Brisbane residents demand refunds after disappointing event
When tickets for The Wizard’s Dinner went on sale in Brisbane not too long ago, they have been snapped up quick by Harry Potter followers wanting to expertise an evening of magical leisure.
Held on January 18 in St John’s Cathedral by The Wizard’s Brunch firm and promoted by way of Immersive Ventures, the sellout, $235-a-head occasion was marketed as an “immersive eating expertise” in a “magical world”.
However many upset company ended up demanding refunds after making a string of complaints towards the corporate together with overpacked tables, sweltering warmth, an absence of meals and decorations and obscured views of the leisure.
Company have been initially promised “a chic three-course meal” and three-hour beverage bundle “plus all of the leisure and occasions of the night”.
An organization spokesman advised information.com.au solely a “small quantity of individuals” had made complaints which didn’t signify the expertise loved by the vast majority of company.
The spokesman additionally mentioned the occasion was not overbooked, with points being attributable to company failing to maneuver down and make room for others.
He mentioned all company obtained three hours of limitless drinks together with share platter entrees, particular person mains and share platter desserts, however admitted some company had their view of the leisure obscured.
Information.com.au spoke with 5 sad company at size — most of whom didn’t attend collectively and didn’t know one another beforehand — who had related, detailed complaints.
At the least 15 extra individuals have additionally been speaking with the corporate and demanding refunds, with many buying a number of tickets on behalf of household and mates.
Niti Prakash advised information.com.au she and her buddy Crystal Brown left the “terrible and appalling” occasion after simply 40 minutes because the pair felt bodily sick because of the warmth and lack of air flow within the venue, claiming company have been “packed in like sardines” with no drinks accessible on tables after receiving their preliminary “welcome drink”.
Ms Prakash paid $235.12 per ticket together with a processing payment, and ended up getting a full refund after complaining “3 times fairly aggressively” to organisers, who she mentioned have been “defensive” when she resisted their provides for partial refunds.
“There was nothing ‘magical’ concerning the occasion, not to mention the meals, and the tickets break the bank,” she mentioned.
“You count on an honest stage of care and talent for one thing that prices that a lot. They didn’t present a primary stage of service.
“It was marketed as a dinner occasion and so they didn’t even have the bottom stage of plates.”
She mentioned there have been some poorly marketed aspect entertainments akin to a photograph board and face portray, however she didn’t realise it was accessible till she left her desk to get some air.
She claimed it was “disappointing” from the second they arrived with few wizard-related decorations on tables, and that on her desk, company had no plates and the entree platters have been chilly.
Like different company information.com.au spoke with, Ms Prakash additionally mentioned church pillars obscured any view of the stage and leisure — and she or he had a message for different Aussies who is likely to be tempted to attend a future occasion.
“Don’t go — don’t waste your cash. And simply know you do have rights — below Australian Client Legislation, a client assure exists for services so if you buy tickets and the service is clearly unacceptable you possibly can ask for a full refund,” she mentioned.
Ms Brown, who attended with Ms Prakash, mentioned it appeared “no effort in any way” had gone into making a magical environment.
She had related complaints relating to warmth and poor organisation, and mentioned within the time she was there, the occasion appeared overbooked with “just about no meals” to be seen.
“It was simply actually anticlimactic and for greater than $200 a ticket you count on extra,” she mentioned.
“It was an actual disappointment and the entire thing was a let-down to be sincere. When you’re going to carry an occasion, you want to organise one thing respectable.”
Fellow visitor Hazel, who requested for her final identify to be withheld, advised information.com.au she had been supplied a 40 per cent refund after complaining to organisers.
She mentioned she was involved with a gaggle of strangers she met on the night time who have been all demanding refunds.
“We couldn’t even see the leisure and there was not sufficient meals — it got here right down to a sub-par expertise,” she mentioned.
“If the value was decrease individuals might need simply chalked it as much as expertise … however the truth so many individuals took motion was as a result of the value was so excessive, which meant expectations have been additionally excessive, and so they didn’t ship.”
One other attendee, Sharnie Healy, described the occasion as “severely unorganised” and mentioned she was “offended” to be supplied a 40 per cent refund as an alternative of the total quantity.
“They made each excuse below the solar and on the finish of the day they didn’t give us what they mentioned they would offer,” she mentioned.
One attendee has lodged a proper grievance with the Australian Competitors and Client Fee (ACCC) and others are contemplating additional motion.
Feedback on the corporate’s social media pages are overwhelmingly constructive, with Fb person Sarah Jonson posting concerning the Brisbane dinner: “Had a lot enjoyable! Beloved it! Please do one other one!” whereas fellow Brisbane attendee Taylor Lewis wrote: “Actually loved it! Thanks for placing on such a cool occasion!”
A spokesman from The Wizard’s Brunch mentioned the experiences described by the individuals who contacted information.com.au weren’t indicative of the general success of the night time.
“We had a small quantity of people that attributable to different patrons not permitting house that was allotted to them on the venue needed to be reseated on different tables,” he mentioned.
“The occasion was not overbooked, everybody had a seat, however because of the above and folks unwilling to maneuver we needed to relocate a small quantity of shoppers to supply further house.
“Everybody obtained three hours limitless drinks, entrees which have been share platters, mains and desserts once more which have been share platters. While some individuals might have had an impeded view of the stage we put up screens across the venue for individuals to see the motion and a lot of the leisure was roaming and accessible not on the stage however across the venue.”
He additionally denied deleting poor evaluations.
“We haven’t deleted something. You’ll be able to go to our social media pages and accounts to view your self or search #thewizardsbrunch which we have now no management over individuals’s posts or opinions,” he mentioned.
“Total a couple of individuals have been affected by the occasions, they have been refunded primarily based on their scenario and expertise and all have been happy.
“Sadly six individuals doesn’t actually paint a good image of the opposite 494 that had an excellent expertise particularly since we’ve compensated and dealt pretty with these affected.”
It’s not the primary time the corporate has been criticised by some Aussie Harry Potter followers.
A similar event held in Sydney in May 2018 at Sydney College’s MacLaurin Corridor additionally sparked some complaints of “bizarre” and cringe-worthy performances and tiny share plates of “low-cost” and “horrible” meals.
Nonetheless, a spokesman defended the occasion on the time, telling information.com.au most attendees had loved the night time.
“We’ve had some superb evaluations from clients together with a 93 per cent suggestion from a survey we despatched out to company publish occasion,” he mentioned in a Fb message.
“Be happy to additionally search #wizardsbrunch and #thewizardsbrunch on Instagram you possibly can see buyer suggestions first-hand.”