/ 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?

Comments
Mary Drechsler says:
22 March 2015

Having chosen a flight & hotel package on the lastminute.ie website ( yes it does exist) it failed to complete the order. Making the booking on their phone line I was subsequently charged £ – even though my residence address is clearly € area and No currency was referred to on the call which was recorded (admitted by them in subsequent email). The price I wrote down during my attempted booking in € was almost the same figure billed in £ 4 days later (I had to wait that long for the confirmation email). I would never have paid the room rate it turned out to be – so I’m charged 25% more and getting nowhere. Their customer relations leave a lot to be desired. I’m calling it a scam. I could have been calling from any non-£ country surely? Previous postings all very interesting.

Caroline says:
13 April 2015

Very unhappy with lastminute.com they changed our flight and put us on a non existent 8.35 flight from Napoli to London on Easter Monday !! We got to the airport at 6am to find that there was no such flight. luckily we managed to get a flight into London at 11.30 (5 hours later). I have tried to complain and I get responses from customers services in India who say the below. We were not delayed!!!! They gave us an itinerary for a flight that did not exist and We could have been stranded! Prior to our holiday, Lastminute.com called and emailed to informed me of the changed itinerary and sent me an email and left me voicemails asking me to confirm that I had acknowledge that they had moved us to a 8am flight (which i did), but there was no such flight.

This cant be right, they are accepting no liabilty.

! : Order reference: 114758794 Thank you for your email of 07th April 2015. I am sorry for the delay in replying to you. I am concerned that your travel plans will be disrupted by the schedule change to your flight. We act as an agent when selling flights on our website and our role is a limited one. Schedule changes are made by the airline and are something we don’t have any control over. All we can do is pass the notification from the airline to passengers whose bookings have been impacted. Regarding the compensation request you to kindly contact the airlines. Once again I’m sorry your travel is affected and that my response can’t be more helpful. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to explain. Kind regards, XXX Customer Relations Teamlastminute.com

Lynsey says:
19 April 2015

Help!!! I booked with last minute.com for return flights to Malaga. After entering my card details it showed there was an error with my Payment method. I tried again using another card for the same account and the same error message appeared. I received no confirmation emails but both amounts have been debited from my account. I phoned customer service and got a rude gentleman who told me there was no error with my booking!!! Why would I book the same flights in the same names within 5 minutes of each other? He also told me I didn’t have any reason to complain!! Has anyone else had this problem?

Afternoon Lynsey, woah that’s not great when you’ve been charged twice for the same booking! I’ve had a chat with the Which? Legal team and they’ve said they can certainly give you advice about this. You can find out more about the service here:

http://legalservice.which.co.uk/

L Chan says:
22 April 2015

We booked Urinetown last autumn through lastminute.com’s sale. When we turned up at the theatre the box office had no record of our booking. A frantic phone call to lastminute revealed that the booking was for the matinee that day that had passed!

I thought it was my fault. But looking at the email I realised there was no mention of a date, let alone a performance in the confirmation at all! So if I hadn’t put it in my diary we wouldn’t even know which day to go!!

I contacted lastminute about this. They graciously (I thought) emailed me vouchers for £60 as a goodwill. But then we discovered we could only use it on flights, hotels, and other things that doesn’t involve being arranged by a third party – which is very limited indeed and frankly we could find cheaper elsewhere. So we just let the vouchers expire. Not gracious at all as it turns out.

Just looked at their offers of Gypsy at the Savoy yesterday – heavy booking fee plus not knowing where you’re actually going to sit makes their offer not at all competitive.

Lastminute used to be good but now I don’t know what it’s good for!

Simon Albury says:
22 April 2015

On 25 January I tried to book 4 tickets @ £20 on a special offer for “Anything Goes” at the New Wimbledon Theatre. I started the process via the Lastminute web site but found the web site confusing so I made a telephone booking. Reviewing my emails, I quickly discovered that I had been charged£80 for both the telephone booking and a web booking as well, even though the web site had given not indication that I had made a purchase. Within a few minutes i phone Lastminute and sought a refund for the web booking, explaining what had happened. The email receipts were less than five minutes apart. Lastminute refused to make a refund. I had paid for the tickets with an \Amex card. I disputed the charge via Amex which provided a refund. In the past I have booked air tickets via Lastmininute but I shall never use Lastminute again. Thanks heavens for Amex without whom I would have been £80 out of pocket.

kris says:
28 April 2015

i booked a flight for 28 of august and it appears 18 of august , i’ve tried to change and it will cost £390 more than i paid for this flight, i had only one choice to cancel my flight they will give me back £90 from £380 flight price. i’m very sad and disapponted cause i have to do a new booking and i will spend more than £700 all together 🙁

