Booking Fee #ripoff @seetickets @jessiej #pontysbigweekend

So after Jessie J cancelled her Ponty Big Weekend appearance in July 2012, I awaited my refund from Seetickets as was the case in their email.

This was sent 1546 that Friday afternoon that Jessie pulled out of Ponty

We regret to inform you that PONTY’S BIG WEEKEND – JESSIE J at Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd on 20/07/2012 has been cancelled due to illness.

Further information will follow regarding whether there will be an rescheduled date for this concert.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused by this and if you have any query regarding your order please contact us at http://www.seetickets.com/CustomerService.

Pretty much “She’s cancelled…we’re delaying the refund”

Then on the Monday

Dear MR P DOWNES

We regret to inform you that PONTY’S BIG WEEKEND – JESSIE J at Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd on 20/07/2012 has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.

A face value refund will be credited to the card used to make the booking and tickets are not required to be returned.

Please accpet our apologies for any inconvenience caused and if you have any further query please contact us at http://www.seetickets.com/CustomerService

I’ve kept in the spelling mistakes – just to make them look even more stupid.

Anyway, time passed and I had money back into my account. £40. Not the £52.50 I spent on two tickets.

So, I thought, I ask the question of the missing £12.50. I tweet’d Seetickets, all I got asked was “what was my reference number” and to DM it. I did, and got no response. So another two weeks passed and I email them direct via their website. Here’s their reply;

Dear MR P DOWNES

Thank you for your email regarding the refund for your order XXXXXXXXX for PONTY’S BIG WEEKEND – JESSIE J at Ynysangharad Park Pontypridd.

As a ticket agency, we sell tickets to the general public on behalf of the promoters of an event. The decision to cancel or postpone a concert is that of the promoters and is completely beyond our control. When an event is cancelled or postponed, we inform all of our customers whom have purchased tickets of the alteration by phone, letter or email.

Each ticket that we sell carries a booking fee and a transaction fee. The booking fee pays for our services – the business costs of operating a web- site and 24-hour call centre, Customer Service department and Despatch teams – and is the only payment that See receive for operating. A transaction fee covers the cost of printing, packaging and postage for your tickets. When a show is cancelled or postponed, these fees are retained as See has still provided these services, and cannot issue a refund for them. This is all detailed in our terms & conditions which you are asked to read at the time of booking.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Kind regards,

See Tickets Customer Services

Aside from the word is spelt DISPATCH not despatch (idiots). How many people actually read the T&C’s whilst booking tickets? Seriously? How rubbish are some websites with bandwidth that it takes ages to get through, the last thing you as a customer thinks about is “oh, I wonder what would happen if the gig was cancelled”.

It’s not the first time this has happened to me either, it happened when Adele cancelled her rescheduled gig in Cardiff in 2011.

I don’t want this blog to be a whiney one in which I’m griping about my £12.50 (well I am granted), but it’s more to do with the lack of communication. And I’m sure as a company, Seetickets has in place insurance policies if concerts get cancelled. £6.25 per ticket is a rip off anyway, but to give me the line of “The booking fee pays for our services – the business costs of operating a web- site and 24-hour call centre”, surely the cost of being a company that is disengenius with your customers and treats customers like idiots, is more valuable than that £6.25 per ticket.

Yes, I realise the booking fee/standard fee/carriage fee system is one of the biggest rip off there is within the ticket industry (with a few exceptions, Wales Millennium Centre, St Davids Hall, Muni Arts Centre Pontypridd), but my point is, if a gig is cancelled – there’s insurance to cover all the costs? That should mean ALL costs to the paying public?

Anyway, enough for now – but what do you think about the costs of booking fees? What’s the most expensive fee you’ve paid, and the cheapest? Comment below

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A curious case of @jessiej and the gig that never happened

Not really a blog, just a mishmash of facts/statements, and what we know because we were there, as to say;

Went to Ponty Park, queued inside and waited, and then about 320pm (10 mins before the gates were due to open), we got word that the gig was cancelled. The rush onto social media on people’s phones was apparent to find out any info, and Jessie had tweeted;

Just after the announcement

I want to personally apologise to all my fans who would be going to my show tonight (Pontys Big.W) I have been diagnosed with a viral infection recently that has caused me to be extremely fatigued. I was hoping to be better but I have been to see my doctor this morning after not feeling great who has advised me I am still in need of rest & to perform will make me worse. I hope you can all understand that I wish I could be there. But I’m just not well enough. Back to bed I go 😦 So sorry x

That was at about 310pm.

But earlier, I’ve since learned she’d sound checked and had also tweeted the following;
That was about Midday-ish. The tweet has since been removed.
At 4:05pm I got an email from SeeTickets:

We regret to inform you that PONTY’S BIG WEEKEND – JESSIE J at Ynysangharad Park, Pontypridd on 20/07/2012 has been cancelled due to illness.

