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Refund Request

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Michael Jul 01, 2017 06:54PM PDT

Hello Anime Expo organizer,

I am writing to express my deep displeasure with my experience at the 2017 Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Upon arriving at the event, my brother and I spent three hours in the badge pickup line, only to find out there was another entirely separate line to enter the show itself (which we were told was an additional 2+ hour wait in line).

The lack of organization was ridiculous. Thousands and thousands of people wrapped around the LA Convention Center, around The Staples Center, and into the residential neighborhood.

Not only was this lack of organization unacceptable, it was also extremely unsafe. The line of people waiting in both lines crossed busy traffic streets with passing cars, all while being outside in 90+ degree weather, with zero access to restrooms.

Given the extreme wait times in line, it is clear the event organizer disgustingly oversold tickets, as an attempt to take money from people that had no possibility of entering the show.

We are regular attendees to events at the Los Angeles Convention Center, including E3 (less than 1 month ago), LA Auto Show, and the LA Art Show. The Anime Expo was by far the worst organized event we've ever been to.

We were excited to attend the Anime Expo today (7/1/2017), as it would have been our first time attending the event. However, we have no interest in attending the Anime Expo again, given today's mess.

We spoke to Customer Service at the ticketing counter, and were told that they have no ability to issue refunds in person. In fact, Customer Service told us to go wait in the 3+ hour line again then ask for assistance once we get to the front.

As we were unable to enter the show after our nearly 4 hour wait outside, we are demanding a refund of the $128.60 we paid for our tickets.

We look forward to your prompt solution to this issue.

Michael

Up 4 rated Down
Denise Jul 01, 2017 09:55PM PDT
HI, could NOT agree more with you, we had the absolute identical situation...we were so looking forward to this event; my daughter takes Anime drawing classes....feeling like this was DISHONEST OF MANAGEMENT to not be able to handle the crowds...we are also regular attenders of other events that are clearly organized more efficiently in the same venue ALSO with large crowds....Would also demand a refund as this day was absolutely insane....I would NEVER recommend anyone to attend until this issue is honestly and properly addressed.
Up 1 rated Down
Anonymous demon Jul 01, 2017 10:19PM PDT
I was there too me and my girlfriend. Waited in line for 6 hours to get in and got in at 5:50 the exhibit hall closed in 10 minutes then there was an hour wait at the 1 security check. So we had to leave after spending a total of 9 hours trying to have fun this weekend for once. They WILL NOT issue refunds my girl and I both wrote anime expo through email asking for a refund. They replied and said they cannot. These people are money hungry pigs. They give anime a bad name, they need to just be called "Expo". Never attending ax again and I hope no one ever does. This was a joke I hope everyone that reads this let's all there friends and family know about how they were scammed by these people. Cause it is not okay, and people need to take these matters into there own hands and do something about this. Cause apparently they just wanna take money and not give a fuck about the people that attend there events. Your just another number at AX!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Up 0 rated Down
Johnny Valencia Jul 01, 2017 11:21PM PDT
I want a refund i wait in line over 7 hours i know your understaff and people cuting in line its not fair .... all i want is a refund for 1 child ticket and 1 adult ticket other wise i will file a class action lawsuit against you.. thank you
Up 0 rated Down
Jocelyn Jul 01, 2017 11:40PM PDT
I would like a refund also. We waited 6 hours in line NO BATHROOMS. Had to wait mostly around half an hour at a subway to use a bathroom. Im very angered My poor brother had to be in life just for us to finally get our badges at 5 :30pm and do nothing but rest for the whole day at hooters.
Up -4 rated Down
AX Information Jul 01, 2017 11:48PM PDT Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation Agent

Hello, I am so very sorry. At this time we do not offer refunds per policy, but if you wish to take further concourse upon this situation, please file a complaint and we shall take is very seriously for future use. Thank you

Up 0 rated Down
Andrea Martinez Jul 01, 2017 11:51PM PDT
I wasn't able to pick up my badge on day-0 like I usually do because of work
When I was finally able to go pick it up today I found out the pickup station had already closed. I would have been ok with my mistake but the volunteers were just plain rude when I asked them about the line, I ended up breaking down and crying. I really don't want to be put in that situation again, please just give me a refund and I'll try my luck again next year.
Up 3 rated Down
Marisa Karlsen Jul 02, 2017 12:07AM PDT
For everyone who waited in line for 4+ hours today and did not get their monies worth for their day passes, I just called my bank (Chase) and they said that once the purchase is posted to call your bank immediately and put a credit hold and ask for a dispute letter. Once this is done, you take the letter and write what occurred, add any evidence you have such as: videos, pictures of your time in line, lack of basic facilities such as bathrooms and water, the unsecured locations they sent us, and send it back to your bank. Also, if the expo has refused your refund, by doing this enough red flags will be waved to force a refund.

