She got a great Ticketmaster deal — for the wrong date

Susan Brett and her friend feel like they’ve swallowed a bottle of Felix Felicis (liquid luck). They’ve scored a Ticketmaster deal for hard-to-get tickets for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” for their upcoming visit to New York. But when they look at their email confirmation from Ticketmaster, they feel like they’ve been kissed by dementors. The Ticketmaster confirmation shows the wrong date — a time when they would not be in New York.

Can our advocate wave his magic wand and help Brett and her friend get corrected tickets?

Question

My friend and I are planning to travel from London to New York. We paid Ticketmaster $398 for four tickets for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” My friend, who booked the tickets, excitedly took screenshots of the transactions to prove that she’d gotten an incredible Ticketmaster deal.

We were over the moon. Those tickets are really hard to get at a decent price. Then later, when we checked the email confirmation, we were horrified to discover that the date had changed to something completely different.

We’re scheduled to fly to New York during the first week of June 2018. We want to see both parts of the show on June 3. (It’s a two-part show.) But the confirmation shows that our tickets are for performances on March 7 and 8, 2019. We can’t come to New York on those dates, so we need Ticketmaster to correct the reservation.

But Ticketmaster will neither apologize not admit that there was a computer glitch when we bought the tickets. Ticketmaster did offer to exchange the tickets for new ones for the June 3 performances. However, we would have to pay the price difference for the new tickets. The only available tickets for June 3 cost more than we can afford.

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In addition, Ticketmaster limits ticket purchases to six per person. Even if we received a refund for the 2019 tickets, we wouldn’t be able to repurchase four more tickets. We would also have to pay a conversion fee to exchange the refund from U.S. dollars to British pounds.

We would like Ticketmaster to apologize and provide us with tickets on the correct day, without charging us any additional fares. Can you help us get Ticketmaster to unhex us and fix its mistake? — Susan Brett, London

Answer

Ouch. Given that you didn’t purchase those tickets for the days listed, Ticketmaster should have been willing to assist you without charging you more money.

Luckily, you had documentation — in the form of those screenshots — that this was Ticketmaster’s error to fix. Your case is a reminder to carefully check email confirmations when making online purchases. Had you and your friend not done so, you might have lost close to $400.

No way to transfigure that Ticketmaster deal

Ticketmaster’s purchase policy didn’t help you out. The policy provides that:

We sell tickets on behalf of Event Providers, which means we do not set the ticket prices or determine seating locations. … Therefore, tickets for popular events may sell out quickly. Occasionally, additional tickets may be available prior to the event. However, we do not control this inventory or its availability. … Ticketmaster may charge fulfillment, shipping, service or other fees for using our services. Ticketmaster may change such fees at any time, including after you post your tickets.

When purchasing tickets on our Site, you are limited to a specified number of tickets for each event (also known as a “ticket limit”). …

You may do one exchange per person, per event. A per ticket exchange fee may apply. …

If the amount you pay for a ticket is incorrect regardless of whether because of an error in a price posted on this Site or otherwise communicated to you, … then we will have the right to cancel that ticket (or the order for that ticket) and refund to you the amount that you paid. This will apply regardless of whether because of human error or a transactional malfunction of this website or other Ticketmaster operated system.

But even with this policy, Ticketmaster should have worked with you to correct your tickets without charging you more money. That it didn’t do so is poor customer service, especially since you had documentation that proved that this was their mistake.

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You might have appealed your case to higher-ranking executives using our Ticketmaster contact information. Instead, you contacted us for help.

When you can neither Apparate nor fly to New York (on broom or aircraft)

Our advocate, Dwayne Coward, reached out to Ticketmaster on your behalf. He sent our contact a copy of your screenshots. And this time, Ticketmaster admitted responsibility for its ticketing error.

You have notified us that Ticketmaster’s director of customer services told you that three other customers had the same problem. Apparently, there was a software issue relating to cookies. But you and your friend will be sitting in the seats you want at the performances you originally booked.

Enjoy the show!

Have you ever been charged additional funds to fix a ticketing glitch? Were you able to complete your purchase without paying the additional charge?

Jennifer Finger

Jennifer is the founder of KeenReader, an Internet-based freelance editing operation, as well as a certified public accountant. She is a senior writer for Elliott.org. Read more of Jennifer's articles here.

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