To expect a refund?

(26 Posts)
HoneyBadgers Mon 13-Jun-16 18:03:56

Had to make a new NN for this as its fairly identifying!

Yesterday DP and I had tickets for a festival about two hours away from where we live. The festival is three days but we could only afford one of those and chose Sunday as it had some of his favourite bands.

We wanted to get there for about 2pm, so left at 10am. The drive should be about 2 hours so left in plenty of time.

About three miles from the venue (at the motorway exit) there was horrendous traffic - literally the worst I've ever been in. We ended up sitting in this traffic for almost SIX hours, the traffic was barely moving. This was all festival traffic and due to their bad organisation skills as they could not get people in the car park. We pre paid £20 for our parking ticket, and finally 6 hours later arrived at the car park to be told it was closed and refused entry. Later their Twitter claimed car parking was 'first come first serve' despite pre paid parking tickets. Ended up going home disappointed and tired.

Emailed the festival to request a refund as they had refused the entry and their awful planning was the reason for it - from Twitter many people seem to have experienced it too. They've replied saying they won't be giving refunds but will 'log the information for next year'.

AIBU to expect a refund? Surely as they turned me away this is not my fault?! I emailed back asking for someone to call me but have been looking into involving trading standards/citizens advice but genuinely don't know where I stand with it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I'm a bit stuck as for what to do now!

tictactoad Mon 13-Jun-16 18:11:18

I'd definitely hold out for a refund.

They must have known how many car park tickets they'd sold and should have planned accordingly. A six hour queue is ridiculous.

HoneyBadgers Mon 13-Jun-16 18:14:22

Honestly I felt like banging my head against something sitting in the car for that long! Even had we got in we would have missed all the bands but one anyway so wasn't even worth it once we arrived.

That's my thought - surely 'first come first serve' only works if you haven't already sold some of those spaces?! Comes across to me like they tried to make even more profit by assuming some wouldn't show and therefore carried on selling spaces. So cross that they're not even offering partial refunds. There wasn't even an apology in the email - simply 'we won't be giving refunds'.

PerryHatter Mon 13-Jun-16 18:17:20

Was it sold to you as 'first come, first served' pre-paid parking? Were you aware that despite paying, there would be a chance you wouldn't get a space?

I'd definitely hold out - I'd probably pester them really. That's really shitty organisation. Did the festival come as a surprise to them? Did they expect that 90% of the attendees would walk or get public transport?

RaeSkywalker Mon 13-Jun-16 18:20:06

Hold out and keep badgering. Is it a well-established festival? I'm just wondering if the organisation will go into administration or something.

RhiWrites Mon 13-Jun-16 18:21:10

If they don't apologise and refund you I shouldn't have thought there's a chance there'll be an event next year. Everyone will be thinking of this year's omnishambles.

HoneyBadgers Mon 13-Jun-16 18:21:37

Nothing sold as first come first serve - simply a shitty response they gave on Twitter when questioned by others. I did ask for an elaboration on this in my email but it was apparently ignored.

The festival is a very large, yearly one that has been going on since 2003, so absolutely no surprise to them and should be well aware. I haven't been before (despite wanting to!) but haven't heard of any disruptions of this scale with them before. Lots and lots of people camp so they knew they'd need plenty of parking space. They do run a shuttle bus I believe between the local train station and venue but are aware for the need for parking.

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Mon 13-Jun-16 18:22:27

Isn't this covered by the Salebof Goods Act? Anything you buy should be of satisfactory quality. I'm sure it includes services as well as actual products.

HoneyBadgers Mon 13-Jun-16 18:22:56

Just realised I name changed already so don't need to obscure any details - it's download festival so very well established and unlikely to not continue. They have such a huge following they'll still run next year as the hundreds of thousands that got in will return, and ignore all that were refused.

Queenbean Mon 13-Jun-16 18:24:32

As if they sold tickets to the car park, charged you, then wouldn't even give you access shock

What's the name of the festival? Wanna look on Twitter at the mess!

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Mon 13-Jun-16 18:24:37

Have a look at this

MsMims Mon 13-Jun-16 18:25:39

How did you pay? I would ask my bank to reverse the charges due to services not provided.