I would also like to be added to this lawsuit!
Up 0 rated Down
Luisa Ramirez Jul 02, 2017 12:18AM PDT
I agree, we bought the four day passes and our first day was a disaster. we got there at 10:00 and were inside by 1:00 and only because people had made ways to get in and got around the RIDICULOUS ways that made people stand outside in the hot for no reason .... this plays having so much technology there should not be a line to get passes and the lines should be indoors if any cause there is not need for this
Up 0 rated Down
Bren Jul 02, 2017 12:42AM PDT
The event is very clearly overbooked and unsafe. Lines were obstructing traffic, particularly dangerous underneath the 110 because of the two way queue pushing attendees into the gutters. We had no access to restrooms and stood in the sun without sunblock for hours at a time. We witnessed one attendee suffer a twisted ankle more than a mile away from medical staff. This is unacceptable to deny refunds.
Up 1 rated Down
Josephine Jul 02, 2017 09:10AM PDT
I want a refund too! After waiting in line 8 hours everything was over that I wanted to do! Everything was horrible! There was practically no staff! And I was able squished to death getting off the escalator (my shoes were going into the escalator) because there were SO MANY PEOPLE. I bought tickets two and a half months ago, THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE WAY OVERSOLD TICKETS.
Up 0 rated Down
Elizabeth fleener Jul 02, 2017 09:17AM PDT
I also want a REFUND! I waited in line for 4+ hours and got sick. I am disabled, this was ridiculous that there wasnt any help for us. I wasnt able to pick up my badge and decided it just wasnt worth feeling unsafe and sick.
Up 3 rated Down
Jillian Jul 02, 2017 09:20AM PDT
I understand that in the policy, it states that no refunds will be issued after June 1st. However, I think it is safe to say that with the large list of problems that occurred to the hundreds that didn't even make it to the front door, much less inside of the Expo, you could at least give them 50% of what they paid or some kind of free merchandise to even attempt to give us what was lost.

People paid you, just as they pay every other company and person, for service. We did not receive service June 1st. My party did not make it to Badge Pick-Up, much less at the doors to get in. Hell, there were no signs indicating where Badge Pick-Up was. There were no signs indicating what halls were allowing entrance for those who already had their Badges. There was no staff directing the mass of people, and there was no one to try to speak to other than those working Weapons Check who were quite busy themselves and couldn't afford to be asked questions regarding Badges, Entrance, ect.

Those saying we should have gone Day -1 or Day 0, my party could not attend due to Doctor's Appointments, scheduled events with Family, and many other daily activities. Yes, Badge Pick-Up those days were open until 12am. But at that point, my party was so exhausted we were sleeping. And due to Anime Expo's policy of not being able to pick up someone else's badge for you, we couldn't ask a night owl to go in our place. So, the act of picking up our ONE DAY USE badges HAD to be done Saturday, not Friday or Thursday. Again, this isn't Anime Expo's fault that we were too busy. I am just letting you all understand the circumstances for myself as to why I could not attend these days to obtain my badge.

Our party was prepared for lines. Believe me, we knew that the event was going to be packed. But what we came across yesterday (7/1/2017) was not a line. There were giant masses of people standing around, Badge and Non-Badge holders alike, packed together like sardines in a can. The one line that was organized quickly turned into a blob just around the corner of the buildings. You would ask one attendee what they were in line for. They would respond Badge Pick-Up. Go a little ways ahead, you see someone with a Badge. You ask them why they are in the line for Badge Pick-Up. They claim they are in line to enter the building. There was no organization, no one to tell us where to go, nothing. We waited in an unmoving mass for 3 hours before my party gave up.

For those unwilling to read paragraphs of information, here is a list of pure PROBLEMS that I've both endured and heard about:
-No public restrooms available to those outside. If you needed to relieve yourself, you'd have to leave the line and go on an adventure through LA to find an open business willing to let you use their bathrooms.
-No staff was available to talk to outside of the event. We looked desperately for help beyond Weapons Check but saw no one. This leads me to assume all volunteers were inside of the building.
-No signs directed you to where to go. The only prominent "sign" was the booths for Weapons Check. Not once did I see a sign saying "Badge Pick-Up here," "Badge Holders Entrance/Bag Check here," or "Information/Help Booth here."
-Automated bot messages upon emailing. I find it terrifying that a company that claims to have the LARGEST con/expo refuses to have staff answering emails. Which, by the way, is one of the ONLY WAYS to contact any staff for help. You do not have a phone number to call for inquiries!
-The line of attendees was so long that it spilled out into traffic, and eventually as the masses grew and grew, the line stretched for miles and miles into "uncharted territory." As you get further away from the expo, you start spilling into very dangerous territory which is unacceptable for attendee's safety.

