Here is what to do if the pop-up event you bought tickets for never pops up

HOUSTON – Over the last year and a half, we’ve rolled with the punches when events were canceled or rescheduled. But one popular event has been delayed, rescheduled, and delayed again for months. And some customers called our KPRC 2 Investigates team when they couldn’t get any answers about what’s going on.

Event delays and confusion

You’ve probably seen the ads on your Facebook and Instagram feeds for pop-up experiences and events. Tickets are sold months in advance and in a few cases when it was time for the first people to go inside the business wasn’t ready.

“I find that there’s a game of thrones pop up coming to Houston I’m like oh my god no way,” said Yaddira Vivier.

Yaddira Vivier was excited to spend $40 a ticket to the Game of Thrones-themed event for her and her husband. (Not sponsored by Game of Thrones, just the theme of the show.) She was excited about themed drinks, interactive games, and more.

“Lots of cosplay. Like just a really immersive experience,” Yaddira explains.

But so far that experience has been a letdown.

“It’s just a huge, huge bummer.

From July until now, Yaddira and many others have dealt with delay after delay for the opening of “Haus of Thrones”.

Dates for the event have been postponed with a long list of reasons for why.

“It’s all the same verbiage every time they just they really want to make sure the experience is great and they don’t want to offer anything and they use COVID as an excuse,” said Yaddira.

Other customers looking for answers

Social media comments show other customers looking for answers about the event delays. On the Instagram and Facebook pages for the event, you can see comment after comment from people looking for refunds or asking questions about when the event will happen.

Earlier this month, Yaddira showed up at club Cairo in downtown Houston on one of the planned event dates. She had a scheduled time and date for her entry into the event.

“Everything looks like really dead outside this is just there’s no like even any signage or nothing,” said Yaddira.

Other customers showed up too with tickets for the same day. Yaddira talked to the club owner who says he has been dealing with issues with the event organizers.

Yaddira says at one point the company *did* say they were issuing refunds but the process was confusing. Other customers on social media said one refund process of using an email as a coupon code did not work.

Event organizer Asha Holloway has held several other successful pop-ups around town that were very popular and had no problems. She was even featured on Houston Life for “The Office” TV show experience earlier this year.

But when our KPRC 2 Investigates team called and left messages for her. She didn’t agree to talk on camera. We did later hear from Asha who called explaining that the event was going to start on October 15th.

Checklist for buying event tickets

These “pop-up” style events are popular right now. One recent pop-up event in the Houston area caused a lot of confusion with customers after they bought the wrong tickets.

KPRC 2 Investigates pop-up event confusion (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Several exhibits featuring post-impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh are traveling around the country right now but the soundalike names of the events had fans booking tickets for one event thinking they were going to another. One of those events was also delayed.

The Better Business Bureau tells us before purchasing tickets:

  • Read the fine print. It may say no refunds.
  • If you can’t get a refund from the company, check with the distributor of the tickets. This is how several customers say they eventually got refunds in this case.
  • Using a payment method like a credit card may give you more leeway to dispute the charges.

We checked and there are no complaints about Asha or her company with the BBB. [You can check to see if a business has complaints or reviews here.]

After countless emails and calls, Yaddira says she finally got the promise of a refund but was told it would take 14 business days. She’s still waiting.

When we talked to Asha late last week she said the event was going to open this past weekend.

About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.