Imagine paying close to $300 for a center stage ticket to Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway, showing up to the theater only to be seated behind a wall in the back, and realizing the person in the seat you purchased paid over $100 less?
A consumer complaint to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman details this unsuccessful- and downright confusing- customer service experience with the Broadway ticket service Telecharge, in which they were not only refused a partial refund for tickets that were lowered in price, but randomly re-assigned worse seats in the theater with no explanation.
Several emails were attached to the complaint, in which the customer explained the situation to a Telecharge customer service manager at the Shubert Organization, which owns the Imperial Theatre where the show took place. The customer was then told they purchased “premium seats” on a “General Admission basis”…two terms that do not typically go hand in hand in the ticket business.
The customer disputed this claim, reminding customer service of the designated seat on their original ticket, as well as the $279 price tag that was later dropped to $169 for others. Several emailed attempts at a refund went unresolved and then, unanswered.
No reason was given or is apparent as to why the ticket price was lowered or why the customer was re-assigned a worse seat but no matter the reasoning, buying a ticket months ahead of time should not bear negative consequences on a theater-goer.
Below is the full Consumer Frauds NYC complaint submitted to NYAG Consumer Bureau by an anonymous complainant on January 17, 2017.
In April/May 2016 I received an offer from Telecharge to purchase tickets to a play that was starting in October 2016. The tickets were $279 each (2) and $239 each (2) for a subtotal of $1036 plus fees. I selected my seats when I purchased the tickets so that I would get center stage seating. In August I was called by Telecharge and told that my first order would have to be cancelled and recharged so that I could be given a seat. I didn’t realize until I got to the theater that my seat was changed to one that wasn’t even on the seating chart and was partially behind a wall preventing us from seeing most of the stage. When we got to the theater I saw that the full ticket price was not $279 or $239 but $169 which was the highest full ticket price given in the theater in October and November 2016. I will note that as of January the theater has raised it’s prices and instituted Premium seating but that was not the case in October.. The theater, via Telecharge, now claims that my seats were Premium seats although that does not appear on my ticket or receipt. They also claim that my seats were General Admission seats although I selected a seat online and there is a seat on my ticket.