Mo says:
5 May 2015

I’ve had a horrible experience with lastminute.com

On our way back from Cancun to Miami (were on my honeymoon) our flight time was changed to two hours earlier than expected. We were not informed about this . Stuck in Mexico’s airport, with no money, internet or any kind of help. We finally got hold of lastminute and told them about the situation. Customer service had informed American Airline that lastminute contacted us and informed us about the change. There was no phone call made. Neither any email. We checked out tickets a week earlier and the time of departure was still 16.33. We have an app that follows up any flight changes through lastminute and we didn’t receive anything on there. At least they’ve could’ve emailed us if the call was disconnected. We called them at least three times and asked them to contact us with a solution. We didn’t receive any assistance. Every effort was made but unfortunately with no success. Consequently we had to wait at Cancuns Airport for our salary to be sent to our account then we bought new tickets. We had to wait for another 14 hours in Cancun Airport. No chairs, no couches no nothing. The floor was cold as the winter and the language barriers made it hard for us to communicate with anyone. We were very unsafe. Then after 10 hours in Miami we were headed to London just to wait another 6 hours. It took us 42 hours to get home and we had to make unexpected expenses such as to book a lounge and to eat. I am frustrated that they could let this happen. I want a refund for the new flight tickets we purchased for approximately 1000 dollars and for the lounge we had to book for 100 dollars thanks to our connection time. Nothing will ever compensate for the horrible experience we had to go through but at least we can get our money back. But they are refusing to compensate. According to them they called us 5 months ago and we approved the changes. We’ve tracked down all calls made during the time they said they called and there wasn’t any phone call made. Their workers had no remorse when we begged for help. What should we do?

Hi Mo, thanks for your comment and I’m sorry to hear about the problems you’ve had with Lastminute. I understand that your flight was brought forward 2 hours, without notice, but some of the advice for cancelled or delayed flights can be used under these circumstances, too:

http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/problem/i-had-a-flight-cancellation-can-i-claim-compensation-

The Which? Legal team can also assist you with matters like this; to learn more about the service, follow the link below:

http://legalservice.which.co.uk/

Jamest says:
8 May 2015

To add to the complaints against lastminute.com – I booked hotel rooms for myself and a colleague through lastminute and pre-paid the full amount upfront using my credit card. When checking out the hotel mistakenly charged my colleague and so once I returned home I found additional charges on my credit card, having effectively paid for one of the rooms twice. I contacted lastmin.com who initially were very good – apologized and said a full refund would be through shortly. A refund did appear quickly but it wasn’t for the full amount (over £22 “missing”) and when I followed this up I was brushed off with “we’ve done our bit, any further complaint take it up with the hotel”. I imagine the difference in amounts has something to do with currency exchange rates and transaction charges but to me it’s quite simple – if you wrongly took an amount of money from me it is up to you to return that same amount. I will follow up my complaint and try to get it resolved but I sense it will be a long and dismal affair.

Tahir says:
6 July 2015

They are cons i booked a holiday with taxi service and taxi didnt turn up i rang them from abroad they told me ring taxi company dorect i rang them they could not locate booking and i left it got another taxi i came back and complaint twice no response i rang they cant understand me so i cannot get my money back really annoyed

Flight ammendments says:
10 July 2015

Flight alteration
The most awful customer service experience I have ever had. Booked flights to Thailand in August but had to change the dates for a week. Contacted customer services who advised us of the admin fees which we were happy to accept. Saw the flight we wanted to change to being advertised for a 5 pound difference. Advised them of the prices only to be told that flight was not showing up on their systems even though we could see the flight on their website. Was being asked to pay a 60 pound per person difference plus charges instead on top of being constantly put on hold and that a supervisor would only be available after 4 hours. 1 hour 34 mins later no resolution resulting in fare prices going up. Asked for the complaints procedure and was not given an avenue to complain through. I will be contacting watch dog.

