Buying tickets online makes refunds tricky

July 2, 2009 6:59:27 PM PDT
More and more people are ordering event tickets online instead of in person. That means you need to be extra careful before you hit the send button.

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Things today are not like in the old days when you would walk up to the box office and say, "two tickets please." When you buy tickets online, you may not even know the original seller of those seats. So if you want to make a change or get a refund, it may not be so easy.

Ken Jones knew the perfect gift for his wife's birthday, tickets to see "Wicked," the hit Broadway musical she had been dying to see.

"As I have trouble sometimes getting the right gift, I thought this could be a wonderful thing," said Jones. "Maybe have dinner in San Francisco and then after dinner go to the Orpheum and see 'Wicked.'"

So Jones went online to Ticketsnow.com and ordered two seats in the balcony, but when he entered his credit card number he put in spaces where spaces don't belong, and it didn't work. So he went back to re-enter the number, and that's when the order went terribly wrong.

"My heart was beating pretty hard, probably right up in my throat, and I was thinking, 'My gosh, I've just wasted $600 on a purchase here that I didn't want,'" he said.

When he re-entered the card number, he didn't re-enter anything else. By default, the Web site automatically sold him all the available tickets in the section. As soon as he hit the "place order" button, he realized what happened. He had just bought eight tickets instead of two.

"I was obviously very nervous at that point in time and realized I'd made a big mistake," he said.

Jones watched in horror as his credit card was charged a whopping $815. Instantly he called Tickets Now to get it reversed, but had no luck.

"They said it doesn't matter, once you've pressed that button, you know, it's too late," he said.

Jones thought of all kinds of things -- take a group to the theater, try to sell the tickets online, but there wasn't enough time and he couldn't afford all those seats.

"I've seen Michael Finney and I know they really go to bat for people, so that's when I decided it was time to call 7 On Your Side," he said.

7 On Your Side contacted Tickets Now and it said -- no refunds. Unlike the box office, when you purchase on the Web site you are really buying from a third party vendor. In this case it was an individual selling those tickets on the site. However, Tickets Now went out of its way to help us out. It contacted the individual ticket seller who agreed to buy back those extra six seats.

"I'm really happy, too, and I really thank you for all the work that 7 On Your Side has done," said Jones.

Now Jones and his wife can enjoy the production of "Wicked," without worrying about the wicked cost.

Have an issue that you want 7 On Your Side to look into? Contact them here.

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