/ Money, Travel & Leisure

‘£80 for two tickets to see Skyfall?’ Vue cannot be serious

Skyfall poster

I was keen to see the new James Bond film, Skyfall, on its opening weekend. But when I went to book tickets with Vue cinema, I had an experience that left me shaken and stirred.

My nearest cinema just so happens to be a Vue, so as I logged on to its website on Sunday morning I started making my way through the ticket booking process only for the site to crash as my payment was being verified.

A message appeared telling me to try again. So I did, only for the same thing to happen. Annoyed, I tried yet again but all of the tickets for my chosen showing had now gone. Now anxious, I tried for a later screening, only for the site to crash again as my card details were being verified for the third time.

You only pay twice… or thrice in my case

I didn’t want to try another day, so I booked tickets for a screening at an Odeon cinema instead. It was only when I checked for the confirmation email that I discovered Vue had actually charged me on each of the three occasions my payment had supposedly failed.

As the tickets weren’t cheap – between £11.80 and £12.85 plus £1.50 booking fees – that amounted to £79.50. ‘What in the living daylights is going on?’ I thought. So I picked up my phone and called Vue’s customer service line.

Licence to kill… time

I was told by an automated voice that the line was busy, that I was 128th in a queue, and that it could take more than an hour for my call to be answered. Tempted to hang up on the 10p-per-minute line straight away, I decided I had to speak to someone as soon as possible in order to stand the best chance of getting a refund.

So I waited. And waited. After one hour and 10 minutes, the automated voice informed me that instead of being at the dizzy heights of number 63 in the queue, I was actually now back at number 78. In a fit of anger I hung up, grabbed my coat and made the two mile journey to my nearest Vue.

The aim’s refund, full refund

When I arrived and explained what had happened, the manager was understanding, sympathetic, apologetic and didn’t quibble when I asked for all of my money back.

It turns out that Vue’s website had struggled under the pressure of so many people trying to book tickets for Skyfall. That will provide little quantum of solace for those who have been left out of pocket and had to waste the best part of a day chasing their money.

Vue estimates that 2% of its customers were affected, but told us it will refund all duplicate bookings. Still, if you’re thinking about buying tickets to the new James Bond film (by the way it’s action-packed, funny and stunningly shot) I hope your booking experience is, unlike mine, 00-heaven.

Did you pay more than once for your Vue cinema tickets at the weekend? Have you managed to get a refund?

Mrs S Day says:
21 November 2012

I have just received my credit card bill and was charged twice for Skyfall tickets too, I can’t get hold of Vue and begrudge spending an hour on hold at 10 pence a minute to ask them about their multiple errors. The way Vue operate is borderline criminal and I will never repeat NEVER spend another penny with them for as long as I live – and I urge others to do the same. I am currently on hold to my credit card company to organise a refund via them. Wish me luck

jane west says:
19 January 2013

On numerous occasions and dates when trying to book seats, the Vue website has failed payment, the Vue agents advised me this is my bank thats the problem, this is a load of rubbish, its the Vue website causing the problem, its a fault with Vue. Each time I get the problem, it doesnt take 3 days, it takes about 30 days. I am seriously looking at other options other than Vue now, but the smaller cinemas have been put out of business, forcing us to use their overpriced tickets, food and drink.

Vue, shame on you, blaming my bank for you or your payment processors failure.

not giveing says:
10 February 2014

Totally agree

Ian Paterson says:
13 April 2014

Hello there,
looking for advice regarding frightening visit to vue cinema, hamilton.
My wife,who has been recovering from illness, and I visited on 13th april , and had a group of around 6-8 youths run riot and intimidate a number of folk in screening.
when challenged they threstened myself and others that they would be waiting outside for us!
we couldnt approach staff after movie as they continued yo run riot in ticket area.
my wife was very upset. I have tried to contact vue but no email, automated phone line.
should I go in to my cinema and ask for a refund? As I think they have a duty of care to the safety of the customers thry quite happily charge £22 for tickets to a movue we didnt really experience.

