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Old Vic deny liability. Lose.


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Hello. My second post, I think.

 

I bought a matinee ticket to see Lisa Dwan at the Old Vic. I live in Yorkshire and bought an Advance Return train ticket to London - non-transferable, of course. About a week before the performance OV emailed me to say, without any explanation, that they had had to cancel this matinee and would be refunding my ticket shortly. I immediately emailed them to explain that they also owed me for my train ticket and why.

 

They said - and this is core - they were not liable for any loss sustained by this cancellation other than the ticket money.

 

"Pay up in full by four days' time or I'll see you in the County Court", I said." There will be no more discussion on this". They then said that "in this special case" they would refund my train fare too. "Some time soon". I told them - "You now have two days' to have that cheque in my hands or I'll see you in the CC."

 

They paid without demur. The cheque was with me next day.

 

BUT - had I not insisted, threatened, kept to a very tight timetable, in short if I'd not been bloody-minded, they'd have got away with this.

 

Maybe this was a "special case". But if it wasn't, shouldn't it be better known by the public that all financial losses incurred by failure to fulfill a contract, in this case putting on a show in exchange for money, are to be borne by the party breaking said contract?

Edited by Lobogris2002
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Hello. My second post, I think.

 

I bought a matinee ticket to see Lisa Dwan at the Old Vic. I live in Yorkshire and bought an Advance Return train ticket to London - non-transferable, of course. About a week before the performance OV emailed me to say, without any explanation, that they had had to cancel this matinee and would be refunding my ticket shortly. I immediately emailed them to explain that they also owed me for my train ticket and why.

 

They said - and this is core - they were not liable for any loss sustained by this cancellation other than the ticket money.

 

"Pay up in full by four days' time or I'll see you in the County Court", I said." There will be no more discussion on this". They then said that "in this special case" they would refund my train fare too. "Some time soon". I told them - "You now have two days' to have that cheque in my hands or I'll see you in the CC."

 

They paid without demur. The cheque was with me next day.

 

BUT - had I not insisted, threatened, kept to a very tight timetable, in short if I'd not been bloody-minded, they'd have got away with this.

 

Maybe this was a "special case". But if it wasn't, shouldn't it be better known by the public that all financial losses incurred by failure to fulfill a contract, in this case putting on a show in exchange for money, are to be borne by the party breaking said contract?

 

 

It isn't that simple.

 

a) When you bought your ticket, did you buy "a ticket to go to London", or did you stipulate "a ticket to go to London to see that show"?. Your contract FOR THE TICKET is with the train company, not the Old Vic, unless you bought it as part of a package .....

 

b) What does the theatre's website say about cancellation terms?. If they state they aren't responsible for consequent losses (such as train travel), then they likely aren't. They also could have said that you could still have enjoyed a trip to London, (+/- got tickets for a different show).

 

c) Was the contract with the Old Vic "frustrated"?. Did they cancel the show due to poor sales (where they can't say it was "frustrated", as they could have gone ahead bearing the loss), or was a specific thing or person [with no understudy] unavailable (e.g. the theatre was closed on safety grounds).

 

Krell v Henry, a case from 1903 deal with "frustration"(in the case of an outdoor coronation procession that was cancelled), while Herne Bay Steamboat Co v Hutton appears similar (referring to events in 1903, a naval review, also cancelled due to the King's ilnesss), but led to a different outcome.

In Krell, the room hire was considered specific to the procession, but in Herne Bay it was held that the boat hire wasn't specifically for viewing the naval review, and the hirer could still have enjoyed the boat hire and seen around the bay!.

Commentators have also suggested that the different outcomes for these (superficially similar) cases may have been influenced by if the contract was a commercial or individual one.

 

So, it isn't quite as simple (black/white) as you have suggested!.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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