Questions of Cash: Gig tickets signed, sealed but never delivered
Saturday 21 March 2009
Q. In June last year, I bought two tickets for a Stevie Wonder concert at the O2 arena from a website, tickets4venues.com, paying £233 with a Lloyds Visa card. In August, I received an email from tickets4venues.com saying they were unable to fulfill the order. I am still waiting for a refund. I have sent six emails to the website chasing the refund, but without success. Lloyds has said it cannot refund me because I paid by debit card. EJ, London.
A. We also emailed tickets4venues.com several times, without response. We phoned its number, which rings on to an automated system. Whichever option is picked responds that no operatives are available telling callers to phone its 24-hour line, which charges £1.50 a minute to receive calls. When we phoned that number, the operator promised to pass on the message to phone us, but nothing happened. The phone line used by tickets4venues.com has previously been used by other agencies selling music and sports tickets, including Mayfair Global Events, summerfestivaltickets.com and europeanchampionshiptickets.com. These agencies have been strongly criticised in the press for charging very high prices to resell tickets. Mayfair Global Events claims to operate internationally and its website refers people to a Gibraltar phone number. When we called this number, the person answering said he had "never heard of" tickets4venues.com, adding that "this is just a number I was given a couple of months ago" and that "I am just a consultant in London". He then put down the phone on us. When we emailed Mayfair Global Events, it also denied having any connection with tickets4venues.com.
Mayfair Global Events appears to be a trading name of a company called Durban Vienna Ltd, which is registered at the offices of an accountancy firm in Harrow – they did not return our call seeking further information. According to Companies House records, the last two years' accounts of Durban Vienna are overdue and there is a proposal to strike it off. The Office of Fair Trading declined to comment on rumours that the businesses are being investigated. It did, however, warn consumers about buying tickets from secondary agents and cautioned about believing that an agent may be a trustworthy business just because it has a professional-looking website.
The OFT suggests that people buying tickets costing over £100 should consider using a credit card, making the card issuer jointly liable for the transaction should things go wrong. You paid with a Visa debit card. Although this falls outside the arrangements of joint liability for a transaction, Visa provides a guarantee on transactions for breach of contract, or where goods are not provided. This is available for 60 days after the transaction under the Visa rules, which is extended by Lloyds to 120 days. As you contacted Lloyds within that 120-day period it has – after several weeks of communications with us – agreed to credit you with the £233.
Q. I completed a BSc in 2005, qualifying as a speech therapist. I am now doing an MSc in audiology at Manchester as part of my career progression. The course structure means I am studying for one year, followed by a period of paid clinical training from September. I need financial help to complete the course. I wanted a loan while I am studying, with a holiday period until I have a salary. It seemed that NatWest's Professional Trainee Loan met my needs. It is available to qualifying professionals. But audiologist was not included as a qualifying profession, though physiotherapist and podiatrist were, with a similar course structure. A colleague on the same course as me obtained the same loan from her local NatWest branch. But my university branch told me I was not eligible for the loan. I feel frustrated. I have been a NatWest customer for over 20 years, but found the staff unhelpful. LM, Manchester.
A. NatWest's Professional Trainee Loan scheme is available to students on long-term courses that lead to specifically defined professional qualifications – these include doctor of medicine, vet, barrister and solicitor, but not audiologist. The bank is unable, for data protection reasons, to disclose why it has apparently approved a loan to a colleague of yours. The bank has now offered you a different loan product, which you are happy with. It has also agreed to review the criteria for the Professional Trainee Loan to consider whether audiologist is also a suitable professional qualification for this loan.
Q. My daughter is starting her own business, but this is proving slow. She has an account with HSBC, which knows what she is doing. Her account has gone overdrawn a couple of times and the bank has hit her with what I feel are absolutely exorbitant fines – one of £75 and the other of £125. She raised this with the bank, but the attitude is one of no negotiation. PW, Carlisle.
A. We can confirm that HSBC is not willing to negotiate. The bank says the charges were correctly applied and HSBC is "not tending to make any refunds on overdraft charges" until the legal challenge to overdraft charges has been fully resolved. We are unable to help. Your daughter's case is yet another warning of the pain caused by inadvertently going overdrawn, even if only for a short time.
Q. I obtained a Motorola phone through the Carphone Warehouse. When it went wrong, I took it back to the store with the warranty. I was told it would take 21 working days to fix. I have since returned six times to the store, without the phone being repaired. Eventually, I was told it was uneconomic to fix it. I am now having to use another phone, which I had to pay Carphone Warehouse £50 as a deposit, with only the most basic service. For seven months I have been unable to use the services, such as video calling, for which I paid Orange £175. EB, London.
A.The Carphone Warehouse has now agreed to pay you £100 in compensation.
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But if you have a financial dilemma, we'll do our best to help. Please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk
Bargain Hunter: Exclusive discount on a SmartGlider - a self-balancing electric scooter
My Tinder date asked for a refund when I declined a second meet up
10 tips for taking out a personal loan
Number of parents moving to their desired school catchment area is increasing, according to Santander research
Bank-beating exchange rates on your international payments
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 4 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 5 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...
