PayPal refuses to refund me £200 for cancelled tickets

I booked tickets for The Prince of Egypt but it couldn’t go ahead due to the Covid lockdown

Can you please ask PayPal why it is refusing to refund me £200 after a cancelled theatre show (The Prince of Egypt)?

The performance was meant to be last week but the theatre company got in contact just before Christmas to warn that there would be no performances before March, and that a refund would be processed two weeks before the scheduled performance if the offer of replacement vouchers was not taken up.

I opted for the refund. When I realised I had not received my £200, I asked PayPal to intervene. It asked for proof that the event had been cancelled or delayed. I sent the email received from the theatre company.

A day later it emailed to deny my refund request on the basis that I had received the service I had paid for. I keep trying to speak to a real person rather than a chatbot as I am certain this is a generic answer, and I have asked it to provide me with the “evidence” it has.

I am already dealing with having lost my job and having to move back home. I could use the money.

MA, by email

PayPal’s buyer protection works in a similar way to paying with a credit card, and it covers most, but not all, internet purchases if they fail to arrive, are faulty or are not as described and so on. Unlike with a credit card, there is no minimum spend, and a great many consumers, left out of pocket because of Covid restrictions over the past year, have successfully asked PayPal to step in and refund them.

However, it clearly hasn’t worked in this case. It seems someone decided that, as you had received the tickets, the service had been fulfilled as billed – somewhat missing the point.

PayPal has now restored your £200 to your account. It has apologised for the inconvenience.

Airlines update

Over the past few weeks the Consumer Champions inbox has been deluged by readers trying to get long-awaited refunds from travel agents and airlines after flights were cancelled because of Covid-19. There are just too many for us to process.

If you are in this group, take the matter up with your bank card provider, which may be able to instigate a chargeback. Those who booked with the airline direct and paid by credit card should make a section 75 claim.

If you are out of time, or this fails for some other reason, then start a small claims procedure. Readers who have done this have been reporting successful outcomes. For the countless readers who have outstanding problems with, I would advise bringing a legal claim. Its London office address is 77 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8JS.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions


Miles Brignall

The GuardianTramp

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