How to complain if your tickets are not what you ordered

It's frustrating to receive event tickets and discover they are not what you ordered. If this happens to you, follow our advice on how to complain.

1 Contact your ticket seller

Always contact the ticket seller or agent as soon as you realise there's a problem and explain the situation – for example, the seats not being in the location you had agreed, the wrong number of tickets or the wrong date. 

Ask the ticket seller to send the correct tickets.

2 Reject or accept the tickets 

If the ticket seller fails to send the correct tickets, you can do the following:

Formally reject the tickets  Return the tickets with a letter saying that you're rejecting them as they don't fit the description you were given at the time of purchase,

Claim the difference  Go to the event with the tickets you have and then claim the difference in the cost of tickets you asked for and those you received. For example, if you bought tickets for the front row and ended up sitting near the back.

Claim compensation  You may be able to claim some compensation for loss of enjoyment. But, if you plan to do this, you must tell your ticket seller in advance. 

Otherwise the seller may reject your claim saying that you have 'accepted' the tickets. Say that you only used the tickets because you have a duty by law to keep your losses to a minimum. This is often referred to as mitigating your loss.

3 Complain to STAR

If the ticket seller refuses to give you a refund, and you still want to reject the tickets, you have various other options available depending on the circumstances.

If the ticket seller is a member of The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR), take your complaint there. It can't force members to give your money back, but if a member breaks the code of practice they face warnings, fines or expulsion from STAR.

If the seller isn't a member and you paid for tickets worth more than £100 by credit card, you might be able to claim a refund from your credit card company.

If a debit card is used you may be able to ask your bank to put in a request for a chargeback. 

Chargeback allows you to claim compensation on Visa credit and debit cards, prepaid and store Visa cards and MasterCard credit cards.

4 Complain to ASTA 

If you bought your ticket from a secondary agent, contact the Association of Secondary Ticket Agents (ASTA)

ASTA members agree to follow a code of conduct, so the association classes its members as legitimate ticket sellers.

5 Complain to trading standards 

If you feel the tickets you received were not as described, or the company is breaking the law in any way, contact your local trading standards department. 

Bear in mind, though, that your local trading standards department might be able to take action against the company, but it won't be able to get you your money back.

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