London theatre information:
Booking tickets for London theatres
Buying tickets from agencies
There are many agencies selling tickets for London theatres. These range from large established organisations to smaller outlets. You can buy tickets from agents in a number of ways, but you should remember a few things that apply to all agencies. And remember our Tips on buying tickets apply here too.
- Booking fee, administration charge or whatever else they call it. The agencies buy tickets from the box office. They charge you extra to cover their own costs etc. This must not be more than 25% including VAT of the ticket's face value. The "face value" is the same as you would pay if you bought the tickets from the theatre box office. Watch out for other hidden charges. The face value must not be obscured and the agency is legally bound to tell you the face value of your tickets if you ask.
- Most agencies are reputable, but not all. If in doubt look for the STAR logo and if you can't see it don't buy.
- There may be an additional charge for using a credit card, but you should be advised when you book your tickets.
Buying tickets in person
If you are in London there are a number of outlets around the West End. When you buy your tickets make sure you see a seating plan. You should be told about any obstructions to your view from the seat and most importantly the face value of the tickets.
Check the tickets there and then BEFORE you hand over the money. NEVER accept tickets in a sealed envelope unless you have checked them first. There is little you can do later if you find out the tickets are not what you thought you were getting. Also be careful about signing anything that gives away your rights. If you are paying by credit card you should only sign the credit card receipt and nothing else.
If you are buying tickets through a concierge service then you will pay a higher price than agencies.
Buying tickets by phone
Most agencies have a telephone service which may be operational during opening hours or 24hr/7. You can book your tickets and pay by credit card. The administration fee should be the same as above.
If there is time your tickets will be posted to you, otherwise you can collect them from the theatre box office before a performance. If you are collecting your tickets, arrive early as there may be a queue. You may need to bring the credit card you purchased your tickets with as proof and sign a receipt.
One final point regarding credit cards. There may be an additional charge for using a card, but you should be advised when you book your tickets.
Buying tickets by Fax
Some agencies may allow tickets to be booked by Fax. You Fax them the details of the seats, dates etc. and your card details and they will send a faxed confirmation of your booking. You can't get any help or advice as you would using the phone, but otherwise the process is similar. The same rules apply as above regarding whether your tickets are posted or held at the theatre box office.
Buying tickets by post
Only use this option with an agency you are sure about. Tickets will be sent to you if you enclose a self addressed envelope and there is time before a performance. Alternatively your tickets will be held for you at the theatre box office.
Buying tickets online
Many agencies have facilities for you to buy tickets online. The same rules applies as above. Look for the STAR logo on their site. If they have a seating plan of the theatre then use it, although restricted views are rarely shown on these. We have links to the seating plans for some of the London Theatres if you don't find it on the agency's site.
Online security is very important and you should check this out and make sure the site has a privacy statement and that transactions are secure.
Buying tickets as part of a package
You may be buying tickets as a package with dinner, week end break or short trip to London. In these cases your agent should have got you good seats as they buy blocks of seats on a regular basis. It doesn't hurt to check if they send you tickets in advance. If you are handed your tickets at the last minute, then there is very little that can be done.
Let us know if you have problems
If you have problems with any agencies please let us know. Whilst we have no power to enforce any rules. We can warn other people about the agency in question.
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