Hi All

I booked my family tickets with lastmiunt.com over the phone company staff made a mistake with name I reported the mater soon after I received booking conformation email which was the same day with in an 30 mins as it was there fault they send me an email refunding the full amount £1314.98 with 7-10 days although I’m not due to travail till next year jan butt its been 23 days now NO money refunded I have called them soooo many time all they saying the refund its in process butt NO money in my account. they made me sooooooo upset.
I will NEVER EVER use them again )_:

Richard Newman says:
21 August 2015

I have used last minute once and never will again.
I booked a return flight from Manchester via Dubai to Tabuk in Saudi Arabia. In Dubai, the airline asked to check my ticket which they re-confirmed (in other words, I had the original 4 part ticket and another document saying all was OK). Both documents clearly stated that the airline had my details and that all was in hand. The airline was Emirates and its partner Fly Dubai.
On my return from Tabuk, I was told that I was not on the passenger list and that there was no seat despite my ticket being live and re-confirmed just 4 days earlier. I immediately rang my secretary who had the advantage of a landline and asked her to sort things out for me. She soon rang back to say Last Minute would not speak to her because although she had booked the ticket and knew all the details, she was not the passenger. I ended up calling and after 1 hour 10 mins and zero progress the battery on my phone gave up so I was back to where I had started. I even have a screenshot of the call duration and number to prove the point. The next available flight I was told was in 4 days, but I persisted and paid SAR1,150 (about £212) to get on the flight I had already paid for. The airline insisted it wasn’t their fault but last minute would reimburse me if I claimed on my return. Having settled for this, they then would not put my luggage through to Manchester because in effect I had purchased a single ticket to Dubai, so I had to clear customs and immigration to get my bag back and check in all over again.
I wrote to Last minute with a full run down of the events including a receipt for the cost of the flight. They took an age to respond, only to tell me my claim had failed. It seems that the only check they did was with the airline and that in fact I was on the flight but they cant grasp the point or simply don’t want to understand that I was on the flight because I had paid a second time.
When I ring their call centre, nobody will speak to me other than the guy who turned down my claim and he is always on another call and never returns my calls. At no point have Last Minute replied to my written complaint.
I thought I would try another approach and sneak in by the back door so I looked up Last Min on LinkedIn. Interestingly, if you choose to follow them, there is a statement saying that if you have an issue with Last Minute you are not to do it via any employee who is registered with LinkedIn which suggests to me that this is a frequent occurrence. I cant imagine why.

Richard Newman.

Neil Potter says:
25 August 2015

I wish I had found this forum before deciding to use lastminute.com to secure some recent theatre tickets.
I purchased 4 x £55 tickets to go and see ‘Wicked’ at the Apollo Theatre in London – the ‘deal’ included a Free pre-show meal at Hard Rock Cafe. My confirmation email stated that I needed to be seated for my meal at 5pm and to collect my tickets from the Box Office an hour before the show started at 7.30pm.
All four of us arrived at the restaurant at 5pm and were asked to wait at the bar whilst our table was prepared. The waitress behind the bar asked what we wanted to drink and I was charged £14.75 for 4 soft drinks. We were ushered to our table by 5.15pm and presented with a request to show confirmation email. As I only had this on my smartphone, I was asked to email it to Hard Rock Cafe email address marking it FAO of our waiter and stating ‘Silver’ in brackets.
A tiny piece of paper was handed to all of us with an extremely limited menu choice – basically, a burger or a salad followed by ice-cream…oh and a free soft drink with a free top up – can you see what’s already happened here?
Fast forward to our arrival at the Apollo – the queue for those people with tickets was small and very short, our queue was horrendously long. After a wait of around 20 mins I arrived at the Box Office to collect my tickets and was surprised to receive 4 with a face value of £35 – row ZD in the Stalls.
‘Wicked’ was great although my wife had to use the binoculars for the second half as she couldn’t see the stage too clearly.
When we arrived back home, I contacted lastminute.com via email querying the reason we were charged for soft drinks, why the face value of the tickets was £20 less than paid and to explain how seats in row ZD (two rows from the back) warranted a £55 premium.
After a number of exchanges, and an offer to refund me £20 for not being offered the ‘Gold’ menu, I’m now at a point where they say they have reviewed their decision and will not be increasing their offer.
I have all original copies of the emails, the receipts for the drinks, the theatre tickets and a screen brag of lastminute.com website which upon re-reading is clearly misleading its customers. It transpires that the Theatre ‘needs’ to show a lower value ticket to offset the cost of the meal for ‘accounting purposes’.
So much of what I’ve been told by lastminute.com Customer Service Team smacks of a company being overtly unscrupulous and knowingly wishy washy with their websites terms and conditions.
I’m not after a full refund, I’ve co-operated fully with all requests for copies of the documentation and am keen to get this resolved without involving Trading Standards or BBC Watchdog.
I fear that my trust in lastminute.com has been totally mis-placed and that I’m going to have to fight long and hard for justice.

