Cruel summer: Taylor Swift scam hits Victoria, but company blames ‘internal error’

CHEK

Taylor Swift is wrapping up a four-night string of concerts in Mexico City on Sunday night. Seeing that show is a pretty far-flung fantasy for fans on Vancouver Island, so some local Swifties thought they’d get their fix today by buying tickets for a well-publicized Taylor Swift-themed brunch at a local hotel. But it was a scam.

The Day’s Inn on Gorge Road was supposed to be the host of the Taylor Swift-themed experience, and it was promoted on numerous sites across Victoria.

The site to buy tickets, explorehidden.com, even had menu items, a itinerary, and a lip-sync battle listed.

The company tells CHEK News that an internal error was made that led to the event being listed and having tickets sold for, without it being booked at the hotel.

“We have a new team member and they accidentally put potential venues in place of confirmed venues, which meant that events were sent to media with the wrong addresses. We were made aware of this last Friday and have been working to correct the issues which have arisen from this mistake,” the company said in an email to CHEK News.

“As well as this, due to low ticket sales the event was postponed. All customer [sic] were sent both an email and SMS advising that the event on the 27th August [sic] was cancelled, and being moved to a later date in October… Therefore, no customers should have shown up at the venue.”

Vivian Esplen bought tickets for herself and her granddaughters, but when they arrived at the hotel on Saturday they were told there was no such event.

“I talked to the manager up there and he said I’m so sorry ma’am, we were scammed yesterday on an event, I think he said it was a Queen event yesterday and today he says you’ve been scammed the same way they were yesterday,” Esplen said. “We kinda sucked it up and came home.”

Esplen’s granddaughter, Kaylee Ellen Ottenbreit says they were disappointed to find out the event wasn’t happening.

“Our mom kinda had it as a surprise so we weren’t looking forward to it forever but it sounded like a fun thing so it kinda disappointed me,” she said.

On Saturday, the same site had sold tickets for an Abba-themed brunch, and a CHEK viewer says she had bought tickets to the event and learned the same thing.

The woman heard back from the company late Sunday evening, saying the event had been cancelled and that she would receive a credit for future Hidden events.

Esplen says she has disputed the charges on her credit card and hopes for a refund.

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