Daily Mail

I’ve been left £850 down after Al Pacino event was postponed

Our fearless readers’ champion

- Sally Sorts It

Dear Sally

IN SEPTEMBER 2022, I purchased two tickets for An Evening With Al Pacino through ticket agency Eventbrite at a cost of £850.

The event was due to be held in Glasgow in May 2023, but in January I was advised it would be postponed, with no confirmati­on of a re-scheduled date.

When I requested a refund, Eventbrite said I could expect it within 28 days. After this period, we chased it and were told it would be 60 working days until we received it.

Eventbrite suggested I make a claim through my bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, to speed things up. The bank said it could not help. The organiser, events company An Experience With, just gave excuse after excuse (such as the funds being held in a U.S. account) and now won’t reply to me.

I booked this event in good faith. I am 73 and have loved Al Pacino all my adult life and thought this evening with the actor would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But, obviously, not in my lifetime. I am not interested in any future possible dates as I’ve developed health problems and would be unable to attend. Please can you help?

K. M., Paisley. YOUR purchase via ticketing website Eventbrite was for VIP tickets, entitling you to put a question to the Hollywood star during the evening, which was organised by events company An Experience With.

You already had your question prepared and wanted to ask: ‘Do you remember this line from your movie Scarface, and can you finish it? It starts, “Do you know what a ‘ hassa’ is, Frank?” ’

You were certain he would know what came next — as would many Al Pacino fans. For readers who are not so familiar with the actor and his film roles, this line is uttered by Pacino’s Cuban criminal character, Tony Montana — and the answer is ‘a hassa is a pig that doesn’t fly straight’.

In other words, a greedy person who wants more than they need. You told me, tongue in cheek, that you thought this could well apply to the organisers of your postponed event.

You were prepared to accept Pacino’s ‘scheduling conflict’ for pulling out of the Glasgow event, but you were less accommodat­ing about the seeming reluctance of the organisers of your postponed event, An Experience With, to return your money.

You made your point with good humour and showed no bitterness against either company.

This impressed Eventbrite, who I contacted first to chase your refund as An Experience With had been giving you the runaround. Indeed, An Experience With refused to discuss your case with me, citing ‘data protection’.

However, Eventbrite was more obliging. It commended you for your ‘witty and charismati­c’ writing skills. A spokesman for Eventbrite said it was disappoint­ed that An Experience With hadn’t organised your refund, which would be the usual initial route for customers to get their money back as it was the organiser of the event.

However, it confirmed it can help in certain cases, including if an event has been cancelled within the last 45 days or if it has been postponed for more than 90 days without a new date scheduled.

Since your case fitted the second scenario, Eventbrite was happy to arrange your £850 refund.

A spokesman says: ‘We are sorry that K.M. didn’t get to see Al Pacino in person but hope we have brightened his day a little bit.’

I LIVE in Canada and in December 2019 l booked flights costing about £1,700 for my dad and his partner to come and visit me from the UK. They were to travel from Teesside via Amsterdam and the tickets were purchased through Delta Air Lines.

Covid hit and, since all flights were cancelled, Delta offered us a travel voucher for the value of the flights.

In February 2021, I tried to contact Delta to get a refund instead but could not get through. I tried again in April 2021 but was told a refund was not possible and we would need to use the vouchers by December 31, 2022. At that time, I thought

Dad and his partner would be able to use them. But in September 2021, Dad was badly injured falling down the stairs and we realised he’d not be able to fly again. I asked for a refund but got nowhere. I can’t even use the voucher because of the confusion. I am so frustrated. Please help.

N. M., Canada. THE trend of offering vouchers in return for Covid cancelled flights has been a frustratio­n for flocks of air travellers.

It’s understand­able that many airlines offered vouchers rather than refunds during the Covid period — their finances would have hit serious turbulence if passengers had their money returned all at once.

But to retain our good faith, airlines should have spelt out more clearly the right to reimbursem­ent when the voucher policies changed.

Delta Air Lines’ messaging on who could use your vouchers was confusing, and I felt its customer service had let you down.

After you realised your father would not be able to travel again, you contacted Delta to ask for a refund or for the vouchers to be put in your name rather than his. You were told you would need a doctor’s letter as proof but when the letter was finally arranged in September 2022, you were exasperate­d to hear that you didn’t need a letter after all.

This time, they said you just had to set up an account with Delta and they would transfer the vouchers over to you, extending them to December 2023.

Delta then said that your Dad would have to contact the airline to authorise the transfer. You say this would have been difficult for him because he was too frail to wait on the phone for hours to get through.

Understand­ably frustrated, you made a formal complaint in July this year and Delta responded a month later to say there was nothing it could do.

It is not the easiest organisati­on to get through to by phone or online, but after a few attempts, I finally received a call from a helpful employee called Cody at customer services in Atlanta, Georgia.

Within 24 hours, he had authorised your £1,700 repayment.

You were delighted.

WRITE to Sally Hamilton at Sally Sorts It, Money Mail, 9 Derry Street, London W8 5HY or email sally@dailymail. co.uk — include phone number, address and a note addressed to the offending organisati­on giving them permission to talk to Sally Hamilton. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibi­lity for them. No legal responsibi­lity can be accepted by the Daily Mail for answers given.

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