Federal Trade Commission

San Diego Civic Theater Gift Cards Not Allowed for Broadway Shows

Mel Tabak and his wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year. 

“On the invitation, it said if you want to do something, give money or give a gift towards season tickets to Broadway shows,” Mel said. 

The couple received five $50 gift certificates for the San Diego Civic Theater from friends and family. 

“Well, we figured great, we’ll use all of this when the season comes out,” Mel said. 

When tickets first went on sale for Broadway San Diego’s 2017 season, Mel and his wife jumped at the opportunity to use their gift cards but, according to the couple, things didn’t go as planned. 

“He said those aren’t our gift certificates, it’s the theater’s gift certificates, we’re a tenant,” Mel said. 

Mel said the representative told him the gift certificates could be used for certain theater events but not necessarily for all the shows at the theater. 

“There’s an exception to every rule, I’m not asking for a ton of money, I’m not asking for any money, just give a credit where I already paid,” Mel said. 

The Civic Theater and Broadway San Diego wouldn’t budge and Mel said his calls to the theater and Broadway San Diego eventually went unanswered. 

Before drawing the curtain, Mel said he had one more move to play. 

“Seeing your show, I said let me try this one and let’s see what Consumer Bob will do if anything,” Mel said. 

NBC 7 Responds reached out to both the Civic Theater and Broadway San Diego. Both organizations said they would investigate and in a matter of days, Mel received the phone call he had been waiting for. 

“Boom, whatever you did, I get a callback and it’s resolved,” Mel said. 

Broadway San Diego and the Civic Theater agreed to honor Mel and his wife’s gift certificates towards their season pass. Broadway San Diego told NBC 7 Responds both their group and the Civic Theater plan on updating their website to try and avoid any potential confusion in the future. 

In an email, Associate Marketing Director for Broadway San Diego Christann Heideman said, “We are also in the process of updating our website to make sure that there isn’t any confusion in regards to our gift cards and that they are only for our organization and not the Civic Theatre’s independent productions. We are also asking the Civic Theatre to make sure they have their website updated to note that BSD Season Tickets are excluded as an available product as we are separate organizations. The San Diego Theatres Box Office only sells single tickets to our productions once a show goes on individual sale.” 

Giving gift cards as gifts are growing in popularity and according to the Federal Trade Commission, FTC, before you make your purchase, you should do your research before selecting the right gift card. 

To read more about what the FTC said you should know about purchasing gift cards, click here

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