at the time of going to print the company was unable to provide us with details.