How to complain when an event has been cancelled
Events cancelled for various reasons – your rights
The Summer of 2017 saw a lot of concerts and festivals cancelled. Due to bad weather, poor planning or something else, thousands of people were left disappointed and many of them out of pocket. So what do you do if the event for which you have booked cancels at the last minute?
Well, it depends on what the reason for cancelling was and how much notice you were given really.
So let’s take a few examples…
Your rights when an event is cancelled due to not enough sales
The organiser informs you that it has not made enough sales and so is cancelling the concert. This should mean an automatic refund of the tickets. If you made special arrangements, such as buying train tickets, booking a hotel you may be able to claim consequential loss. The organiser is in breach of contract so should be liable for consequential loss. However, you would have to prove that you would not be using the tickets or booking and that they were bought with non refundable terms. You probably have a good chance because not many people know how to complain about this and claim! However the organiser may well argue in which case your only option is to claim in the Small Claims Court. It would probably be a test case though, so if you do it, please let me know!
The closer to the concert they cancel the stronger your case may be. You could also argue that under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 they did not provide services with reasonable skill and care because they did not market the concert well enough.
The concert organisers should have insurance too!
Your rights when an event is cancelled due to ill health
Here the organisers may offer tickets for another day. This is up to you whether you want to take or not as you are still entitled to a full refund.
Consequential loss will be as above but you couldn’t argue not carrying out services with reasonable skill and care.
Your rights when an event is cancelled due to health and safety reasons
It can be a little bit sticky here because it isn’t as simple as there was so much rain and mud we had to cancel. One word “Glastonbury” which sticks two fingers up at bad weather! That’s partly because they put measures to ensure the safety of festival goers. So when you hear of another festival cancelling due to rain and mud you are probably well within your rights to claim consequential loss because the organisers are in breach of contract for not providing services with reasonable skill and care. Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Your rights when an event is cancelled due to organisers going into administration
In short, you are stuck. It means that the company doesn’t have the money to refund you the cost of your tickets. It will owe money all over the place and you will be at the bottom of the list. However, you should write to the administrators as soon as possible with proof of your purchase and you will be added to the creditors list. It is unlikely that you will be paid out, but if another company takes over it is possible and if your name is down you have more chance that for those who aren’t.
Overall when complaining about cancelled events
In all cases where the CRA has been beached you should follow the 20 top tips for complaining effectively outlining the reasons for claiming for consequential loss with evidence of these costs being non refundable. Take a copy of the tickets if you are posting your claim and send that, you know, just in case they say they didn’t receive your letter!
When you complain follow the Top 20 Tips for Complaining and if you still aren’t satisfied with the response take it up with the festival organiser CEO you can get their contact details at ceoemail.com
And for everything else to complain about effectively GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!