Patron of the Arts

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I have a friend I do cultural things with. We are both seniors living on
affixed income, and we choose our events carefully, always looking for
discounts and bargains. Our special favorite is a first Wild Wednesday
two-fer that the local performing arts center offers for the resident
companies. These companies are primarily local performers but they
do sometimes import talented professional from big cities as a draw,
usually for their holiday galas or end-of- season show. We had tickers
for a performance a week ago that they did not cancel. But they
should have because the weather conditions were so bad that the
police department urged people not to leave their homes because of
downed trees and power lines and intensely dangerous driving
conditions. Obviously I did not go out, but the company refused to
give a refund (as other events the same night gave other friends) or to
honor the two-fer for their next show. They offered the me the chance
to pay full price for the next show, or a tax-deductible letter from my
first purchase. I am still fuming. Do I have any form of redress?

Patron of the Arts

Dear Patron:

You have to decide if you care more about getting your refund or two-
fer transferred to the next show that being, and being perceived as, a
pain in the patootie. My vote is with you: if the police say stay home,
they should have cancelled the show. But because they did not, they
figured that p***ed-off patrons were a better bet than losing money.
That said, pick up the phone and leave them a voicemail, and then
follow up with an email.

Here’s how I’d say it: I had two tickets for the [date] performance of
your [performance title] event. My friend and I were very psyched to
see it. We purchased the tickets on a Wild Wednesday. We are both
seniors living on fixed incomes. You know what happened with
weather. I assume you also know the Police Department advised
people “not to leave their homes unless it was an emergency.”; I love
the arts, but not at risk of my life. Friends who were to attend a
[alternate venue event] were given a refund. I was offered the chance
to brave the weather, to pay double to attend your next event, or
think of my ticket price as a donation. I would have preferred a
refund, but had to settle for the tax letter. I do not know why the two-
fer price would not be honored at your next event. It seems
discriminatory to the potential attendees you are trying to attract with
the two-fers. I am formally requesting either a full refund or that the
same seats be honored at the two-fer price in May. Please feel free to
contact me directly.. If you don’t get satisfaction, tell them you’re a
senior with lots of time on your hands and ready to use social media to
share your dissatisfaction.