29th May 2015 update: Secret Cinema didn’t respond to my emails and so I took them to the UK small claims court – requesting £200. They didn’t respond to the court letter, nor offer any defence, so the judgment was made against them. They still didn’t send me the £200. I then paid extra to send the bailiffs around to their offices and today I received a cheque for £295 – which includes the court and bailiff fees.
My original booking (4 tickets) was for July 27th and that was a difficult date to get as there was such a rush for tickets and the ticket site couldn’t cope. Extra dates were added but these didn’t sell out. So when the first shows were cancelled, people were offered a refund or re-booking to one of the extra dates as they hadn’t sold out – no extra dates were added. So Secret Cinema didn’t actually lose money unless people asked for a refund. I had to re-book for August 30th.
The founder of Secret Cinema, Fabien Riggall, gave several interviews to various media outlets when the shows were cancelled. Here’s an excerpt from the BBC interview:
Secret Cinema has offered ticketholders – who paid £53.50 each – the opportunity to attend another scheduled screening date instead, or a refund.
Additional refunds in excess of ticket charges for those who travelled from overseas are being considered on a case by case basis.
Well I flew from Prague and booked two hotel rooms. The other members of my party drove 250 miles. So I thought I’d be a pretty good candidate for an additional refund considered on a case by case basis. I emailed Secret Cinema my flight and hotel receipts and had no reply. So I emailed again and copied Fabien Riggall using this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org – I received a reply as follows:
As you did not just fly to London for the 27th, but spent a few days here, we are unable to refund the flights for you, however are able to offer you 4 complimentary tickets to a future Secret Cinema event, to be used at your convenience.
That’s not exactly the compensation that I was looking for. I would have been happy with a refund of the four tickets cost. And the reason for not offering a refund ‘spent a few days here’ – I mean what is the criteria, fly in on the day and out the next? Who would do that?
I replied a week ago and again no response. So today I’ve chased them and copied email@example.com – I’ll add an update when I hear back from them.