They closed my Book of Mormon case. Can you reopen it?

By | January 17th, 2017

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.

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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.

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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.



  • Kristiana Lee

    Let me get this straight. He bought his tickets online, entered the wrong info, called the wrong entity to try to fix it, copped attitude with said wrong entity, accused them of malicious intent, then complained to the authorities about what was most likely his mistake to begin with.

    I googled his name and there is someone with his name and city who’s a photographer. If it’s the same person, I’d think that anyone who has his own business would understand the best way to get the desired resolution is not with accusations, sarcasm, and attitude.

  • MF

    Sounds like this consumer dug a hole & Elliott’s team found a ladder to help him out of it. A good reminder to others that less than civil behavior doesn’t get you what you want from CSRs, unless your name is Don and you have a team of lawyers on retainer. (sorry for veering off a bit, but this week is the culmination of ‘the silly season’)

  • cscasi

    I guess he did not check his order to make sure it contained the right date, seats and price. I am sure those were all present before he pushed the purchase button. As for the price going yp (because there was a ticket fee included), I am sure that was disclosed, as well. It is obvious that he did not take the time to perform due diligence. Therefore, this is really on him. As mentioned, he did not score any points with his contacting the wrong entity and using his outrageous attitude in his contacts. He should have been left to his own devices rather than Chris and associates helping him.
    He is lucky he git a refund.

  • AJPeabody

    Read twice, click once. And if it gets screwed up anyway, remember the flies, honey, and vinegar.

  • Mel LeCompte Jr.

    Just a little FYI…

    The AT&T Center looks like it handles its own transactions. There is no redirect to Ticketoffices.com, Ticketmaster, or any other entity when I tried to make a purchase just now.

    TicketOffices.com appears to be a ‘ticket broker’, or what used to be known before the internet as a scalper.

    Could the OP have thought he was purchasing directly from the venue, but accidentally googled up the scalper/broker? May explain his reasoning in going after the venue first. Also explains how the scalper could have botched the transaction.

  • Mark

    It would also explain why the tickets were $115 more than the OP was expecting. As you say, if it’s a third party site they could have fudged the ticket date.

    I am, however, surprised at the inflexibility of the AT&T Centre. Plenty of theatres (at least, where I am in London) will accept returns of tickets, and will refund you the money (minus a small fee) if they are able to re-sell them. That would have been a reasonable outcome here.

  • Annie M

    A computer spits out what you put in. How is this the fault of the ticket seller? When will people accept responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming everyone else?

  • LonnieC

    No, I’m afraid it’s only the beginning of the silly season

  • Bill___A

    When you buy something, you need to be aware of what you are doing, particularly when you do it online. I went to the site and saw immediately: TicketOffices.com is an event ticket resale marketplace supported by a 100% Buyer Guarantee. We guarantee availability on 50,000+ tickets across 1,000+ US and CA venues.”. So I know a few things.
    -I know that this is not likely an official reseller for the venue, so talking to the venue about a purchase there is pointless.
    -I know that the tickets are not directly sold from the venue’s database, so an error like this could happen. Which is probably why there is what’s in the next point.

    -I know to call ticketoffices.com as they claim to have a 100% buyer guarantee, which is likely the route that should be follows.

    There are all kinds of people and companies selling all matter of things, so not only in this case but in every case, one needs to know what you are doing, who you are dealing with, and what recourse you have including how to proceed if you need to use it.

    I”m glad to see that the Elliott.org team has this resolved, but I think the points I have brought up may go further in preventing such ocurances in the future.

  • BubbaJoe123

    It’s pretty clear what happened here. This guy googled for Book of Mormon tickets, found a reseller site, didn’t realize it wasn’t the venue’s site, and bought the tickets there, for a premium. He screwed up the purchase (or the reseller screwed up), and then he started calling the venue and abusing them, when they didn’t even sell him the tickets.

  • Rebecca

    I could not explain this better.

    What gets me is that he got a refund. When I was the person that approved these, I always remembered my boss in high school – far and away the best boss I’ve ever had. When you have employees with a disposable job, the ONLY way to retain good employees is to respect them. This includes standing up to jerks. A lot of managers just let the customer walk all over them. Morale suffers. You have to stand up to the jerks, or you’ll never have good people working for you.

  • BubbaJoe123

    There is a story (probably not true, but a great story nonetheless) about Gordon Bethune, when he was CEO of Continental. A passenger was throwing a temper tantrum and abusing the gate staff for a flight Bethune was also waiting to board. He walked up to the counter, looked at the guy’s reservation and ticket price, pulled cash out of his wallet to cover it, and handed it to the guy. Bethune then told him that he should choose another airline to fly, since he was no longer welcome flying Continental.

  • BubbaJoe123

    It’s rare for theaters to do that in the US. Many not-for-profits will let you return the seats, and give you a receipt so you can deduct the cost for tax purposes, but not just let you return the tickets.

  • Kristiana Lee

    I know someone who did this! He’s an optometrist and heard his staff being treated badly. He walked out mid-exam and told this woman that he didn’t appreciate the way she treated the staff and asked how much it would take for her to go away. While the woman gawked at him, he got out his checkbook, pulled up her account, wrote her a check, handed it to her and told her to never step foot in his office again.

  • Hanope

    I’ve noticed several times when I’ve googled an event or place that I’m looking to purchase tickets, the first entry is some reseller. You have to be real careful and read the link offered. If its not the name of the venue or seller you’re looking for, continue down the list.

  • joycexyz

    We don’t know that he entered the wrong info. Could have been a typo at the ticket issuer’s end. But he probably failed to note the very high service fee. Unfortunately, he let his frustration get the better of him–easy enough to do.

  • AAGK

    Definitely! There’s never a 115 service fee when you purchase at the box office, not even Ticketmaster. This guy is just a pain.

  • AAGK

    This guy did everything wrong so it’s easy to assume he also entered the wrong date. He obv bought the tix from a 3rd party so it’s perfectly reasonable for the box office to send him back there to sell them.
    I’ve used StubHub for excellent deals on basketball playoff tickets but if it blew up, I’m not going to cry to Madison Square Garden.

  • William Leeper

    I kinda agree with you. But I know here, our local theater allows you to select the date, then for seat selection will show you a seat map to select your seat. If the seat is already reserved, the system will still allow you to reserve it if it is available on any date of the production.

    For example, I am buying tickets for a play that will run 1/2-1/6, I select 1/2, and seat 19/22, if it is already reserved for that date, the system would return with “That seat is available for 1/4. Would you like to book this?”

    In this example, that’s not the date I selected, but the seat is available for that date, so the booking system automatically updates my date. After that, I will not see the date again until the confirmation by email, and they allow no refunds or exchanges.

    Short version, the booking system thinks people are more interested in the seat than the date, and will change dates to make the seat happen.

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