Ticket frus­tra­tions ‘gut wrench­ing’

The Southland Times - - FRONT PAGE - EVAN HARD­ING

The show goes on, de­spite what on­line tick­et­ing sites might say.

The In­ver­cargill Mu­si­cal Theatre Com­pany is frus­trated some peo­ple may be stay­ing away from its ma­jor pro­duc­tion for the year, Sis­ter Act, due to prob­lems they are hav­ing book­ing tick­ets on­line.

In­ver­cargill Mu­si­cal Theatre vi­cepres­i­dent Ber­nadette Gour­ley said the of­fi­cial Tick­et­di­rect site had been hav­ing ‘‘glitches’’ in the past six days, and some peo­ple had been un­able to buy tick­ets for Sis­ter Act on the site, when there were still plenty of seats avail­able.

The glitches were in­ter­mit­tent, she said.

Gour­ley en­cour­aged peo­ple who wanted to see the show to pur­chase their tick­ets from the ICC (In­ver­cargill City Coun­cil) book­ing of­fice or get door sales, if ex­pe­ri­enc­ing prob­lems with buy­ing the tick­ets on the Tick­et­di­rect site.

Tick­et­di­rect, which did not re­spond to ques­tions, was try­ing to fix the prob­lem yes­ter­day, she said.

Adding to the on­line tick­et­ing woes, In­ver­cargill Mu­si­cal Theatre pres­i­dent Fer­gus More said an­other on­line tick­et­ing site was in­cor­rectly say­ing most of the tick­ets for the re­main­der of the Sis­ter Act shows were sold out; and the tick­ets were also be­ing sold for in­flated prices on that site, he said.

Truth is, there are am­ple tick­ets avail­able for the re­main­ing shows this week, he con­firmed.

‘‘The mixed mes­sages frus­trate us be­cause we are po­ten­tially los­ing cus­tom,’’ More said.

The ticket re­sale web­site Vi­a­gogo says tick­ets to Sis­ter Act in In­ver­cargill are sold out on all but one day this week, which is in­cor­rect.

Emailed ques­tions to Vi­a­gogo, which has come to the at­ten­tion of Con­sumer New Zealand in the past, were not an­swered yes­ter­day.

The Sis­ter Act show has four more nights to run at the Civic Theatre in In­ver­cargill - tonight, to­mor­row, Fri­day and Satur­day, start­ing at 7.30pm each night.

‘‘We want to make sure turned away,’’ More said.

Sis­ter Act, with a cast of 33 and back­stage crew of 80, was the In­ver­cargill Mu­si­cal Theatre’s main show of the year and the ticket prob­lems were hurt­ing its chances of break­ing even, More said.

‘‘There will be peo­ple say­ing, ‘we want to see it but you are sold out’, and no-one’s that’s gut wrench­ing be­cause we aren’t mak­ing money on this show.’’

Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion man­ager Mark Hollingsworth said there was no spe­cific leg­is­la­tion in New Zealand against re­selling tick­ets un­less it was a ma­jor event pro­tected un­der the Ma­jor Event Man­age­ment Act, and in those cases tick­ets could not be sold for more than the pur­chased price.

Buy­ers should check with the event or­gan­iser for the face value of the tick­ets to en­sure they were get­ting a fair deal and whether the ticket would be valid to gain en­try to the event.

If tick­ets were be­ing resold on­line the buy­ers should read the terms and con­di­tions care­fully, Hollingsworth said.

If un­happy with the ser­vice, buy­ers should go to the seller di­rectly and if still un­happy go to the the Dis­putes Tri­bunal, which the seller could also do.

JOHN HAWKINS/STUFF 634542013

Tick­ets still avail­able: In­ver­cargill Mu­si­cal Theatre of­fice ad­min­is­tra­tor Anne Lindsay with tick­ets for Sis­ter Act.

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