/ 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?

Comments
Guest
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.

Guest

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

Guest
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.

Guest

SCANDALOUS WEBSITE ERRORS AND REFUND PROCEDURE THAT COSTS THE CUSTOMER!!

BEWARE!!!

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.

Guest
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!

Guest
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.

Guest
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.