Further information will follow regarding whether there will be an rescheduled date for this concert.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused by this and if you have any query regarding your order please contact us at http://www.seetickets.com/CustomerService.

But I’ve also read the statement from RCT/Ponty’s Big Weekend;
Following a visit to her doctor this morning, blood tests have revealed that Jessie J is suffering from CMV, a virus which has caused her considerable fatigue. Doctors have advised that the exertion of performances this weekend would be likely to prolong the recovery period.

Therefore tonight’s opening night of Ponty’s Big weekend has been cancelled by the organisers Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council and event promoters Orchard Media and Events Group.

Christian Hanagan, Head of Strategy, Public Relations & Tourism at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said: “It is with regret that the Council in collaboration with the promoter Orchard has taken the decision to cancel this evening’s concert due to Jessie J’s ill health.

“We wish Jessie well in her treatment and hope she is back on her feet soon. Though today’s event will not take place, Ponty’s Big Weekend will start tomorrow with a full programme as advertised, with Olly Murs headlining, and on Sunday Alfie Boe will head up the planned programme as scheduled.

“All tickets for the Jessie J concert will be fully refunded from Monday July 23.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience this decision causes, and to Jessie’s fans who were looking forward to the event, but I’m sure they will understand that this is the only decision that could be taken under the circumstances. It’s also a great disappointment to us, as we were really looking forward to the concert.”

Anyone currently at the concert or on the way to the concert is advised to make their way home in an orderly fashion, or to approach a steward or member of the security staff on site to make plans to leave the site, particularly those under 16.”

On the Pontypridd Facebook page there were a few unhappy people obviously

Lauren-Ashley Murgas I wasn’t even going but my niece was, and sorry but she should’ve canceled sooner. I think that’s what’s annoying a lot of people =/

Nia Thomas Drove home through Ponty and could see bus loads of people being turned away. Shame on Jessie J…. They deserved better

Kelly Lvs Ian My daughter had tickets in may for her birthday and was devastated it was cancelled … She has thrown her music cds in the bin and hasnt come out of her room since yesterday afternoon … Hope jessie j gets well soon but she let thousands down yesterday

Chaser Drummer Try booking local bands for a fraction of the money, they never let their fans down and are generally 100 times more talented!! Just saying

Thursday night was what that was all about with Ponty’s Big Weekend Fringe 2012. Surely there’s room for all types of music/fan?

I don’t think it was her fault – more likely a management decision. She had tweeted about midday that she was “feeling good day” and mentioned the big weekend. That tweet was later removed. Annoying, yes I agree.

Here’s wondering/hoping she comes back soon….maybe

Oh, and if you’re wondering, this isn’t a whiny blog, just wanted to get as much info out there.

REVIEW: #pontysbigweekend Saturday July 23rd

Ponty Park as it’s known locally, or to give the full correct name Ynysangharad War Memorial Park has played host over the last five years to some of rock and pops biggest names.

Back in 2005 to celebrate Tom Jones’ 65th birthday, he played to 20,000 people. In 2006 an event called the Full Ponty was held. Feeder, Funeral for a friend and a performance from a little known band called Biffy Clyro. There were also other events happening throughout the weekend all across the town. 2007 saw The Automatic, Lost Prophets, and Paramore. There was no event in 2008 due to “no big names being available”. Although “Ponty’s Big Weekend” did happen in the Muni with Alphabeat headlining.

It returned to the park in 2009 with Rhondda Cynon Taff organising two days of music, Sugababes headlining the Saturday, and a free concert on Sunday with Only Men Aloud (and a boy who would go onto perform at 2011’s event – Jay Worley!)

2010 saw JLS in the park on the Saturday (a gig which sold out in an hour!), and Hayley Westenra headlined Sunday’s free concert.

So there’s your history lesson done with – now to Saturday’s 2011 event!

Presented by RCT once more, I was really surprised at the size of the created arena – it was really small, well felt it anyway. It wasn’t a sellout like last year as you could still get tickets on the day. The Wanted not such a big a band as JLS? Maybe this time next year? My own little gripe about the day was the way it was presented. Now being biased in anyway, but Capital FM should at least have some idea of where they were and who they were talking to so to ask questions from stage like “anyone here from Treforest” (no response), “from Blackwood?” (medium kind of response), “err..from Ponty?” (slightly louder than the previous response). Not saying audience interaction like this shouldn’t be done, but don’t do it if you’re not sure of the response – maybe the Capital FM rebrand of Red Dragon FM is still in it’s early days? Maybe the use of the actual local radio station might’ve helped? Damn, I’ll even do it for free next year – at least I know who I’m talking to 😉 Anyway, I digress, back to it. I’ll do a brief review of each act, highlights etc, and maybe score them? Or maybe not…

