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Couple from Hull tried to use war in Ukraine as reason to get refund for not attending show in Blackpool

A COUPLE from Hull tried to use “events in Russia and Ukraine” as a reason to get a refund for not attending a show in Blackpool.

Staff at Comedy Station Comedy Club in Blackpool could not believe their eyes when the pair attempted to use the war in Ukraine as a reason for cancelling yesterday.

The wife of the disgruntled pair emailed the club saying they believe it is too dangerous for them to travel from Hull to Blackpool this weekend.

She said her and her husband were going to stay at home where they feel safe – despite the war between Russia and Ukraine taking place over 1,300 miles away.

After a member of the company refused to offer a refund, the woman allegedly got verbally abusive and accused them of trying to “scam people during a war”.

Their manager, Ryan Gleeson, has since stuck by his staff member’s stance not to offer a refund and said: “As far as we’re aware, Russia hasn’t invaded Hull yet.”

The customer’s initial email read: “My husband and I had planned a trip to Blackpool this weekend and we have got our tickets for your Saturday Night Laughs show at 7pm on the date above.

“I spoke to someone called Rob, if that is even his real name, on Facebook Messenger asking for a refund for our two tickets which we paid in full.

“Due to events in Russia and Ukraine, it is not safe for us to travel from Hull as we are both retired. 

The Comedy Station Comedy Club
The Comedy Station Comedy Club, in Blackpool. c. Comedy Station Comedy Club.

“Due to this it is safer that we stay nearer home until this is sorted.

“I told Rob that I wanted a refund and he said he would move the tickets to another date but I do not want that because I don’t know how long this will go on for.

Upon showing her the terms and conditions, the unhappy customer said: “He showed me the terms and conditions, which I did not read when I booked the tickets because no one does, and nowhere does it say anything about no refunds for a war. 

“As it is not in your terms and conditions I am legally allowed a full refund and I will take this to trading standards if not refunded in 24 hours…

“This is probably just everyone in Blackpool sticking together to scam people during a war.


Manager Gleeson replied: “Despite offering multiple resolutions to your problem, you persisted in calling him a liar, swearing at him, asking if he ‘masterbates to a poster of Putin’ (he doesn’t by the way, I have a rule that he’s only allowed to do that to posters of me).

“At which point he quite rightly advised you that he was not going to continue the conversation and gave you our email address.

“Since ending the conversation, you’ve messaged a further 17 times, abusing Rob, which is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated…

“Have a great weekend, stay safe and Dasvidaniya.”

The Comedy Station Comedy Club posted the conversation exchange on Facebook yesterday, writing: “We genuinely didn’t think we’d need to say this, but Russia moving troops into Ukraine does not entitle you to a refund, no matter how abusive you are to our Box Office staff.

“As far as we’re aware, Russia hasn’t invaded Hull yet.”

Ryan Gleeson
Manager at the comedy club Ryan Gleeson. c. Andy Hollingworth

The post has received over 750 likes, more than 500 shares and hundreds of comments from people who were left in stitches by the brazen refund attempt.

Peter Joy said: “Works both ways. 

“I wouldn’t want to go to Hull and back.”

Graham Whistler said: “This is so bonkers, it’s given me a headache.”

Kerry Robinson said: “Do they not know that coming to Blackpool gets them further away from Russia?”

Tracy Raine said: “The true winner is the solicitor who will no doubt be making a fortune out of this fool. 

“Thank you for giving me a chuckle and well done to Rob and Ryan for your professional and hilarious responses.”

Speaking today, Ryan Gleeson said: “This customer had emailed our box office team the week before and asked for a refund, due to her husband testing positive for Covid.

“She’d got her dates mixed up and we advised her that she still had almost two weeks until the show.

“She was advised that if they still weren’t able to attend, due to this reason, that we’d be able to transfer their tickets to another show and she was directed to the T&Cs on our website.

“Yesterday, she contacted our social media team via Facebook messenger and said she wasn’t attending due to Russia invading Ukraine and demanded a full refund.

“Rob offered to put her tickets on hold, for as long as needed, until she felt comfortable coming to Blackpool and she became very aggressive.

“He then offered to put her tickets on resale, so if we’d sold out, her tickets could be sold to people on the waiting list and she’d get her money back, but we couldn’t refund, as the show was still going ahead.

“It was clear that she was using the conflict as an excuse to try and get her money back, as opposed to a genuine fear, but even if she was worried, that does not give her the right to abuse or threaten anyone else.

“It was at this point that she told Rob to ‘Sort it now, instead of wanking over pictures of Putin’.

“She threatened Rob with ‘knowing people who will follow him home from work and find out where he lives’, which is when she was told the conversation wouldn’t continue and was given our email address.

“Some people need to understand that the customer isn’t always right and that it’s never okay to abuse or threaten anyone, for just doing their job.

“We are a small team here and I will never, ever stand for someone deciding that they’re more important to me than the people who look after our customers.”

Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine on Wednesday, sending troops from the Russian and Belarussian border.

They have lodged aerial assault on Ukraine’s largest cities and have taken control of the former nuclear site Chernobyl. 

The Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelenskyy said at least 137 civilians and military personnel had been killed in the country on the first day of the Russian invasion.

Yesterday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson brought out a new wave of sanctions against Russia, focusing on banks, oligarchs and overseas interests.

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