In September 2022, I purchased two tickets for An Evening With Al Pacino through ticket agency Eventbrite at a cost of £850.
The event was due to be held in Glasgow in May 2023, but in January I was advised it would be postponed, with no confirmation of a re-scheduled date.
When I requested a refund, Eventbrite said I could expect it within 28 days.
After this period, we chased it and were told it would be 60 working days until we received it.
Eventbrite suggested I make a claim through my bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, to speed things up.
Pacino go: An Al Pacino fan is still waiting for an £850 refund after an evening event with the film star was cancelled
The bank said it could not help.
The organiser, events company An Experience With, just gave excuse after excuse (such as the funds being held in a U.S. account) and now won’t reply to me.
I booked this event in good faith. I am 73 and have loved Al Pacino all my adult life and thought this evening with the actor would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But, obviously, not in my lifetime. I am not interested in any future possible dates as I’ve developed health problems and would be unable to attend. Please can you help?
K. M., Paisley.
Sally Hamilton replies: Your purchase via ticketing website Eventbrite was for VIP tickets, entitling you to put a question to the Hollywood star during the evening, which was organised by events company An Experience With.
You already had your question prepared and wanted to ask: ‘Do you remember this line from your movie Scarface, and can you finish it? It starts, “Do you know what a ‘hassa’ is, Frank?” ’
You were certain he would know what came next — as would many Al Pacino fans. For readers who are not so familiar with the actor and his film roles, this line is uttered by Pacino’s Cuban criminal character, Tony Montana — and the answer is ‘a hassa is a pig that doesn’t fly straight’.
Beware of fake emails from scammers pretending to be online casino companies, Action Fraud warns.
The emails promise ‘free spins’ at these casinos but the links in the emails lead to phishing websites designed to steal personal information.
Action Fraud received 2,400 reports of the scam in just two weeks.
Your bank or any other official body will never ask for personal information via email.
Contact the casino company independently if you have any doubts.
Go to the company’s official website and get the contact details from there.
Forward any suspicious emails to email@example.com.
In other words, a greedy person who wants more than they need. You told me, tongue in cheek, that you thought this could well apply to the organisers of your postponed event.
You were prepared to accept Pacino’s ‘scheduling conflict’ for pulling out of the Glasgow event, but you were less accommodating about the seeming reluctance of the organisers of your postponed event, An Experience With, to return your money.
You made your point with good humour and showed no bitterness against either company.
This impressed Eventbrite, who I contacted first to chase your refund as An Experience With had been giving you the runaround. Indeed, An Experience With refused to discuss your case with me, citing ‘data protection’.
However, Eventbrite was more obliging. It commended you for your ‘witty and charismatic’ writing skills.
A spokesman for Eventbrite said it was disappointed that An Experience With hadn’t organised your refund, which would be the usual initial route for customers to get their money back as it was the organiser of the event.
However, it confirmed it can help in certain cases, including if an event has been cancelled within the last 45 days or if it has been postponed for more than 90 days without a new date scheduled.
Since your case fitted the second scenario, Eventbrite was happy to arrange your £850 refund.
A spokesman says: ‘We are sorry that K.M. didn’t get to see Al Pacino in person but hope we have brightened his day a little bit.’
Straight to the point
In May, I booked a one-night stay at a Premier Inn, but I mistakenly booked the wrong night.
The hotel staff were helpful and found me a room, for which I paid £128. They said I could claim back my original booking of £112.20 if I called customer services within 24 hours.
The line was closed when I rang so I emailed Guest Relations. I haven’t had my money back.
Premier Inn has refunded you for the night you booked in error as a gesture of goodwill.
I had a building insurance policy with Engage Credit, which was trading as Pepper UK.
In 2020, my home suffered a bad flood, which caused £50,000 of damage. I made a claim with Engage but unfortunately it was rejected without any further information.
J.H., via email.
Pepper UK says the policy you had at the time of the water damage was not a building insurance policy but a lender’s title insurance policy.
This type of policy only protects your mortgage lender if your home becomes damaged.
Unfortunately, it means you are not personally covered for the water damage.
I bought an air fryer from Amazon but it was recalled by the company last August.
I sent the appliance back and was told I would receive a full refund for the cost of the product and the postage. I am still waiting.
M.S., via email.
Amazon has now refunded you £113 for the cost of the air fryer and £15.45 postage costs.
Last week, Lloyds Bank asked me to change the password for my online account.
I followed the instructions but now I can’t access my account. The issue was being looked into but I haven’t heard since. Please help.
A. A., Kent.
There was a mix-up with your password and security information. Lloyds Bank has now helped you reset your log-in details.
Flight voucher won’t fly
I live in Canada and in December 2019 l booked flights costing about £1,700 for my dad and his partner to come and visit me from the UK.
They were to travel from Teesside via Amsterdam and the tickets were purchased through Delta Air Lines.
Covid hit and, since all flights were cancelled, Delta offered us a travel voucher for the value of the flights.
In February 2021, I tried to contact Delta to get a refund instead but could not get through.
I tried again in April 2021 but was told a refund was not possible and we would need to use the vouchers by December 31, 2022.
At that time, I thought Dad and his partner would be able to use them.
But in September 2021, Dad was badly injured falling down the stairs and we realised he’d not be able to fly again.
I asked for a refund but got nowhere. I can’t even use the voucher because of the confusion. I am so frustrated. Please help.
N. M., Canada.
Sally Hamilton replies: The trend of offering vouchers in return for Covid cancelled flights has been a frustration for flocks of air travellers.
It’s understandable that many airlines offered vouchers rather than refunds during the Covid period — their finances would have hit serious turbulence if passengers had their money returned all at once.
But to retain our good faith, airlines should have spelt out more clearly the right to reimbursement when the voucher policies changed.
Delta Air Lines’ messaging on who could use your vouchers was confusing, and I felt its customer service had let you down.
After you realised your father would not be able to travel again, you contacted Delta to ask for a refund or for the vouchers to be put in your name rather than his.
You were told you would need a doctor’s letter as proof but when the letter was finally arranged in September 2022, you were exasperated to hear that you didn’t need a letter after all.
This time, they said you just had to set up an account with Delta and they would transfer the vouchers over to you, extending them to December 2023.
Delta then said that your Dad would have to contact the airline to authorise the transfer. You say this would have been difficult for him because he was too frail to wait on the phone for hours to get through.
Understandably frustrated, you made a formal complaint in July this year and Delta responded a month later to say there was nothing it could do.
It is not the easiest organisation to get through to by phone or online, but after a few attempts, I finally received a call from a helpful employee called Cody at customer services in Atlanta, Georgia.
Within 24 hours, he had authorised your £1,700 repayment.
You were delighted.
- Write to Sally Hamilton at Sally Sorts It, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email firstname.lastname@example.org — include phone number, address and a note addressed to the offending organisation giving them permission to talk to Sally Hamilton. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. No legal responsibility can be accepted by the Daily Mail for answers given.