Advertising on a third party website for Ballet Ireland’s production of Romeo and Juliet offered the following information:
“Gaiety Theatre, Dublin Wednesday 15 – Saturday 18 November, 7.30pm. Saturday Matinee: 2.30pm.
Tickets; €26 - €45*
Booking 0818 … / gaietytheatre.ie
*Tickets inclusive of (agents) booking fee”.
The complainant said that he booked three €45 tickets for the production as advertised which he expected to pay €135 for. He pointed out, however, that his bill came to €151.95 as an additional service charge had been added to his bill. He considered the advertising to be misleading as it had indicated that tickets were “inclusive of the agent’s booking fee”.
The advertisers offered their apologies for what had happened in this instance and for any confusion caused in relation to the booking fees. They said the agent’s service charges for transactions in person at the Gaiety box office were included in the price along with the Gaiety restoration levy. They said it appeared, however, that extra service charges in relation to telephone and web bookings had not been made clear on the website in question and for this they once again apologised.
The advertisers said that in all future advertising they will make it abundantly clear where and how service charges are applied.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response, including their undertaking as to future advertising.
They noted that the claim in the advertisement, in relation to the inclusion of the agent’s booking fee, had not made it clear that this booking fee was not included in all purchase situations.
In the circumstances, the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Sections 4.1 and 4.22 of the Code.
In light of the undertaking in relation to future advertising, no further action was required.