Charity criticised after late cancellation of non-member tickets to star-studded event

People who had paid out for non-refundable travel to the Royal Television Society event featuring the actor Tom Hiddleston have complained to the charity

The Royal Television Society has faced criticism and received at least 10 formal complaints after it closed an event to non-members after all the tickets had been sold.

The RTS has apologised for the move, but did not reply to a request to confirm whether it had responded to formal complaints.

On 25 February, the charity announced a panel event, featuring the actors Tom Hiddleston and Sophia Di Martino from the Marvel television series Loki, as well as the series director Kate Herron, to take place on 2 March.

The event was described in promotional posts on social media as an “exclusive” event but tickets, which cost £12.50, were placed on general sale and sold out within 24 hours.

On 28 February, 48 hours before the event was due to take place, ticket-holders received an email stating that “due to the overwhelming popularity of the event, the RTS has to prioritise its members and so have made this event members only” and informing them that the cost of their tickets would be refunded.

Several people complained on Twitter that they had been left out of pocket for non-refundable travel and hotel costs and criticised the “disgusting treatment” of those who had initially purchased tickets.

Some non-members were later able to pay for tickets, but were then told, after money had left their accounts, that they would have to wait to find out whether they had secured a place.

Third Sector understands that at least 10 people have submitted formal complaints about the incident, and complainants are alleging that they have not yet received any response.

In a statement, the RTS said: “The Royal Television Society regrets any inconvenience caused by the recent change in the Loki: Behind the Scenes event to a member-only audience due to demand.

“We will be making a recording of the event available to the public via our YouTube channel so that it is able to be enjoyed by the legions of fans we know are excited about the upcoming season.”

A spokesperson for the charity added: “We can confirm that the RTS responded to all emails regarding the change,” but did not respond when asked whether this referred to the formal complaints.

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