BBC documentary claims Pollen wilfully overcharged customers

Photo by Joey Thompson on Unsplash

A new BBC documentary claims a senior employee at Pollen was behind a scam that overcharged customers before the music and festival company went bust last year.

The programme, called ‘Crashed: $800m Festival Fail’, found that a huge proportion of Pollen customers it contacted were still owed money by the now defunct British company.

Among the concerning accusations are that shortly before going under, an estimated 15,000 Pollen customers – mostly in the US – who signed up to a monthly payment plan were charged early for their next instalments meaning that they were double – and in some cases triple – charged for their instalment. The unauthorised transactions were worth $3.2m (£2.5m). Documentary makers claim to have seen internal documents that suggest the computer code responsible for doing this was written by a senior employee at Pollen, tested the day beforehand and then manually executed.

While the company claimed at the time the overcharge was an error, the documentary team emailed thousands of those affected and of the 259 people who responded, all but ten of those said they were still waiting for refunds.

Former Pollen employees were upset when they heard customers had been overcharged. One of those employees, Jack, told the BBC that he felt the overpayments were “a betrayal to customers”.

Pollen went bust in August 2022, owing an estimated £78m to staff, creditors and shareholders.

Watch Crashed: $800m Festival Fail on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer.

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