HoneyBadgers Mon 13-Jun-16 18:26:48

Thank you for the link - will have a good look through!

TheEmojiFormerlyKnownAsPrince Mon 13-Jun-16 18:26:56

Look at the 'Services' bit under Product Quality

PervyMuskrat Mon 13-Jun-16 18:27:08

If this is Download, the traffic chaos was worse than normal as there was a man on one of the gantries on the M1, meaning that the motorway was shut southbound for 28 hours so it's largely outside of their control (which is probably what they'd argue)

The car parks were also likely to be a swamp due to the rain so they may well have had to close car parks due to h&s reasons.

HoneyBadgers Mon 13-Jun-16 18:28:41

Not my Twitter but here's their response to someone who queried!

HoneyBadgers Mon 13-Jun-16 18:29:54

pervy I totally appreciate that - we actually got stuck on the M1 due to the man on the gantry on the way home. We were on the opposite side on the way in. Appreciate they had reasons but surely if they refused entry they must refund?

NarkyKnockers Mon 13-Jun-16 18:33:12

Are you after a refund for the parking or the whole thing?

HoneyBadgers Mon 13-Jun-16 18:39:19

The whole thing now - there was no parking anywhere and I could not abandon my car. Due to their inaccuracy to planning for parking (with a pre paid ticket) I was therefore unable to attend. I made all reasonable measures to ensure I could park by purchasing the pre paid ticket. I'd be cross but would understand if I hadn't paid parking and was refused but this to me is just unfair.

That link was great thank you emoji. Now writing a new email detailing this information to them!

Flumplet Mon 13-Jun-16 18:52:05

We had the exact same issue years ago at the red bull air race in Somerset. There was some sort of accident outside our car park and so we spent six hours sat in the car in Frome. When we finally ditched the car and got in the air race was cancelled because of the weather. We got a refund for our entry but nothing for the pre-paid parking, and no good will gesture for the utter balls up that caused the bad traffic.

NarkyKnockers Mon 13-Jun-16 19:05:33

I think yabu to want a refund for the whole thing. Events like this can cause ridiculous traffic and it's up to you to leave plenty of time/take public transport. Yanbu to want the car parking money refunded as you have paid for a service they didn't provide.

HoneyBadgers Mon 13-Jun-16 19:46:22

Flumplet that's awful. Sorry you had a similar experience sad

Narky what would be a reasonable amount of time to leave? I'm asking genuinely, not wanting to be argumentative about it. In no traffic the journey should take 2 hours - we left with 4 so double the amount of time we expected. We didn't take public transport as we pre paid parking and didn't think it would be an issue.

Mouikey Mon 13-Jun-16 20:55:53

That happened at Download? Yesterday??? I was there Thursday, Friday & Saturday (won't explain my ticket situation), we stayed in a hotel about 20 minutes away and had no trouble getting into site on any day (although we weren't in public parking - but would have been on the main routes). We came in from the west each day to avoid the M1... no queue on any day.

I am aware that Iron Maiden had a HUGE guest list, so this may have contributed, but even so a friend of mine came for the day and got in... Download are pretty good at traffic management, signage and car parking. I've never heard the first come first served when car parking is pre-paid... did you go through the official channels for your car park ticket?

Rather than complain on their Twitter page, I would check the T's & C's of your tickets before contacting your seller. After that I would escalate to Live Nation who manage the festival. I have a funny feeling that it maybe a particular issue with the training of the car park attendants (given some of my experiences over the weekend).

Sorry it didn't work out for you... the weather was awful and the site really, really muddy (not that this would make it any better!).

I highly doubt you will get a refund of your main ticket, but you should for the car park. Did you get the tabbard number of the steward who turned you away?

Mouikey Mon 13-Jun-16 20:57:54

Also go to their website, they have an active forum there, see if there are any other experiences/solutions

NarkyKnockers Mon 13-Jun-16 22:01:49

It depends on the event how much time to leave but it's something you are responsible for judging I think. There are some events dh goes to where he will take a different route and park a decent walk away to avoid this kind of issue. Or he will get public transport. Certain events - big football games/festivals etc you know there's going to be massive delays. I can't see that they have any argument for refusing to refund your parking though.

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