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Our VIP Taylor Swift Seats Had No View

Last July, I paid AXS £2,649 for four tickets to the Taylor Swift concert in Liverpool this month as a treat for my daughters. When they arrived, they found their view of the stage completely blocked by a tent and large items of technical equipment shrouded in black plastic.

They asked to be moved and were put in the very back corner next to fans who had paid a fraction of what I had. AXS appears to be ignoring my email suggesting they sold tickets that were not as described.

The premium package you purchased promised “unforgettable seats” along with branded merchandise. A restricted view was not mentioned, either, on the sales page or the confirmation. “Unforgettable,” at least, was an accurate description. Your daughters say they will never forget the disappointment.

Another fan, AE of Faversham, Kent, fears her Taylor Swift tickets in August will be similarly memorable, for she too has booked VIP seats, paying over £1,320 for two. Feedback and photos from friends and social media suggest that she has also invested in a view of a large tent and bulky sound equipment.

“From the row we’ve been allocated, it looks as though we’ll just about be able to see the screen but nothing else,” she writes. “I’ve asked AXS for the VIP tickets we were sold – with a view of the stage – but have had no response and neither have friends who have already attended the concert and found they could see nothing.”

Other furious fans have reported on social media that their premium seats were barricaded behind stage equipment. The tent that blocks the view, ironically, is to lodge celebrity guests who probably get their tickets gratis.

Seats with a restricted view are supposed to be advertised as such and priced accordingly. The venues are vast, and the stage viewed from the seated areas is always going to be in the far distance. But it’s an outrage fans have seemingly been misled into paying for a first-class experience when the stage configuration prevents them from seeing it at all.

Neither AXS nor its sister company AEG Presents, the organizer of the tour, responded to my request for comment. They don’t need to. Performances are a sellout, with fans prepared to pay any money to get a seat.

ST’s next option is to make a claim for breach of contract and statutory rights via the small claims court, now Money Claim Online. The Consumer Rights Act states that purchases must be as described and fit for purpose, and ST can claim the difference between the price she paid, and the price of the seats her daughters ended up in. According to consumer lawyer Gary Rycroft, she can also try claiming for damages.

AE’s situation is less clear-cut, he says, since she has not yet attended the concert. “If the retailer offers a full refund, the logic is she will either have to agree, or not,” he says. “A cynical retailer may take a view that Swifty is in such demand they can easily sell on a refunded ticket at a similar price with full disclosure of the restricted view.”

On the night, you could demand to be moved, citing the Consumer Rights Act, and take photos of the blocked view to support any claim.

Source: The Guardian