'Legally Blonde the Musical – worst theatre customer service...' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.
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  • reb
    reb Posts: 315 Forumite
    I hope I am the first to post on this but probably by the time I have typed it I won't be. :T Well done Martin. :T It will be really interesting to see what happens. I have always been afraid/too British to complain but I am learning. I do hope you have a good outcome. I wonder if I had been the usher if I would have recognised you.

    Thankyou for your information, I probably would have just stayed in my seat....but no more.........

    Looking forward to the outcome. Reb :j
    I don't get to come on here too often.
    Too buzy money saving!
    :D
  • telsco
    telsco Posts: 115
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    That sounds a nightmare. Hope you're going to claim travel/hotel costs as part of any compensation.
  • outofmoney
    outofmoney Posts: 936 Forumite
    What a shame I bet you don't get many nights to go out. I suppose they don't advertise when the 'star' of the show won't be there as they would end up with empty seats on those days.
    Hope you get it sorted.
  • MORPH3US
    MORPH3US Posts: 4,906 Forumite
    I think in that situation most people would have just missed the first two songs, gone in late and winged about it all the way home - as you say Martin if the theatre company refuse the refund then you lose the money AND miss the show.

    Going down the small claims route is time consuming and incurs more costs and you still might not win in the end so for most people it wouldn't be worth the effort.

    Hope you get sorted anyway, look forward to the update.
  • david100
    david100 Posts: 39 Forumite
    That is a nightmare. I once had a similar situation regarding cast absences, I went to see Guys & Dolls in the West End and three of the four main principals were either on leave or ill. I can accept illnesses but I had bought the tickets at their own box office and paid top price for them and they didn't once mention the scheduled absences. This meant that understudies had to take over and the quality of the show was diminished. they didn't even bother making an announcement, it was only when the characters appeared that we realised and we found out what was going on by asking an usher during the interval. I wrote to the producers (no point speaking to anyone on site as, as you found, they don't have any authority regarding that sort of thing) and was sent free tickets for my entire party for an evening of my choice, and we went back and two of the three principals were back in place and it was hugely improved. So you should get similar at least if you write to them. I think that was the Ambassador group, who own many of the theatres there now.

    Regarding seats, for anyone looking to book any tickets it's always worth a trip to the Theatre Monkey site (sorry, can't post a link as I'm a new user!), they offer very good advice on seating in most London theatres.

    Good luck!
  • So sorry you and yours had such a miserable and disappointing evening. Why is it nobody on-site has the authority to do anything these days? It is infuriating for the customer who has paid good money and gone to some trouble for the service they aren't getting.
    I was recently stuck behind a long angry queue in PC World, where all the pricing was wrong because of some centralised computer update, so the customers having got to the store and shopped for their item at the advertised (and displayed) price, were then being charged a higher price at the till. The manager was refusing to sell the items at the price displayed and could not get through to anybody higher up to advise him. I gave up and went home, but the lady in front of me was saying "Look, give me the phone to your head office and I will sort it out for you! If you can't sell the items at the price displayed you will have to close the store until it is sorted!"
    It comes to something when the customers are more clued up than the management.
  • Sorry to be the devil's advocate here, but I can't see what the issue is?

    It's fairly common for actors and actresses to take time off...and you pay for the performance, not the performers (this comes down to the legal argument of whether you're paying for 'a room with a view' or 'the view from the room'). I'm pretty certain that you're paying for tickets to see the show and that legally the actors/actresses are not fundamental inducements to contract.

    Fair enough about the seats...but that's bad luck surely...and the theatre has coped with those seats in those positions for many dozens of years without problem. If you wanted better seats then you should have paid for better seats beforehand, surely?

    I agree that having upgraded they could have let you back in, but I don't think this is as bad as you've made out here or that they've acted that unreasonably. When other people on these forums (myself included) have a rant like this we immediately get shot down by others telling us to 'toughen up' and stop moaning.

    !!!! happens. Ho hum. The idea of you taking them to a small claims court for this is quite ludicrous.
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,273
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    Money Saving Expert
    edited 6 April 2010 at 11:06AM
    Sorry to be the devil's advocate here, but I can't see what the issue is?

    It's fairly common for actors and actresses to take time off...and you pay for the performance, not the performers (this comes down to the legal argument of whether you're paying for 'a room with a view' or 'the view from the room'). I'm pretty certain that you're paying for tickets to see the show and that legally the actors/actresses are not fundamental inducements to contract.

    Fair enough about the seats...but that's bad luck surely...and the theatre has coped with those seats in those positions for many dozens of years without problem. If you wanted better seats then you should have paid for better seats beforehand, surely?

    I agree that having upgraded they could have let you back in, but I don't think this is as bad as you've made out here or that they've acted that unreasonably. When other people on these forums (myself included) have a rant like this we immediately get shot down by others telling us to 'toughen up' and stop moaning.

    !!!! happens. Ho hum. The idea of you taking them to a small claims court for this is quite ludicrous.

    That's an interesting view point.

    As I note the cast member being off is annoying but not a legal problem.

    The argument that poor seats have lasted for years does not make it acceptible, more likely that people haven't complained before - some people acceptance of the status quo doesn't make it right.

    Pulling someone out of a theatre without warning they'd miss a decent chunk of the performance is very bad form - yet as I note the worst thing for me is no one on site at suge a huge performance with any discretion to deal with it.

    As for the small claims court its not ridiculous - its the only route any consumer has if you have a disagreement over a purchase and don't believe they've fulfilled your statutory rights. It's the mechanism as designed.

    I agree there should be a different route - but until their is I've hobsons choice.

    As for your note about the forum - I have sympathies on both sides.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • poorbutrich
    poorbutrich Posts: 1,349
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    No one is disputing that the lead needs time off - but surely they should tell people if they know if advance?

    Well done for highlighting this Martin - what an infuriatating experience for anyone. More competition for ticket sales should hopefully mean a better experience for the theatre goer. Keep it up and you'll be known as the customerserviceexpert as well as Moneysaving expert!
    This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

    Please click reply to discuss below.
    Overpay!
  • sarahlouise210
    sarahlouise210 Posts: 3,386
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    Forumite
    You can usually find out what dates certain performers are on holiday by going to their own fan page ( Sheridan Smith`s page is closed for updates at the moment...hmmmm!) What I usually do is do a quick google before hand if I want to see a particular person, that usually does the trick (except for illness of course!) Seats do vary and if you go to https://www.theatremonkey.com you will be able to check out good and bad seats for every London theatre - a superb tool that has found me never having a bad seat !
    I am sorry that you had such a bad time Martin... If top price seats were available why did you not book them in the first place ? I have tried to get tickets for Legally Blonde but until I can get the tickets I want and know I will be comfy and have a good view I will wait !
    Good luck with your claim - I think that they will give you replacement tickets !!
    I have had brain surgery - sorry if I am a little confused sometimes ;)
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