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Payment transaction / booking fees
Why do I have to pay a booking fee?

When you buy an event ticket you are entering into two contracts: One with the promoter to provide the event and one with the agent to process payment for the ticket.

It may sound obvious but we're Agents. All Agents perform a separate service from the Principal. They act as a go-between between you and the seller. You pay an Estate Agent to sell your house for you or you pay Ebay to sell your unwanted items.

The difference is that most agents get paid by the seller. (the above are good examples) but Ticket Agent fees are almost always paid by the buyer. (If you see a ticket that appears to have no booking fee, it just means the promoter has included the fee in the price)

It's a tradition that dates back to the 18th century and despite many people thinking it's extra cost, it's a much cheaper option than the alternatives. It's unlikely to change.

So why is it not refundable? The answer to that is because the transaction with the event organiser isn't complete until the event takes place so, the ticket agent may also have to refund you as part of the service of supply.

The service we offer is unrelated to the service provided by the event organiser. We supply the ticket, we process the payment and then, if the other party fails to supply, we ensure you get the money back for the service that wasn't supplied.

Booking fees through event agents are set at 10% and a 10% booking fee does not cover the cost of processing both sales and refunds so, the fact that the service has been supplied may explain the legal position but the reality position is that it's also not viable to return the fee. A promoter may have an unexpected cancellation and lose money but, for us, cancellations are expected on a fairly regular basis. As a result, it's an integral part of our service to arrange refunds when things don't go according to plan. Part of your payment to us is insurance against cancellation.

However. there is an exception. When you buy tickets for London Theatres and the event is cancelled or the main actors pull out, you could choose between attending on another day or ask to be refunded. If you chose a refund then that would include the booking fee.

If that sounds like a better deal you need to know there's a catch. The booking fee for London Theatre productions is 25% of the face value.

If the industry or the government ever bow to pressure from consumers to make all booking fees refundable, then the price of event tickets will rise by at least 10% to cover that cost. That's not something we want to see.

To summarise

You are actually entering into two transactions with two separate parties.
The Promoter of the event sells you a licence to attend the event at "face value".
The Agent merely sells you the service of supplying the ticket and processing the payment.
When an event is cancelled you only have a right to a refund where the service has not been supplied.

Ticket touts and resellers

The industry standard is 10%. This is one way of recognising that the agent is authorised. Anyone charging you much in excess of that amount is unauthorised. Tickets purchased in this way are not valid for entry and may not even be real tickets. A ticket tout is very unlikely to offer refunds in the event of a cancellation. Although it is illegal under The Berne convention and copyright laws to make a copyrighted performance available (i.e. to resell a ticket) without the written permission of the copyright holder, the resale of a ticket for the price you paid is acceptable. If you are unable to attend, email us as we may be able to resell it on your behalf.

Buying direct from the promoter

There are instances where tickets can be bought directly from the promoter for the face-value. It's rare as most promoters do not have the money, time or facilities to do this and as there's no charge to them for using an agent, why would they?

The answer is usually to fund the event so it's important to remember that a promoter who has used ticket revenue to finance the event is unlikely to be able to offer refunds if the event fails. Save your energy and don't even try if there's no information on his website.

Cancellation of outdoor events

One final point on cancellations (that everyone should be aware of) is that, even when you buy tickets from an agent, there are circumstances for which you may not be entitled to a refund. The exception applies to outdoor events. For instance if an event is cancelled because of bad weather, a foot and mouth outbreak or similar you would not be entitled to a refund. The legislation was introduced in advance of The Olympics and would be logical if there were no insurance available for these circumstances.

Thankfully, we have yet to encounter a promoter who has been in that situation and not refunded the customers.

Is BTS an authorised agent?

Yes. There are less than 80 legitimate Ticket Agents in the UK. If the transaction fee is in the region of 10% of the face value of the tickets, it's likely that you're dealing with a legitimate supplier. If you are still uncertain, Bristol Ticket Shop highly recommends You can type in the name of an Agent and Safe Concerts will immediately tell you if they are on the Green list (authorised) or the Red list (touts and resale platforms)

Is it legal to resell my ticket?

