Fair Go: On the trail of customers’ money after Ticket Rocket goes bust

Covid-19 has hit New Zealand’s event industry hard. Ticket Rocket, a Dunedin-based ticketing company, has managed to make life even harder.

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We try and find out whether those affected can ever get a refund from the ticketing company. Source: Fair Go

Ticket Rocket has been failing to give refunds since New Zealand went into lockdown in March, repeatedly telling ticket holders they’ll receive their money back within 60 working days.

Some have received their money, many have not.

Ross Henderson is one of those owed a refund by Ticket Rocket, after buying tickets to the cancelled 2020 Warbirds Over Wanaka, scheduled for Easter weekend.

Mr Henderson bought three tickets - for himself, his sister and their 87-year-old father - costing $1200 all up. He’s yet to see the money.

“The experience of being a customer of Ticket Rocket has been frankly shocking, one of the worst customer experiences I’ve ever had in my life,” he told Fair Go.

“The continuous emails that I have to send, the phone calls that've ended up terminating a disengaged number, the inability to talk to a human being.. endless questionnaires, little surveys about how much I’ve enjoyed their customer service, which I think is deeply ironic given that I’ve had none.”

The process for ticketholders was made even tougher on August 31, when Ticket Rocket went into receivership.

The company’s sole director, Canadian-born Matt Davey, is nowhere to be seen or heard – that’s despite Fair Go’s numerous attempts to contact him.

Not just a ticket company owner, Mr Davey was formerly a director of the Highlanders, even buying shares in the franchise.

Now, the Highlanders have been quick to offload Mr Davey, saying in a statement he “resigned from our board in April and no longer has any involvement with the day to day operation of the Highlanders”.

“In addition, the Highlanders no longer use his company Ticket Rocket, our ticket services are now solely provided by Ticketek."

BDO Christchurch are the receivers, telling Fair Go they are “very aware” lots of customers haven’t received the refunds they’re entitled to and sorting through each claim will take some time.

If you’re waiting on a refund from Ticket Rocket, email and include:
- Ticket booking reference number
- Name of the event
- Name of the person who bought the tickets
- How you paid
- Where you purchased the tickets

Ticket Rocket’s website is still operating, but if you’ve bought tickets since August 31 they’re protected, so you’ll either get a valid ticket or your money refunded if the event is cancelled.