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?