Not if the terms and conditions of sale forbid resale. All major promoters forbid resale for profit. Attempted resale renders the ticket void so you would not only be committing a serious offence (fraudulent resale of an invalid ticket) but you would have lost any right to a refund in the event of cancellation. Selling tickets to friends or family for the price paid is perfectly legal.

Can I get a refund

This is entirely dependant on the circumstances. Email us with the query if your question is not answered below

Mistake when placing the order: Yes if you contact us immediately.

Cancelled Show: Of Course. Return the ticket to us with purchase details for refund.

Can no longer attend: Contact us. In most cases we will offer to resell the ticket for you.

Forgot to go or couldn't attend: No. We're sorry but refunds are not possible after an event has taken place.

Show was not as expected: This is usually a matter between you and the promoter. We can pass on the complaint.

We apologise but, in general, where a payment has been processed for a ticket the transaction fees are not refundable. (See top of page) Where the error is ours or the order has not yet been processed then all fees will be refunded.

What does collect at box office mean?

You will see this option on quite a few tickets. Sometimes referred to as COBO or an E-ticket it means you can print your ticket at home on your own printer. When you arrive at the venue the tickets barcode will be scanned or ticked off against a list. This means you can print it as many times as you like but only use it once. Please Note: "Box Office" refers to the point of entry at the venue and may be just a table by the door.

How long before my tickets arrive?

The vast majority of tickets we sell will be dispatched within 48 hours. Occasionally, if the event has recently gone on sale, we might have to wait a few days for the tickets to arrive with us. For very large events and most festivals tickets will not be distributed to the agents until the event draws close. We will try to indicate where this is the case in the event description. If you are concerned; If your friends have got theirs; email us.

What payment methods can i use?

Pretty much all debit and credit cards but sadly, not Paypal. This is because Paypal allow delayed payment on orders and we generally dispatch within 48hrs.

Can I claim my travel / hotel costs?

If a gig is cancelled, we will do our best to contact ticketholders via the email given at the time of ordering but we cannot guarantee that you will receive or see this email in time so, the onus lies on the customer to check that the event is going ahead before leaving home. So..No you can't. Sorry!

Is it safe to enter my card details?

Bristol Ticket Shop uses SagePay for processing all our online payments. SagePay are highly regarded as one of the biggest and most secure Payment Service Providers worldwide. When you hit the Pay Now button you leave our site and enter all your card details on the SagePay site so, even we have no access. Your card details are 100% safe.

Error messages on sagepay

SagePay will occasionally decline an order or encounter a processing problem. You will be given an error message if this happens. Below we have tried to translate some of the messages so that you can work out what has actually gone wrong.

The VendorTxCode has been used before: Happens if an order has failed and you've used the back button on your browser to correct the error. You need to go back and start again.

Card declined by your bank: Use another card / Check you entered the details correctly / Call your bank

The network connection to the bank is currently unavailable: They can't contact your bank. Wait 30 mins and try again.

Rejected by vendor rule base: Too many errors in your entries. Wrong CVV code and incorrect card address

2003 ERROR An error at SagePay: Usually a time out contacting us or the bank. Try again.

Do I need to bring ID?

The short answer is YES. Most nightclub venues operate a "Challenge 25" policy which means that if you are lucky enough to look under 25 they will ask to see your ID and can refuse you entry if it isn't produced. If they do refuse you entry you are not necessarily entitled to a refund. Venue's may also require ID if you have an e-ticket although that is a little less common as you then wouldn't be able to buy tickets for other people. Every venue is different and some are relaxed about this but it only takes one eager bouncer to refuse you and ruin your night so PLEASE ALWAYS BRING ID.

Can I sell tickets on your site?

Of course! See "Sell tickets with us" at the bottom of the page or email us and we'll set you up with an account. You can add and edit your events or let us do it for you. It's totally free.