Anime Expo quite clearly overbooked attendees, OR they understaffed. There was no way that all of the people who purchased 4-day passes OR 1-day passes could attend. I'm positive at least 1/4 of those who purchased passes didn't make it into the event the first day. This issue could have been avoided if they had only sold as many passes as there was space. If you know you have staff for an event of maybe 5,000 people, do not sell enough badges to house 100,0000+ people. If you know the building can only house 50,000 people, do not sell enough badges to house 100,000+ people. With the amount of staff you had on-hand for the event, it was impossible to get every attendee through the door, much less to be able to receive a badge. Refusing refunds is terrible. People paid for services that they did not receive. We paid to stand in the sun, spirits slowly dying, never making it into the event. As I said, I do not mind waiting in line, but there was no line. There was no order. So even if my party does not receive the $190 we spent on tickets, I pray that Anime Expo will use the money they got from those who didn't even get into the doors to better prepare.
Up 3 rated Down
Janis Jimenez Jul 02, 2017 02:22PM PDT
I'm shocked that AX has let the line situation get this bad. There have been warning signs for years, with 2-hour badge lines in the sun, but it was nothing compared to this year. My family and I never even made it to the door.
We took about 45 minutes to find parking, then another 20 minutes walking around looking for where the badge line even was, then 2 and a half hours waiting for our badges only to be warned by multiple people who had given up that the badge line would still go on for another 2+ hours. We were blocks away from the convention center and the surrounding area was looking very unsafe. Out of concern for our safety, we decided to leave. When asking one of the staff about this, he merely said we should have gone on a previous day to get our badges. Sorry, but not everyone can take time off of work to go all the way to LA and pick up a badge before the event, especially when there's no option to pay extra and have it mailed to you!

I can't begin to describe how frustrating it is. I want a refund, but it's not really about the money. It's about the lack of respect for your own customers. What really poured salt into the wound was seeing a facebook post on your official facebook page that you were still selling 1-day passes. How can you have the gall to lure in more people with the lie that there's still space in the convention when people are lining up for entire day just to get in?!

"Increased security" is not an excuse. I'm sure checking bags and such slowed down the lines, but it wouldn't have been an issue had you limited the number of tickets to a reasonable amount. I would much rather have been turned away by the website saying it was sold out than to waste my time and money attempting to have a subpar experience.

We never got our badges, and not for a lack of trying. I sincerely hope that this time the complaints finally stick and you give your customers the respect they deserve rather than trying to make a quick buck by promising things you can't possibly deliver.
Up 0 rated Down
Christopher Wood Jul 02, 2017 03:15PM PDT
I pretty much know I'm not going to get a refund on my 1-day pass from yesterday, but I am shocked that I was not able to even get my badge without waiting several hours in line, blocks away from the convention center in some pretty sketchy neighborhoods. Not to mention the sidewalks surrounding the convention center were filled to capacity and people were almost waiting in line in the street. This whole situation felt very unsafe to me and not worth my time so me and my friend left after 3 hours of this insanity. We weren't alone in this, we saw many other
attendees giving up on the lines and the convention altogether.

I went to Anime Expo 2014 in the past and waited for around 2 and a half hours in line which was bad but not as bad as this year. This year's line was one of the worst lines I have ever been in. I later heard that some people eventually had to wait 6 hours in line 2 miles away from the convention.

Even finding the line to get into was a hassle with many AX staff giving conflicting messages when they could be found. The only advice we got was to go a day earlier next time, which isn't really an option for people who have jobs and aren't in the immediate LA area.

I've been to other conventions like Wonder Con, LA Comic Con, and even San Diego Comic Con, which has more attendees than AX, that handle lines much better than this. SDCC limits ticket sales and mails out badges before the convention, greatly shortening lines to get in.

I'm probably not going to return to Anime Expo for the foreseeable future unless something substantial is done about these ridiculous lines.
Up 0 rated Down
Linda Jul 03, 2017 09:57AM PDT
Seriously?! No refunds?! After people wasted their TIME and MONEY waiting in lines to pick up their badges that was already paid for? I didn't pay just to stand in line! I got at 3pm and like everyone else my boyfriend and I walked way too far for our own good - under freeways, residential areas, tent cities. Yeah, no. Ridiculous. We left that line because when we returned near the convention center one of the staff mentioned it'd take another 3 hours and it was already 5pm. The line near the tent was already hideously long with people cutting, and I was sure there were even more lines inside. And by the time we would have gotten inside, the the convention would have been over.