I’m in a long running saga with last minute. They told me my daughter could cancel her hotel booking while she was in Canada and have a full refund, then they totally lied about this, they are checking the recorded call but many weeks later we are still in the position of nothing.i have called again today and they have no cord of anyone checking the call. I am not letting them get away with this

I rang them to book urgent flights for my wife and I to go to Australia to be with my dying mother in law. I made it absolutely clear that we had to fly out together, on the same flights, with different return dates which is exactly why I called rather than risking booking one at a time online. I was then assured that we had the appropriate bookings and then we received Confirmation of Booking emails which contained Emirates booking reference numbers for us both and telling us to proceed to check in. I then successfully checked myself in on the Emirates website. When I tried to check my wife in, it didn’t work so I called Emirates. They said that there was no such booking reference and that my wife wasn’t on the flights, only me. I was up half the night trying to get sense out of Lastminute who claimed initially that one of the flights had been cancelled, hence my wife being unable to get on it. This proved to be a complete lie and then they changed their story and said it was overbooked. I told them that I could not possibly fly there by myself, it completely defeated the purpose of the trip, which I had made abundantly clear at the very outset and invited them to check the tape recordings. I had to make alternative flight bookings via another agent and now they’re refusing to refund all of the money for my ticket, saying that I have to pay almost GBP400 in taxes, etc even though they are wholly responsible for the fiasco. I have spent hours on the phone to no avail, they refused to escalate my complaint and they refuse to answer my complaint emails so now I’m preparing court papers to recover the amount owed. Reading the thread, it appears to me that there are obvious patterns here in relation to their business practices and if there’s a lawyer or organisation out there that wishes to have a go at them on a “class action” basis, I have some very solid ammunition which can be utilised against them. They’re a complete and utter shower and I will not let this drop.

Do not booking with lastminute.com..absolutely rubbish service

I booked a flight and hotel package with lastminute.com to Zurich through their online search portal. However, after booking I realised the airport that popped up on the booking confirmation is not in Zurich. I called the customer service team to confirm and the lady checked and confirmed she experienced the same results. With this she said she sent a query to the relevant team and I would get a phone call with a resolution within 24 hours.

50 hours later and not receiving a call I called again after waiting for 35minutes in the queue (the longest I’ve had to wait to any company call centre), to understand what is going on and was told I should have got a call again within 24 hours as investigation is still proceeding. Not happy with this answer I spoke with Rohit Kumar the supervisor and he assured me I would get a phone call with a resolution by 7:30am the following day and if I don’t get a call he would call when he gets into work. I recieved an email at 7:19am saying someone tried calling but I got no missed call or voice mail. Confused I called the 24 hour number provided to me in the email and after waiting for 20mins to get through I was told customer service is not open till 8am. The email clearly has the wrong information then. I called again at 8:02am and waited for 45minutes in the queue before putting the phone down. I called again at 1/2pm and again after waiting for 20mins to get through the lady said she sent another escalation to the back end team to call. I asked for a call log number of the call i apparently recieved and she said last minute cannot look through all the calls to give me this. Such liars! Legally im sure for audit reasons they have reporting and can easily obtain this information. She however promised I would get a call with a resolution within 24 hours. How many times can I keep being told this. My husband who is also angry with the service provided to us calls again 6 hours later to understand what is taking so long to give me any answers and he is told the back end team are waiting for flight price details so they can change the flight to the correct airport. Surely this does not take 5 days. He was told I would get a call the following day. I then called again at 2pm the following day as was assured I would get a call prior to this time and spoke with Swetha Thakur. She said she would escalate agin which is an answer that is not good enough. I thrn spoke with the supervisor Mohsin Khan where he greeted me with a rude hello. Not professional at all. I told him I want to get a full refund and compensation for the hassle as this is now getting redicious. I’m supposed to be flying in 5 days and could have by now booked with Expedia or their other competitors who service is a 110% better. I need answers as still don’t have any and am expecting to hear back withing the next 5 hours. I don’t understand what is going on and have not been assured my booking would be sorted or I would get a full refund.

It is now 7 days since i first called lastminute.com and not once have i recieved a call. I called again at 21:00 13/12/15, spoke with someone called Dipak Patil and again he doesn’t have a clue what is going on and has stated there is no information from the back end team. Surely anyone in my situation with be fuming when i’m supposed to be travelling in 4 days and do not have a clue what lastminute are doing. So angry with this company. Never have I received such appalling service

Wendy Parsons says:
7 January 2016

On 16th November we booked a trip via Lastminute.com to Paris, for December, via the Eurostar.

We checked the address on google maps to confirm it was in the 9th Arrondisoment which was the location we wanted to be, and based our activities around that. We were also looking for a Hotel that was in a quiet side street that was unlikely to suffer from a lot of traffic noise.