Day In a Page
With four bedrooms, this spacious maisonette in a mid-terrace period-style house in Holland Road is well-maintained and offers high ceilings and period features.
The terraces of this two-bedroom penthouse apartment offer panoramic views that stretch over fifty miles from the cliffs of Beachy Head.
In the heart of the coastal village of Mumbles and moments from the pier, this five-bedroom Victorian terrace is set over three floors and retains many original features.
In a sandbanks location, moments from the beach, this three-bedroom apartment has a large open-plan living area and a south-west facing balcony.
This four-bedroom home has an annexe accessed from the side of the house, with potential for improvement and conversion subject to the necessary permissions.
In the heart of the hamlet of Wardley, this five-bedroom period home offers countryside views and a stylish interior, with original features and open fireplaces.
Offering countryside views and landscaped gardens, this three-bedroom Grade II-listed lodge has a spacious conservatory and a large cellar that could serve as a workshop.
Set in approximately 1.5 acres, this four-bedroom home comes with a second, detached property that's currently used as an annexe.
In the hamlet of Newchurch, this former parish church is now a four-bedroom home complete with clock tower and eyrie.
Offering scenic views from a large balcony and sun terrace, this four-bedroom home has a wraparound garden and a heated swimming pool.
Offering views across the Humber and East Yorkshire Wolds from a glass panelled balcony, this four-bedroom barn-style home befits a life of leisure.
This four-bedroom home offers versatile accommodation with annexe potential; features include a hot tub, sauna and Norwegian BBQ hut.
Well-located for schools, colleges and the town centre, this contemporary thatched cottage offers flexible living space with six bedrooms.
Built in 1907, this four-bedroom Edwardian period home has been refurbished by the current owners, retaining many original period features.
Surrounded by landscaped gardens, this five-bedroom home offers living space across three floors.
This lovely country home in Burnham Market is currently run as a popular holiday cottage, with five en suite bedrooms and colourful gardens.
This three-bedroom 17th-century former village bakery is just a few miles from the East Sussex coast.
Set on a landscaped plot, this light and airy four-bedroom home comes with a log burner in the lounge, a fitted kitchen and an open-plan ground-floor layout.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Built on a former chapel site, this impressive four-bedroom home boasts balconies, stunning views and contemporary modern living.
This three-bedroom house is situated in a quiet mews and set over three floors. Features include glazed staircases and high ceilings.
A period townhouse set over four floors, this five-bedroom home was built in the 18th Century and retains many original features.
With five bedrooms, this spacious home offers beautiful gardens and modern interiors - set within the popular market town of Bingley.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
In the pretty market town of Bungay, this grade II-listed Mill House is arranged over four floors, offering four bedrooms and three reception areas.
This first-floor flat comes with two bedrooms, an impressive open-plan reception room and two lovely roof terraces.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Moored at Taggs Island and reached via a pretty garden, this two-bedroom houseboat has a vaulted reception room and skylit garden studio - currently a beauty salon.
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
A contemporary house spread over three storeys, this three-bedroom detached home has large sliding doors that open out to the River Quaggy.
Moored in Chelsea's Cheyne Walk, this houseboat offers two double bedrooms and a teak deck that's ideal for al-fresco dining.
This former village bakery, dating back to the 17th century, is now a three-bedroom detached home just a few miles from the East Sussex coast.
On the picturesque Isle of Man, this four-bedroom character home has a ground-floor shop that's currently run as a newsagents and a flat that would make an ideal holiday let.
In a new collection of flats, this first-floor two-bedroom apartment offers ample entertaining space and a prime view of Furze Green from a private balcony.
This three-bedroom stone-built cottage currently trades as the village store with a restaurant in the annexe and family accommodation on the upper floors.
Previously two semi-detached properties, this five-bedroom home is spread over three floors with a large breakfast kitchen, orangery, office and gym on the second floor.
This five-bedroom home enjoys countryside views over the Blyth estuary to Southwold, offering flexible living space with a ground-floor annexe - ideal for use as a holiday let.
Close to the market town of Eye, this four-bedroom detached home offers a double-height living room which takes the place of the original, 19th-century, chapel nave.
Dating back to the 19th century, this four-bedroom home needs modernising. Spanning three storeys, the red-brick house has a fireplace, a small terrace and a cellar.
Just outside of Cambridge, this single-storey home offers three double bedrooms, a living room with vaulted timber ceiling and ladder steps that lead to a mezzanine study area.
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn.
A former coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, an attached office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Located beside an impressive Victorian viaduct, this four-bedroom home has an open-plan living area that is glazed on two sides, with skylights and high ceilings.
A former furniture workshop, this three-bedroom home has high ceilings and painted brick walls, in a village setting only fifteen miles from the coast.
This five-bedroom stone townhouse features a pine staircase and an Inglenuk fireplace, double doors from the lounge give access to an enclosed courtyard.
This five-bedroom, detached home blends traditional and modern design; the sleek kitchen features a gas hob and oven set within an exposed chimney breast.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B or countryside retreat, subject to change of use permissions.
This Grade II-listed three-bedroom home is situated on a private road, just a short walk from the sandy beaches of Frinton-on-Sea.