Kind regards
ian paterson

I think it might be worth speaking to the Police. The youths’ antics might have been caught on CCTV and some of them might be known to the Police. I certainly think you should go to the cinema and ask for a refund – the staff can hardly deny that trouble ocurred. Vue has a duty of care to its patrons to provide a safe environment and should have sufficient staff resources available to deal with any disturbance or at least a process for summoning assistance in an emergency. If you want to take it a bit further you could request sight of the company’s risk assessment under the health and safety legislation, although I wouldn’t bet on it having any coverage of preventing or dealing with that sort of incident [even though it is not entirelyimprobable]. The Health & Safety Executive might also be pleased to learn of any deficiencies in the cinema’s operation – cinemas are hazardous and dangerous places if an emergency occurs and if people try to evacuate rapidly, especially if panic sets in. The local authority for the district will be the licensing authority for the cinema and also has a role to play in ensuring that places of public entertainment are conducted properly. The cinema might be in breach of licence conditions. If Vue do offer a refund, it might be a straight cash refund or complimentary tickets/vouchers for a future screening of Skyfall or other movies. Whatever you do if you accept a refund in compensation, don’t sign away any rights to take matters further if you think you should do so. Best of luck, and I hope your wife is feeling alright – Vue should at least send her a James Bond box set of DVD’s and a bouquet of flowers.

Charlotte says:
9 June 2014

Hi if I pre book tickets for mrs browns boys for 29th will I receive my ticket email stright away as I want it as a Father’s Day present or will I have to wait for it thanks Charlotte

Terry Price says:
3 September 2014

The Vue booking system has failed me on each and every occasion that I have attempted to book on line. It got to the point that I opened an account but still couldn’t purchase the tickets do I had to call the 10p/minute line. They still charge the admin charge as well as the phone charge.
That wasn’t the end. A week later I attempted to book again. Same problem. The Vue site wouldn’t open up to book tickets. Once again resorted to calling the Vue ticket line. 3 more occasions suffered the same problem. In the mean time I emailed the customer service team. The response was less than helpful. They seemed not to care. After 3 months and many failed attempts I notified them, customer services at Vue, that I intended to leave and although I’d tried, I couldn’t unregister from the vue system even though the site advises that there is an unregister option in the account page. More lies.
I supplied my full name, address and contact number but Vue replied that it needs me to call them, on their 10p/minute phone line to close the account.
The Vue company only want your money and offer no assistance.

Lisa mchuges says:
2 March 2016

Terrible customer service experience at Vue ocean terminal in 2016 Edinburgh. We went to see a 3D movie we had to pay for glasses witch used to be free. We then bought family ticket of vip seats and when the girl came into the screen all she done was look around and leave. We were furious as 3 guys got up from there standard seats and plunged themselves infront of us. Even tho they didn’t buy vip seats. The popcorn was terrible and cost £5 and the Fanta had half bucket of ice in it. If that wasn’t bad enough we got sweets from there pick n mix and they stung us nearly ten pounds. The hot dog was cold and there buns clearly came from the microwave. The cheese they put on the nachos was runny and didn’t taste good at all. They also charged us 4.49 for Ben n Jerry’s ice cream witch only cost £2.50 at tesco for 500ml tub of save our swirl. Absolutely feel ripped of. My husband wanted a can of juice and they charged us 1.79 for lemonade witch our corner shop sells for 0.89p. The member of staff who served us wasn’t polite and didn’t really care about the standard of service. The seating area were we waited was filthy popcorn on the floor, spillage on the floor and sticky tables. The staff at there barrier was gigging and playing on a mobile phone. We shall not come back to vue again and we are determined to tell our friends and especially my parents who go to seniors club on Wednesday to go else were. How can a manager let these standards be right. I have posted this add on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and TripAdvisor. I think this has got to be the worst cinema I’ve visited. In future we will go to odeon were prices are better and at least they deliver exceptional customer service.

Amelia says:
4 October 2016

This has just happened to me, four years later their system is exactly the same. How much money have VUE made from these mistakes. How many people have checked their bank accounts?

I asked them if this is a known problem, the operator said they have known for 3 weeks. Sounds like 4 years to me!

Ron Taylor says:
4 October 2016

the vue website is the worst one on the planet. i have given up trying to book on line and now drive 6 miles to book at the cinema in this day and age they do not deserve to be in business

I only wish that I had seen this site before I tried to book tickets. I have to book on line as I have a Vitality offer which means that I am entitled to a free ticket every now and then – but you have to book on line. So I tried to book my freebie and 2 additional tickets for my friends. Well the website was a nightmare, I couldn’t get through for ages past where you put in how many tickets you want, I was delighted when I got through the system as far as the payment details, but then it failed and said there had been an error and please try again. I did a few times without success. The next morning I tried a couple more times. Then I tried to contact Vue on line, the contact form did not work – of course it didn’t. I can’t bring myself to use the premium charge phone line. Then, way later than I ever should have done, I Googled to see if anyone else was having problems and found this site. No, surely not thought I… then I checked my credit card on line and have just discovered £24.08 has gone through on my card 6 times! The real kicker – I still haven’t got tickets for the film – wow. I hope the manager at my, not very local Vue is helpful, I am pretty aggravated by the whole experience.