Kicked off with Sweet Manics. Female duo from “up the road” in the Cynon Valley. Very much in the vain of Barberellas. Nice mashup of Tatu’s All the thing’s she said and Katy Perry’s ET.  Nicely opened the event – 8

Second up was Jay Worley, BGT Semi finalist from this year.  A local boy, and the crowd of predominately teenage girls loved him. He was okay, but give him another couple of years for him to come into his own and you’ll have a really good singer and then he’ll know how to work the crowd – 7

Another reality “star” from “just down the road” Tom Richards (XFactor). Kind of the same from him as for Jay, needs time to develop as a performer – 7.

Fourth on the bill was something of a curveball. Sophie Evans who hails from Tonypandy (yes, that’s in Rhondda Cynon Taff Capital FM, but when you say someone’s from RCT it makes it sound like your reading what you’ve been given). She was a finalist in Over the Rainbow – the search for Dorothy in Wizard of Oz. Awesome voice, but not really suited to where she was (although she’s also performed on Sunday’s “classical” event). Can’t really judge her performance the same way as you would for the rest of the line up but in terms of quality, she has oodles of it – even if some of the people behind us didn’t appreciate it. 8 (would be 9 but for the fact she wasn’t really a big crowd pleaser)

Then came Fanfair.  Didn’t know much beforehand about these, and even now don’t really know that much. Had some good vocals though but maybe the girlband market is already saturated? 7

Which takes us nicely onto Soundgirl. Seen them perform with Scouting for Girls a few weeks back and liked their vocals. Let down by one microphone out of the three not being of the right level. Crowd seemed to like them – 7

From here on in, you have the “big hitters” – first up, Starboy Nathan. If there was one act that was able to play to the crowd and get a whole host of love in return, he got it. It’s my first experience of him, and he was good, in a Jason Derulo kind of way – even if he stripped his shirt off (and his two dancers did also) – 9

Back earlier in year I saw Twenty Twenty supporting The Saturdays . They’re pretty much in the Mcfly/Busted style and another huge hit with the crowd. It won’t be long till they’re utilizing that 83000 facebook fanbase (not 43000 Capital FM) and having songs in the chart. 9

Just before we got to Dionne Bromfield, my friend was checking her facebook and someone had posted about Amy Winehouse dying. I was straight onto Twitter and learned what had happened.  Felt really very strange if I’m honest. Here we were about to watch Amy’s goddaughter perform within hours of her finding out what had happened. Would she go on? Could she go on? Had she been told?

As it happened, Dionne Bromfield went on with the show, and if I’m honest I did well up a little. Can’t explain that feeling now, but at the time it just felt very intense. Not only did she perform but she performed really well. Don’t think the crowd got her music though which was a shame, but in the circumstances I think she was amazing. 10 (just for performing under the circumstances)

Then to the main event.

The Wanted

Not really been a big Wanted fan so maybe I’m in a good position to judge what I saw?  Okay lyrically they’re a boy band – and that’s exactly what you get – but seemingly not in the polished way of the past. They seem a bit more rough around the edges. Yes, you’ve got one for everyone – take your pick out of the 5. And maybe just because they’re not in the same way of Take That in the early days makes them look a little different?  Whether they stay the course over the next few years is another thing, they all have different personalities and whether one has already been groomed for a solo career who knows. Back to the present, they performed  all their hits – Lose my mind, Heart Vacancy, Gold Forever, Glad you came and their debut single All time low which ended the day quite well. Also did a couple of covers – Iris & Animal – but if you’ve seen them on their first tour, you’ll have seen the same songs albeit performed in Ponty Park. I think the 6000 odd who were there in the park were Glad they came…..  10

My favourite part of the day came at the very end upon walking into the bus station to get the number 10 home – and seeing Sweet Manics waiting for the Aberdare bus. We all gotta start somewhere huh 🙂

The only thing I would’ve changed would’ve been the timings – TwentyTwenty or Starboy Nathan would’ve been much better just before The Wanted , that aside a successful day out in the park – a party maybe…. Hmmm.. Party in the Park? There’s a good idea!

Click on the photo to see the rest of the images

@thewantedmusic #pontysbigweekend

Full album of Saturday 23rd July 2011 in Pontypridd

In the order of

Sweet Manics
Jay Worley (BGT Semi finalist)
Tom Richards (XFactor)
Sophie Evans (Wizard of Oz)
Fanfair
Soundgirl
Starboy Nathan
Twenty Twenty
Dionne Bromfield
The Wanted

Click on the photo to get to the album

Review/Blog to follow