News item

Restricted view at the Olympics?

SportingSeatsThe Trading Standards Institute says consumers are entitled to compensation if they were sold tickets for seats which turned out to have a restricted view.

The advice comes after media reports of premium tickets holders at the Aquatic Centre finding themselves unable to see diving events fully.

Our civil law lead officer David Sanders said:  “Higher priced tickets in particular give rise to higher expectations – an unclear view of an event is more likely to constitute a breach of condition or breach of warranty.
“When there is a breach of condition there is a complete failure of purpose (as in goods with a lack of satisfactory quality) and there should be a full refund.  A breach of warranty is more like holiday complaints where everything is in order but the pool is closed so the consumer is entitled to some money back for the inconvenience or loss of benefit.

“TSI members have worked with Locog throughout to try to ensure spectators enjoy their experience to the full.  However if consumers feel that their experience does not meet their expectations they should complain, with photographic evidence where possible.

“Locog are right in that every claim for breach of contact is individual and it is up to a court in every case to quantify damages if appropriate.  Locog will therefore look at each claim on an individual basis.”

From a criminal law point of view if consumers were not informed prior to purchase that the tickets were restricted visibility, there could be a misleading omission under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regs 208 (Reg 6 - omitting material information). 
If consumers wish to get a refund, they would have to make a claim against LOCOG for breach of contract.  Consumers would either have to go through the refund procedure, or they could take civil action trough the small claims court.  For those who purchased the more expensive tickets (over £100 per ticket) by credit card, they could also make a claim under section 75 Consumer Credit Act 1974 from Visa.

For further advice consumers should call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06.