Stuart says:
11 October 2016

I went on Vue website to book 2 tickets for Bridget Jones Baby at Altrincham. When it reached the payment page the screen ‘crashed’ saying it was not secure so I did not know if payment had been taken. I telephoned Vue and was told by the lady that she could not see it on her screen so the only thing to do was to book again through her and if payment was duplicated if I called the Mon (two days later) I would be refunded immediately. I did so and attended at Altrincham – the cinema had no attendants there and people arriving could not see where their seats were as the row nos were not visible, so you had the situation of people queuing up the stairs trying to find their seats. On the Monday having got my statement on line I saw that the payment had been duplicated and telephoned Vue and was told that I would have to wait 15 days for a refund as it had to go to Head Office. I said to the lady that this was ridiculous as had been charged twice including two booking fees and now had to wait for 15 days to get a refund for them taking money out of my account twice. I asked to speak to someone in authority and was told snottily that I would only be told the same thing. She said that she would try to find someone and then left me on hold for 10 minutes until I disconnected. I contacted my card provider who has taken it up with Vue but as it appears this occurs on a regular basis of them taking out money twice and not refunding it for 15 days is it any wonder why they are making vast profits. As an alternative to paying the booking fee you can book via its telephone service charged at 13p a minute. My suggestion go somewhere else.

2016, new movie, new location, same terrible website transaction errors and not even an answer from customer service

Mark Peers says:
8 January 2017

I’ve had the same issue with Vue. I’ve been charged over £300 when trying to book tickets for rogue one through the website and it kept crashing at the payment screen. Can’t get customer services on the phone or to reply to an email to get a refund. I think it’s disgraceful, not only am I £300 out of pocket but no one at Vue seems to care.



Like others, I only found this thread after this happened to me recently.

Vue cinema are obviously fully aware of the on going web site issues and have failed to address it. personally I think it’s a bit of a scam. Customers are charged for unsuccessful bookings or charged multiple times then have no choice but to phone the premium rate help line to get their money back. Many customers have been left out of pocket by this, even if they manage to get the tickets refunded Vue are not reimbursing for the call charges which in some cases has been more than the tickets.

My advice is if this has happened to you… First….REPORT IT and then TELL EVERYONE you know to spread the word and hopefully help someone else to avoid suffering this experience.

Eleanor says:
31 January 2017

I’ve just checked my bank statement and yep over £53 has been taken out of my account even though the website crashed!
Can’t believe this … thanks for your posts people I’ll be heading back to the cinema tomorrow to request my rightful refund.
Bloody cheek of them!

Brian Lockyear says:
4 July 2017

We were given two gifts cards for £20 each at end 2015 but only used one before we got involved with moving house and the cards got packed away and unfortunately forgotten about until we found them last week – went to Vue and told we had lost the £20 left on one card and nothing on the other card. Asked customer services if anything could be done, maybe goodwill gesture as we were good customers both before we moved and after but they said no. So we lost £20 but we won’t be going back to Vue ever again. They lose out, we lose out. Stupid. Cards only last for 12 months. Very disappointed and intend to make sure people realise this and don’t get caught out like us.

Ron Wheeler says:
14 August 2018

I had tried a week or so to book online for La Boheme on13 Sep.
The website wouldn’t show the seating plan with booked seats. So I b oo ked by phone easily.
Now i want to take a friend & the website screen is still the same! I plan to book online to find nothings changed. This time the telephone tells me (helpfully) there is a 5 minute wait. Understandable but not going to wait.

mike says:
10 January 2019

I and my partner on a separate computer have just tried to book 2 tickets to a vue cinema listing in stirling . My partner failed on her apple computer. I have failed on my hp laptop. got to the payment details but it wouldn’t allow me to enter card details or payment details anywhere. Don’t trust this website. I don’t believe there is an actual cinema in stirling. I don’t believe there is a legal entity called vue cinemas . This website is a scam. Thankfully they haven’t scammed me this time and never will. Off to the cinema in Perth to watch another movie having used their website successfully on many occasions.