Industry News

Peter Kay fans frustrated with expensive venue hotlines

Fans of UK comedian Peter Kay have expressed their frustration at being charged to get a refund for his recently cancelled tour.

Ticket holders received an email to confirm that they would be automatically refunded, but some people are worried about the huge cost of calling the premium rate hotlines given on the box office websites for venues like the First Direct Arena in Leeds and Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.

Both venues charge 7p per minute – and reportedly up to 55p per minute when calling from a mobile – meaning someone on hold for 10 minutes could be charged upwards of £6.20 ($8.30/€7.04). The costs are outlined in the terms and conditions when booking.

In addition, fans were disgruntled by the fact that they could not reclaim the ‘missed event insurance’ they purchased along with the tickets.

Meanwhile, many were reportedly unable to claim back phone bills as large as £40 for booking disabled tickets over the phone.

David Hickson of the Fair Telecoms Campaign told the Sun newspaper: “It is important that those seeking refunds are fully aware of their rights, use of 084/087 telephone numbers for existing customers is illegal.

“After all the fuss over the use of these numbers for booking, promises to end the greed and foolishness associated with their use have not yet been fulfilled. ‘We call on all artists to join us in this campaign to stop their fans being needlessly ripped-off in this way.”

Ticketmaster last week promised to automatically refund customers within the 10 days after Peter Kay cancelled the biggest comedy tour in UK history.

Just weeks after tickets were snapped up in quick time for 110 dates in 2018 and 2019, Kay announced that he would not be performing “due to unforeseen family circumstances”.

The Live Arena Tour, Kay’s first in eight years, was due to begin at Birmingham’s Genting Arena in April and conclude at The O2 in London in June 2019. Major venues such as the Manchester Arena, Leeds’ First Direct Arena, Glasgow’s SSE Hydro and Dublin’s 3Arena were expected to be packed out.