Ipswich/Stowmarket: Grandmother left shortchanged after buying panto tickets for Peter Pan online

The cast of the Ipswich Regent Peter Pan pantomime

The cast of the Ipswich Regent Peter Pan pantomime - Credit: Archant

A web-savvy grandmother ended up £17 out of pocket after logging on to book a Christmas treat for her family.

Only after she had forked out £84 for five tickets to see Peter Pan at The Regent Theatre, Ipswich, did Charmain Simpson discover she would have been eligible for a family discount had she phoned the box office direct.

Each Christmas Mrs Simpson, of Stowmarket, takes her daughter and grandchildren, aged four and six, to see a panto of their choice.

“Sometimes we go to the one in Stowmarket, but this year they wanted to see Peter Pan so I booked tickets for the Regent.

“I paid for five tickets, four for my daughter and her family and another for me. I paid £84 only to find out later that they offer a family ticket and I could have saved £17.”

Posting on hyper-local social networking site streetlife.com, Charmaine said: “Furious!! Be aware if booking that the family ticket is only available by ringing to book. When I queried this with the theatre they said it’s in their terms and conditions. Why in this day and age can’t they offer the family ticket online?”

Fellow streetlife members advised her to try and get a refund on her original order so she could rebook over the phone and take advantage of the offer, but the tickets say they are non-refundable.

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An adult ticket to the festive show cost between £12 and £21, with a £2 reduction for concessions. Family tickets for two adults and two children are available for £67, or £57 for second tier seats, plus a booking fee of £2.

A spokesman for the Regent Theatre said: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused to this customer.

“Due to an administrative error some wording was not included on the webpage directing users to call the box office for special offer tickets. Not all ticket packages are available online and there are now amended details on the show’s webpage asking customers to call the box office to purchase group bookings, wheelchair spaces, boxes and some special offers including family tickets.

“If this customer had rung our box office and explained the situation we would have simply exchanged her tickets for the ones the customer wanted. If any customers have queries about tickets they have purchased we would encourage them to contact our Box Office on 01473 433100 where we will be happy to assist them.”