Tony Robbins ticket holders demand refund
Australians who have paid thousands of dollars for tickets to see international motivational speaker Tony Robbins are demanding refunds after the multi-day seminars were either rescheduled until next year or made "virtual".
The Tony Robbins Australia website states the changes are "as a result of government advice and continued restrictions on mass gatherings as well as international and interstate travel".
Diamond tickets offering a "premium experience" and costing $3495 have sold out for Robbins' Unleash the Power Within event in Sydney from September 17 to 20.
The event tells potential attendees their "path to breakthrough must start now!"
"Create the life you want even when outside circumstances try to hold you back," it states.
"In just 3.5 days you'll transform your life. You will discover your power to break through any limitation, overcome any challenge and create the quality of life you desire."
However, it is currently described by events promoter Success Resources Australia as a "live virtual 360 interactive experience" with "virtual only" tickets selling for $395.
Start your journey to unleashing your full potential at @TonyRobbins' Unleash the Power Within Virtual!— Success Resources (@SR_Aus) July 10, 2020
This live virtual 360 interactive experience starts 17-20 September 2020 Sydney, Australia 10 AM (AEST)
Sign up now! ➡️ https://t.co/gv0wQmS49B pic.twitter.com/UYSmCklF6t
But dozens of ticket holders who paid for an in-person experience have stated this is not what they signed up for.
Ticket holder Abbie Burr set up a petition after the Sydney seminar became an online event, stating it is "unacceptable" no refunds are allowed.
"Tickets cost from $1500 upward. The experience included four days in a stadium, live with Tony Robbins, walking on hot coals plus more," she wrote.
"Their resolution is to host an online live virtual event, on the same dates, that have to be watched there and then, and a complimentary ticket for the following year."
She said an online experience is "nowhere near close" to what people expected and not worth thousands of dollars, not worth taking the time off work for, and "not everyone can physically attend the event next year".
Signee Cheryl Gabin wrote: "I did not sign up for an online event. I wanted my friends and family to experience what I did - the atmosphere, the support, the hugs and fist pumps!"
On Twitter, ticket holder Mark Flett urged the Sydney-based events promoter to respond to his emails or answer the phone.
"Could you please contact me regarding the ticket I was promised after signing up for a live event which was cancelled?" he asked.
On a Facebook post about the Sydney "Live Virtual 360 Interactive Experience", Rob Thomas wrote: "I want a full refund. This was not the event advertised when purchasing tickets."
Robbins' Date With Destiny event on the Gold Coast was supposed to be held in April this year but was then pushed to September and has been "postponed" until April and May 2021.
Tickets to the six-day event cost from $6495 to $8995, rising to $10,995 if bought at the door.
According to the DWD site, Australian "registrants" have three options for their ticket: to attend the rescheduled event, transfer to a 2021 date with a location and venue to be advised, or transfer the full cost of their ticket "to other Success Resources products and services".
Ginny Hammond told Nine News she paid $7400 for a diamond ticket which included priority access and seating in the front section "close to Tony" in addition to the standard workbook and daily team exercises with "Tony's top trainers".
"They offered me a complimentary gold ticket, well I paid for a diamond ticket," she said.
"If you've been to one of these events, you have to immerse yourself fully. It's what you do.
"You hug people and you do activities with people and you walk on fire."
One disgruntled customer said, "you can't fire-walk in your lounge room", the Gold Coast Bulletin reported.
Success Resources Australia has been contacted by news.com.au but is yet to respond.
A spokesperson told Nine: "Our focus is to continue to help Australians through these unprecedented times, whilst working within government legislation.
"Our seminars have not been cancelled, they are available to attendees and come with a 100 per cent money-back satisfaction guarantee, which can be activated by attending the seminar."
Eligibility for the money-back guarantee for the UPW event is limited to requests made from 4pm to 8pm on day one, among other conditions.
Originally published as Tony Robbins ticket holders demand refund