Cutting your costs, fighting your corner
For immediate release 6 January 2017
Ticketing blunder at O2 Arena leaves children ‘hating Frozen’
Families tell MoneySavingExpert.com mass reallocation of tickets at Disney on Ice show left them with a less-than-magical view
The UK’s leading consumer site MoneySavingExpert.com has revealed that “a large number” of families who attended the Frozen-themed Disney on Ice show at the O2 Arena over the Christmas break were forced to move from the seats they’d booked – with claims some children were left sobbing and others treated to a view of performers changing costumes in the wings.
Large-scale seat reallocations affected at least 15 different performances between 21 and 30 December. Over 100 parents have collated their experiences in a document shared with MoneySavingExpert.com, listing at least 70 families who were moved from the seats on their tickets.
One woman claims she was moved from the front row with her two young sons to a different part of the arena with a side-on view, from which the bottom half of an Olaf costume was visible in the wings. Others claim their families were left unable to sit together after being moved, while one parent said: "Our daughter was so hyped for having front seats and ended up in tears [when this didn't happen]. She now hates Frozen and her favourite Christmas gift is now her worst."
The O2 Arena has apologised for “ticketing issues” and is now offering those affected refunds or new tickets. Show producer Feld Entertainment says the problems were caused by an "arena configuration change" which meant “a large number of our customers needed to be moved from their original seats”.
Steve Nowottny, news and features editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, says: “This reseating blunder has clearly resulted in a lot of very disappointed children – and their parents are absolutely right not to let it go. If you buy specific tickets, you expect to get the seats you paid for.
“Thankfully the O2 Arena has now held its hands up and admitted its mistake. Of course, it’s possible there may be some families who found the reseating never bothered them anyway – but anyone who was left unhappy or inconvenienced should make sure they contact the O2 Arena as soon as possible to demand a refund.”
What are my rights if I book a ticket and am given a different seat?
Ticket sales are covered by a variety of consumer laws, including the Consumer Rights Act 2015, Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013. But in a nutshell here's what you need to know:
- You should be given full information before buying a ticket. This should include, if possible, timing, location and seat numbers. You should be told of anything that will affect your view before buying.
- Terms and conditions should be highlighted. If a company wants to rely on any terms and conditions of the ticket, these should be made clear to the customer before booking.
- If you've been misled, there are remedies. If you were given wrong information, and this formed part of your decision to buy a ticket – eg, you specifically bought front-row seats that weren't available – you can ask for a full refund prior to going to the show. If you've watched the show, you can try to ask for a partial refund or potentially even claim damages, such as for distress caused.
Notes to editors
· Images of views experienced by affected customers are available on request.
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About MoneySavingExpert.com: MoneySavingExpert.com is dedicated to cutting consumers’ bills and fighting their corner. The free-to-use consumer finance help resource aims to show people how to save money on anything and everything, and campaigns for financial justice. Set up in 2003 for just £100, its free-to-use, ethical stance quickly made it the UK’s biggest independent money website, according to internet ranking site Alexa.com, and the number one ‘Business and Finance – Business Information’ site, according to Hitwise. It has more than 12 million people opted-in to receive the weekly Martin’s Money Tips email, and more than 14 million unique monthly site users who visit more than 24 million times a month. In September 2012, it joined the MoneySupermarket.com Group PLC.