There were tons of people wearing suits, heels, etc in these lines! Some girls were walking in their socks because they didn't imagine the line would take us that far away from the convention. And as I've read there were far worse problems - heat stroke, those with medical issues, no restrooms or water other than those selling it, or cops.

I give props to the staff for trying to handle the chaos as best as they could.
I'm sure they never went through anything like this either and didn't know how to answer the guests' questions. They were working their asses off too I bet scanning those badges and giving people bags.
I wish though that they stopped the lines from getting to where they were at. I felt bad for staff having to stand out as far as they did to direct us.

The worst part was there was no acknowledgement or any compensation from anyone for people who waited in these lines and didn't get in. It was impossible to get the badges in the first place.
All we got was an "Oh, well, policy is policy. No refunds."
Nice, job. AX. Won't be going again. Enjoy your money.
Up 1 rated Down
Anon Nymous Jul 03, 2017 10:48AM PDT
AX may not give you your money back but your credit card will.
Dispute the charges. I just got my money back.
Up 1 rated Down
Marlon Pangilinan Jul 03, 2017 05:14PM PDT
Disputing the charges with your credit car company sounds like a great idea! If AX won't issue a refund, then my bank is not going to pay them.
Up 0 rated Down
Sherry Jul 03, 2017 09:40PM PDT
Where can I file a complaint?
Up 0 rated Down
Alvin Jul 04, 2017 10:48AM PDT
My gf and I waited in line for 3 hours, we both got sick from the heat and dehydration spells. Had to leave our friends who told us they got their badge 2 hrs afterwards. They only had 10 min. with the vendors, and left home with nothing. 5 hours to get a badge? Please offer refunds to your fellow fans who didn't make it to the door or receive their badges.
Up 0 rated Down
Daniel Gill Jul 05, 2017 09:02PM PDT

Daniel Gill

Jul 05, 2017 08:32PM PDT

I really Like Anime Expo, but this past Saturday July 1st, what a nightmare.
I am used to seeing lines, but this was above and beyond ludicrous. Extreme line management problems from the start. I don't mind sidewalk vendors, they are in the wrong place and in the way. Those line managers with the red vests, what where they truly doing, did they not see this problem escalate, they had the ability to get more help, did they? Or maybe they could have suggested to those doing the check in, speed it up. We have a problem here. I left at 3pm, I had figured even if I did get a badge, I would not be able to get to the concert I had paid for. Yes I was angry, I really like this convention, I am not coming back. This for me was a huge waste of time, and a lot of money.
So yes I want my money back, and yes I agree on a lawsuit, they need to get there heads out of there butts. Maybe thru this action they will be forced to solve this growing problem. And truly apologize , not with some auto statement, that reads "Its not my fault".
Management at Anime Expo "SPJA" you can contact me at my email , its the same one I use to purchase for 4 days, and the concert as well as the Masquerade. I definitely want an apology and my money back.
Up 0 rated Down
Karen O'Neill Jul 19, 2017 08:07AM PDT
My daughter and her friend had the same experience. I bought a 1 day ticket for our last day in LA (visiting from Boston) the morning of July 1. They stood in line for 5 hours and 4.2 MILES with the receipt to finally get to the front of the line for their badges and be told Artist's Alley was closing in 20 minutes (so much for being open until 8pm). That's like buying a movie ticket, showing up 4 hours early and not being let in until the credits. (Except that they were waiting in the sun getting sunburned, in the streets of LA with homelesss people, and when they got in the place it looked to me like an overcrowded fire hazard - they took photos and described it as a "mosh pit."). I feel that this was extremely irresponsible and poor planning. This falls under a failure to deliver goods or services. I have tried unsuccessfully to get a non-automated response from both registration and Eventbrite with no luck so far. The dispute goes to my credit card company tonight if I don't get a response from something other than a robot. Failing that, my next step is the State Attorney General's office. Come to Boston instead for Anime Boston, where they have their act together. Yes, it's a large event but they actually pay for enough space and don't oversell. Good luck all.
Up 0 rated Down
Josephine Jul 31, 2017 03:27PM PDT
I am EXTREMELY upset. I waited 8 hours to get inside AnimeExpo.I filed a dispute with my bank, and today just found out I was DECLINED for a refund "since the merchant was willing to provide the services" Like heck they were! What services?! There was none! I want a lawsuit.
Up 0 rated Down
Alisha Aug 04, 2017 06:40PM PDT
Has anyone gotten anything other than an automated response about this? I have sent them multiple emails and messaged them multiple times through a couple of different places on their website but still nothing on their end about this.

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