Why I am not going to PAX West
A tale of the worst customer service ever!
By: Jay (GrimlockTheDino9)
PAX PRIME was my first ever gaming convention back in 2015. The team and I had an amazing trip and it sealed our fate that we would be returning to this convention. We built our entire year of trips and events for the company around PAX PRIME 2016 (now called PAX West). Now one day before PAX West begins, our entire team sits in Michigan, planning for 2017 events.
Tickets and eBay
PAX West tickets went on sale June 7th at 1PM EDT and of course the Internet went nuts. I jumped in the virtual line to get our tickets at 1:03 PM. Like last year I had high hopes we would lock in our tickets and the battle would be finding the best hotel. I was wrong. After sitting in the queue for an hour and a half it was my turn to buy tickets. The only problem was there were no tickets left to buy except for Monday. So I went ahead and bought 4 Monday tickets and signed off. My wife went ahead and picked up one additional Monday ticket, giving us 5 total. It was not long after the event sold out that the bragging of how bots were used to buy up tons of PAX tickets began (these folks then of course started reselling them at a much higher price than what they paid). But I wanted to take my team to PAX so I was prepared to pay extra. I was pretty bummed because I knew the next step was to head to eBay and Reddit to try and obtain the rest of the tickets for our trip. I quickly learned this was not going to work. EBay had the tickets we needed but the prices had inflated to 3 times their face value. At that moment I realized the cost to take my team of 5 to PAX West was not going to work. I called a team meeting, explained what the cost of going looked like, and we all agreed to cancel our trip. I was pretty upset but I picked my head up and focused on our next trip (PAX South 2017)...that was until the customer service department from hell (a.k.a. Reed Expo) contacted me.
Customer service by Reed Expo
I still had 5 passes for PAX West (Monday), as there are no refunds for any PAX events. That was fine; I decided we would sell them for $5 cheaper than face value because I did not want to be like those other eBay assholes. I made the posts on the proper sites and figured I would be helping out some fellow PAX fans. Then it all went to hell. Reed Expo (the company PAX uses for ticket sales) sent me an email stating I broke policy and my tickets would not be shipping to me. WHAT??? According to Reed my tickets were not canceled; rather, I would just have to pick them up from Will Call...IN SEATTLE! I replied to this email, asking why my tickets were flagged and get a response stating I had more than 4 tickets delivering to the same address, and this was supposedly against their policy. Really? I then go to look at this policy to find out (thanks to people on Reddit with screen shots) that they changed the policy before they sent out the emails (but after tickets had been purchased). When I bought the tickets it stated one person cannot order more than 4 tickets, a policy I followed ( I ordered 4 and my wife ordered 1). I then replied to Reed explaining I will not be attending the event due to tickets selling out and re-sellers asking way too much for them. I would not be able to acquire my tickets from Will Call. The response from Reed was tough not our problem and the tickets will be at Will Call. I admittedly lost my cool and explained that I was not going because of their piss poor ticket announcements on top of allowing bots to buy out Fri and Sat (head over to Reddit and search PAX buying bot). I mentioned to them that they were flagging my Monday tickets (which hadn’t even sold out yet) but all the people selling weekend passed for $500.00 are not being even looked at? Their responses became shorter and more rude every time I replied. Finally I called them thieves and told them to enjoy the $280 donation I gave them since I had no way to recover my tickets. Their last email stated to contact them after the show and maybe they could send them to me at that time (exactly how would this help me?).
This bitchfest is getting a little long so let me close this out. I found a loophole they missed when they wanted to screw me; I paid for shipping! I paid for a service for them to send me my tickets, they had to honor that or give my money back. Once again Reed Expo changed their policy and quietly refunded just my shipping charges. This time I collected screenshot proof of them altering their policy along with the last screen shots I got from Reddit about the ticket limit per household. I sent one last email to PAX themselves hoping that they would realize how piss poor of a job Reed was doing and would help me out. Three days later I received my full refund. I am not sure if it was because of that email to PAX or if Reed Expo finally got tired of fighting and gave out refunds.
In the end I received a refund but I’m still bummed that I will not be at PAX West this year. This does not mean I am not going to try again in 2017. I enjoy PAX and want to always attend but with all the negative reviews around Reed Expo I hope this article brings attention to PAX. Maybe they’ll realize that they need to find a new vendor to support their ticket sales. I do not blame PAX themselves, but I do wish they were more aware of their fans’ troubles. With so much of this being all over social media, PAX did not come to the rescue, or if they did it was not in time.