We arrived in Paris and proceeded to the hotel address detailed on the travel voucher. Upon arriving we were informed that in fact we did not have a reservation at this hotel..

I contacted the number detailed on the holiday voucher, and was kept waiting on hold for a good 20 mins (while using mobile roaming). When we eventually got through to a member of your reservation team, I explained the situation and asked him to confirm the hotel address where our booking was. He was able to confirm the address we had on our hotel voucher and said that is the hotel we should be staying in. I explained to him again that the hotel receptionist had said that we were not expected at this hotel. He explained that he needed to recheck the details and I was placed on hold again.

When he came back, he read a different hotel address out to me and agreed that perhaps we had been given the wrong details. He said that he would forward details to the right team and come back to us. I asked him how long this would be as we currently have no where to sleep, he said that he would make it a high priority.

The hotel receptionist allowed us to wait in the hotel reception for the call, and said that this has happened a few times with lastminute.com. She explained that there are 3 Hotels in Paris called Hotel Victoria and perhaps we should have been in one of them.

We were still waiting 45 mins later and decided to try to find the details ourselves, so googled the details for the other Hotel Victoria’s. I phoned around and the Hotel Victoria in the 18th arrondissement confirmed our reservation with them. The receptionist gave us directions to find the hotel, which was 20 mins in the wrong direction!

The Hotel we ended up in was in the red light district next to busy intersection and above a wine bar (with our room directly overlooking so it was very noisy) the toilet was without a handle – the top had been removed to allow you to pull the mechanism up inside the cistern.

Had we known this was the location, we would never have booked it. We feel that this has been missold to us on the basis this was not the Hotel that we booked in good faith.

We feel that the customer services team has let us down, we contacted them as soon as we arrived however it was only after tweeting 4 times that anyone came back to us. We still have not been phoned back as we were promised. If we hadn’t taken the initiative to to find the correct address we would have been abandoned to sleep rough on the streets of Paris.

We had to go to the inconvenience and cost of buying extra Metro Tickets as well as book taxis because of the location of the new hotel.

I sent a complaint email to them on 31st December 15 and was told we woulf have reply in 72 hours. I have just phoned them chasing a response, they have confirmed they receibved email and surprise surpise need to escalate it. Is there anything that can be done? I will pursue this, but I am unsure how we stand.

What a disappointment.
Does this help from their website:

ABTA

What is the ABTA scheme?

Where the ATOL scheme of financial protection covers flight-based holidays, if you buy a land or sea-based holiday such as coach, rail or cruise holiday from an ABTA member you may be financially protected by the ABTA scheme managed by the Travel Association if the travel company with whom you booked is ABTA protected.

We are a member of ABTA (no. E7760 / V7780) which means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct. Check our ABTA membership for details of ABTA benefits. We use ABTA’s approved alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme to resolve complaints. See http://www.abta.com.

Is my booking ABTA protected?

You will be protected under the ABTA scheme when you book a Eurostar ticket and accommodation as part of the same booking via our City Break/Flight + Hotel booking path (see our City Break/Flight + Hotel Booking Terms and Conditions).

I booked a flight today to fly the same day as I was waiting for work date confirmation. Lastminute.com took the payment and I got an online confirmation after payment. 30 minutes later I receive an email saying my money had not been debited but had been frozen and the flight was not booked. so now I can’t access my money to book another flight and have to wait for it to be in frozen.

to add insult to injury I have just lost money (£500) on hotels that I should of been staying in.

I have called and emailed them several times today and have pretty much been fobbed off. How can a company freeze your money so you can’t access your funds and then not honor the flight. This is so unacceptable.

Paul

Last minute is PATHETIC!!!!!! I’m trying to make a simple change in dates, trying over 16 days now. Half of them say sorry, it is not possible, other say they don;t have available tickets( and I gave them 5 flexible dates) I phoned the airlines direct and they said that it is a lie, there are tickets available. Also phoned Hahn air where last minute apparently work with, hoping they can help me. they guy at Hahn air just told me sorry they cant do anything and I must be firm when speaking to last minute because they don’t change tickets easy because it is difficult.Last minute doesn’t answer your call within 30 min EVER!!! wasting more than R2000 airtime by now. Send emails, with no reply. Last minute will NEVER see me again. They don’t do their best, not one of them I spoke to could give me service is thought I would expect from a company as them. I spoke to an ERIC guy on Thursday 14 January 2016 and he said that a agent will phone me the next day. Well it is 19 January now. Still NO call. No reply to email. No help.