/ Travel & Leisure

Shakespeare in another language? Thanks for telling me

When a promotional email from Lastminute.com landed in my inbox advertising a 24hr theatre ticket sale, I just couldn’t resist. Little did I know that the play would not be in English…

With international guests coming to visit me, I thought I’d snap up some discounted tickets to an iconic London theatre. I purchased the tickets and received my booking confirmation email – nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary.

Yet, after finally making it to our seats on a cold and wet Saturday evening, we soon discovered that the play was not being performed in English!

The language of a performance seems like quite a crucial bit of information. I double checked my confirmation email but it made no mention of this fact. We left the play early, as did a few others who also mentioned that they too believed they had never been informed of the language difference.

Where’s theatre ticket refund?

I called Lastminute.com on Monday morning – it told me that I had to email as the company didn’t deal with complaints over the phone. I emailed. The reply told me that the theatre wouldn’t refund my tickets, and since Lastminute.com was only a third-party agent it apparently wasn’t responsible either. Obviously, as a Which? employee, I wasn’t going to stand for this.

My complaint was with Lastminute.com and I felt that it had misled me. Have you ever been stumped by a company apparently using the excuse of a ‘third-party agent’ to avoid taking responsibility?

Unfortunately for me, the crucial piece of evidence – the original promotional email – was missing. I had deleted the email after completing the booking, but I still had a link to the promotional page on Lastminute.com. However, since the deal was a 24-hour promotion, the webpage contained temporary cookies that had been deactivated.

Despite repeated requests, Lastminute.com told me it could not provide me with the original promotional email, nor the webpage that had talked about the deal.

The burden of proof is on you

Six weeks and countless emails later, Lastminute.com continues to insist that the promotional email stated that the performance wasn’t in English. I say it didn’t, they say it did. I’m left with no other choice except to take the matter to the Small Claims Court or let it go.

It doesn’t seem fair that the entire burden of responsibility is placed on the consumer. It’s not practical to take screen grabs of every site and link that I purchase tickets through. Have you ever suffered any issues with buying through intermediary sites like Lastminute.com? Was their customer service up to scratch?


Recently I booked my tickets .the amount which was shown on website was different from the amount was charged its was almost 12000 extra charged than the amount given on website. Moreover no answer of email not attending calls. Such a worse experience of mine with lastminute.com

Lastminute .com owned by – Bravofly Rumbo Group now calling itself –
Lastminute .com Group- based in Switzerland owned by Italians .
LM.com has been censured in the past and has a chequered history.
Not very good at resolving complaints .

Lastminute Took Payment For Refused Booking

We attempted to make a booking for a hotel via Lastminute.com It was for 15 days in March. The cost was £2,500+

Both Lastminute and Tripadvisor said that there was availability for our dates.

The payment had to be made at the time of booking, which we did via VISA. The payment went through OK. The bank completely failed to communicate to ascertain whether the payment was genuine.

We then received from Lastminute a ‘Sorry we couldn’t process your booking – please wait’ email.

Some hours later we received an email stating that the booking had in fact been refused, and that all payments would be returned in a few days. No reason was given. Huh – an interest free loan for a couple of days.
I then checked my Lastminute account and greyed out were the booking details, with a cryptic message “Unable to confirm your booking.” There was no mention of a refund of monies paid.

A few days later I checked my bank account. The payment had been made to Lastminute in full, but two days after the cancellation.

Clearly Lastminute had allowed that payment to proceed even though they knew that the booking had been refused. That is outright fraud.

I then checked the booking details on my Lastminute account, and the time taken for a repayment was now stated as being up to 10 days or longer. That’s an interest free loan on £2,500 for 10 days on a booking known to be refused.

That is outright fraud.

Of course there is no way to contact Lastminute except by an expensive premium rate phone call.