Should we be offered a refund?

We bought tickets in April for a show in September this year. When we bought the tickets, only a fraction of the seats were being sold as social distancing was in place. The theatre has since sold all the other tickets for the performance and we no longer wish to go for safety reasons.
I have asked for a refund for this reason but am told the theatre has a no refund policy - I can’t even sell the tickets to someone else as they are a paperless theatre and the only proof of tickets is an email to my account - do you think they should offer a refund in this case (they have offered a credit note to be used within the next year but they only have one other show planned which we do not fancy and we would feel no safer at that anyway)?


  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,256
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    Should as in moral or legal obligation?

    As the tickets are being sold in line with government guidance with regards to social distancing and were designated non-refundable when you bought them a credit note may be as good as you get. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • mjm3346
    mjm3346 Posts: 46,853
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    The offer of a credit is a bonus as they don't have to offer you anything
  • Unfortunately if it's in line with government guidelines, they don't have to refund you :( 

    Sucks but they've offered an alternative - you wouldn't usually be able to cancel theatre tickets anyway. Did you book insurance with the tickets?
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,005
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    On what grounds do you think they should be offering a refund?

    Many theatres don't offer refunds if you are disinclined to go, which is what your reasons would fall under since legal restrictions were lifted in July.

    Could you buy tickets as a present for someone instead with your credit. Have you asked the theatre if they're transferrable? My daughter was able to do this with some festival tickets recently and she had to change the email over) 
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,198
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    no, I don't think you should be offered a refund. It sounds as though they were complying with the government guidance as it was at the time the tickets were originally booked and at the time the event took place.

    It's not reasonable to expect a theatre to operate at 1/3 (or lower) capacity when the government guidance is that that is not required. And given the enormous fincial strain of covid on the industry it's hardly surprising that they aren't offering a refund as a goodwill gesture. 

    It's difficult if you don't feel safe but that's your personal decision - I think at the moment, if you book things or make arrangements you do so in the knowledge that the situation may be different at the time you attend from what it was when you booked - and it can go either way. 

    I am a huge theatre fan and (in normal times) go very frequently.
    Everything I have booked since Covid started has made clear that the theatre will be following the rules /guidance applicable at the relevant time - I booked a couple of things which were socially distanced when I booked, and they made clear that the additional seats might be sold if the guidance changes by the time the performance took place. (I saw two shows in a day - one was still distanced, the other was fully booked. I noticed that n the one which was distanced, a lot of people didn't keep their masks on all the time. In the one which was fully booked, everyone I could see, did. 

    If you are a regular at the theatre, or even just if you make the call with the acknowledgment that you are asking a favour,  then calling and asking whether there is anything they can do - possibly allowing you to transfer the tickets if you have friends who would like to go, for example, or asking if the timescale for the credit note can be extended a bit if the only productions in the time it covers are ones you aren't interested in, might get results. 

    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
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