Thursday, November 17, 2011

Exchange Policies at SF Symphony and Opera

I am being charged $10 (or so I was told) by San Francisco Symphony to exchange a ticket for Nov. 18 for a concert in the same series on Nov. 20. Herein, let us review the exchange policies for SF Symphony and SF Opera.

San Francisco Symphony exchange policy:

Please note that all exchanges must be received by Patron Services 24 hours in advance of the performance date printed on the tickets that you are exchanging. We’ll do our best to accommodate your request.

Ticket exchanges in person and by mail are free for subscribers, while faxed requests will result in an $9 charge. Non-subscribers will be charged a $10 exchange fee for each in-person or mailed transaction and $19 for each fax request. Phone requests are $12 subscribers and $22 for non-subscribers. Exchange requests into a higher-priced performance or section will be charged the difference. The difference for exchange requests into a lower-priced performance or section will not be refunded, but will be considered as a donation.

[$22 for a phone exchange if you're not a subscriber. Jeez. I mean, I think they shouldn't charge subscribers anything, and a much lower fee for non-subscribers. These fees are the kind of nickle-and-diming that piss people off even more than high ticket prices.]

San Francisco Opera exchange policy:

Subscriber Exchanges:
  • There is no fee for exchanges to another performance of the same opera.
  • Full and Half Series subscribers may exchange to a different opera with no fee.
  • All other series subscribers may exchange to a different opera for $10 per ticket (compared to $25 per ticket for non-subscribers).
  • Subscribers may exchange tickets over the phone (you must have your tickets in hand; please see below).
  • Note that there are no exchanges from a different opera into Lucrezia Borgia.
  • Note that there are no exchanges for Ring cycle tickets.
  • If there are no alternative performance dates that work for you, consider returning your tickets as a donation. You may donate your tickets by calling the Box Office; an acknowledgment will be mailed to you for a tax deduction.

Here’s How to Exchange:

Exchange tickets at least 24 hours prior to the performance; there is a $10 per ticket fee for day-of exchanges up to two hours prior to the performance* for all subscribers; all exchanges are subject to availability.
  • Call (415) 864-3330 (please have the tickets you’d like to exchange in hand). 
  • Visit the Box Office in person, and bring the tickets you’d like to exchange.
  • Mail your tickets and exchange request:
    [SF Opera doesn't charge different fees depending on how you make your exchange. Good policy: it's really hard to say why SFS charges you based on whether you phone, mail, fax, or walk up to the ticket office. The latter is an option only for people who live or work nearby or who can arrange to visit. But getting to the box office, for me, means a major time commitment to save the money. Not. Worth. It.]


Patrick J. Vaz said...

I always thought one of the main reasons to subscribe was no-cost exchanges -- clearly I am behind the times. This reminds me of the airlines tacking on all sorts of ridiculous fees for things that used to be free. And we all know how beloved and admired the airlines are.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I'm up a little early - wish I were not (damn dog) - and doing some research.