Saturday, 30 March 2013

Fiddling the books?

Chelmsford Theatre recently sent me details of a show during the Easter holidays.  It was right up Ethan's alley so I booked for the family.

Within a week of booking I received a telephone call advising that the show was cancelled.

I knew the children would be disappointed but I checked, and I'd at least get my money back.  I was told I could have an exchange or a refund, and a refund suited me.  I was told I would have to have the refund on the card that was used for the original payment and I proffered my card details to get the admin over and done with as quickly as possible.

Apparently they needed to call me back after Easter to sort out the refund.  I pondered.  I was being called on a Tuesday, not Good Friday, not Saturday, not Sunday, not a day during the school holidays, just a Tuesday before Easter.

I asked, I think quite reasonably, why I had to wait until after Easter for a refund.  Apparently it's because of the proximity of the end of the tax year.  The accounts department won't allow them to process refunds until after Easter.

Really?  I mean if I'd called to book something then they'd have been only too happy to take my money, but it was not possible to give me my money back?  Really?

Well it's the end of my tax year too, and I'd much rather have the credit showing in 2012/13 than 2013/14.  Actually it makes no difference at all to me other than the compromise on the principle.  I trust Essex County Council about as far as I can spit and I'm not, nor ever have been, a long distance spitter.

Do you honestly believe that it wouldn't be possible to process refunds at the end of a tax year or do you think Essex County Council are cooking the books?

1 comment:

Ann Cardus said...

Essex City Council and the people at the theatre tried to explain that they weren't fiddling the books and that it was their antiquated booking system that meant they couldn't process refunds so close to year end.

Fair play to them for trying to explain but... I still don't trust them.