When Guy Phillips’ musical tickets arrive with the wrong date and price, no one will help him correct the errors. Can our advocates fix his tickets?
Question: I purchased two tickets to the musical Book of Mormon at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas for $187 each, using my Citi credit card. But the email confirmation I received showed the wrong date for the musical. My wife and I will not be able to use the tickets on the date listed in the confirmation because I will be traveling out of town at that time. Also, the price went up by $115 to $489!
I immediately contacted the AT&T Performing Arts Center to ask for tickets with the correct date and price. Three agents refused to make any adjustments to my reservation, insisting that the error was my mistake and that “no one can make an exchange.” They refused to name or contact the third party who issues the tickets on my behalf. And their tone became more belligerent as we spoke. One suggested that I resell the tickets.
The confirmation indicates that a company called TicketOffices.com, based in Cleveland, handles the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s ticketing.
I cannot think of an airline, car rental agency, brick and mortar store, or even another online retailer who would not have resolved a similar matter within minutes! I’m also concerned that their actions were done with intent. Can you help me get corrected tickets? — Guy Phillips, Highland Village, Texas
Answer: As a fellow lover of musical theater, I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t get a confirmation showing the tickets you purchased for the correct date. Presumably the extra $115 was a “service charge” that should have been clearly disclosed to you when you purchased the tickets. The lack of transparency about such charges is annoyingly consumer-unfriendly.
The AT&T Performing Arts Center’s terms and conditions contain the following provisions regarding ticket sales:
- Tickets, including season tickets, may not be resold, transferred or distributed to any ticket broker or any other person for any amount other than the price printed on the ticket.
- All ticket prices and season ticket package prices may include service and handling charges and facility fees.
- Due to the nature of theatrical bookings; dates, times, performers and schedules are subject to change. In the event of a change, the Center reserves the right to present a substitution for productions or performers currently scheduled. …
- Tickets, including season ticket packages, are nonrefundable. When allowable, tickets may be exchanged for an additional fee. Missed performances will not be refunded.
- Ticket is valid only for the performance date and time listed on the ticket. Performances, including outdoor events, are performed rain or shine. In the event a performance is rescheduled, original tickets will be honored for the new date unless otherwise noted in official communications from the Center.
When you noted that your confirmation contained date and price errors, acting immediately was the correct response, but unfortunately the next steps you took were problematic for your case.
First, you used aggressive, accusatory language in your request for assistance from the AT&T Performing Arts Center:
[The representative] refused to forward me to any other individual, insisting that no one could do a refund or exchange. When I asked if the owner of the company could do an exchange, he said the owner could. I asked if he just made a mistake in his comment and if he could admit that their ticketing system could as well (switching from the requested 29th, to the 27th), he refused to answer.
And your request for our assistance contained the following:
If this is a simple tactic of intentionally providing erroneous tickets, expecting me to resell them on my own and then buy from them again, what would lead me to believe that the second round wouldn’t be the same result? It’s better than an email from the daughter of a King who wants me to help her deposit her millions. Per their email, I won’t actually receive any tickets until 12/23, which would make any of my efforts to successfully resell them extremely unlikely.
You also complained to the City of Dallas and the Better Business Bureau of Cleveland about your case.
The AT&T Performing Arts Center staffers are correct in that it was your responsibility to make sure that you entered the correct information when you bought the tickets. And your hostile attitude and complaints were not likely to move the AT&T Performing Arts Center staff to look at your case favorably. It’s never appropriate to employ sarcasm or accusations when requesting assistance.
In addition, the party actually responsible for the erroneous confirmation was TicketOffices.com. Your paper trail doesn’t indicate whether you complained to its agents about the discrepancies in your reservation.
Despite these issues with your case, our advocates reached out to TicketOffices.com on your behalf. Although your request for our assistance indicated that you wanted corrected tickets, you have since notified us that a pending refund from TicketOffices.com has appeared on your Citi credit card account.