Lock and LOL go out of business

Lock and LOL graphicThis morning, this site has received three separate reports that people have received the following e-mail:

Dear Sir/Madam!

We are very sorry to inform you, that due to unforeseeable events, Lock and Lol went out of business, and we must cancel all bookings.

Please accept our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience.

The Lock and Lol Team

This is the worst news that this site has yet received since it opened 7½ months ago. Supporting this, the Lock and LOL web site has been taken offline as has the page at the booking service they were using. The proprietor has been contacted for comment but has not immediately replied. Edited to add: The proprietor has confirmed this in a Facebook message to this site. Lock and LOL’s pin has been removed from this site’s map.

Jason points out this item from the Wowcher FAQ:

Q: What if the merchant for my wowcher closes down?
A: If the merchant closes down and your wowcher has not expired, we’ll refund your money.

Accordingly, if you bought a Wowcher to play the room, you may be able to get Wowcher to refund your money, as they say.

If you bought a Wowcher to play the room but had not yet redeemed it then, subject to confirmation, you may be able to redeem it for Wowcher Wallet Credit instead.

If you paid for a game on a credit card, rather than a debit card, and spent more than £100 (unlikely, but not impossible – perhaps you paid full price, perhaps you bought more than one voucher?) then your credit card company may be jointly responsible under Section 75 laws. A page at Money Saving Expert describes the process.

If you paid for a game on either a credit card or a debit card, even if you spent less than £100, you may be able to apply for a refund via the chargeback procedure. Again, a different page at Money Saving Expert describes the process. Do note that banks do not have a legal responsibility to provide refunds here, but it might still be a possibility.

Other than that, the Citizens Advice Bureau have advice as to how to proceed and whether you might still be able to get redress. Feel free to use the comment box below to discuss the progress of any attempts you make to get a refund. If this site gets any further news, be sure that it will report it. (Did anybody get to play the game before it closed? Was it good?)

While nothing lasts forever, the first game to fold so dirtily makes today a grim day and one that deals collateral damage to the reputation of every exit game.

17 Comments

  1. A cached version of the wowcher promotion suggests 250 tickets were bought at £39 a time: http://bit.ly/1tqLAJ1

    Also, from the FAQs at http://www.wowcher.co.uk/faq.html
    “Q: What if the merchant for my wowcher closes down?
    A: If the merchant closes down and your wowcher has not expired, we’ll refund your money.”

    So hopefully someone can give wowcher a nudge and they can get the ball rolling with the refunds.

    Reply
  2. Damn, was going to go in a few weeks, luckily hadn’t redeemed the voucher yet but shame I won’t get to play it, slowly been working my way around all the London rooms!

    I do wonder if they file for bankruptcy, there could be value in another site picking up the props and design to use in a future room. Downside of course being, they weren’t open long enough for us to figure out if the game was actually any good.

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  3. In terms of refunds for those who have paid already without using the Wowcher, I’d be curious what name the payment went to – if it’s a company or individual. Either way, if they declare bankruptcy you’d be able to put in a claim as a creditor (though odds are you wouldn’t get much). If they don’t declare bankruptcy, I believe you’d be entitled to a refund. Problem I’m having in investigating this is I’ve no idea if they were ever incorporated as a company or not.

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  4. The payment went directly to an individual – as I paid through PayPal I’ve started the claims process through there, I think you should be covered by buyer protection through that, otherwise you can always go to your credit card company.

    They did send out an email beforehand cancelling my booking blaming “criminal activity”…

    According to PayPal when I filed the claim this morning, it looked like the PayPal account has been closed as it asked me to escalate immediately

    Reply
  5. I have contacted wowcher about getting a refund, got the generic ‘We aim to respond within 72 hours’ and when trying to call them about a refund got cut off! But will keep the site posted with any developments. Such a shame as I was really looking forward to this!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Katelyn, and fingers firmly crossed.

      I am more ticked off about this development than I have been about anything that has happened since the site started in March, and not just because (like so many others) I bought a Wowcher for it too, so quite literally I share people’s pain.

      Reply
    • We contacted Wowcher through their Facebook page. Received reply within the hour offering a complete refund to card used or money credited to Wowcher wallet.

      Still have questions around how they vet suppliers but 10/10 for their response. I hope everyone else has similar experience.

      Reply
  6. I was due to go yesterday to the lock and lol escape game, but after checking the website for travel info etc, I found this! I am so disappointed!! But I however never had an email or anything to say it was cancelled. I only found out from trying to check the website!!
    I was given this as a bday pressie from my sister, she purchased it from wowcher! After reading on here we have emailed wowcher but still had no reply. I also messaged wowcher on the fb page as someone said they had reply within an hour. But I still have not heard anything, an this was done Friday eve!!
    Any ideas on what I can do next to try an get a refund??

    Reply
  7. I contacted wowcher this am by phone (number can be found on their website) an they are doing a full refund!! So I’m happier now. But still gutted I didn’t get to go 🙁

    Reply
    • Glad to read it, Jodie! Fingers crossed and I hope that this one bad experience doesn’t put you off for life. While there are a couple of sites which appear to have stopped taking bookings, this is the only site I know of to have had such a dirty fold in our neck of the woods.

      Reply

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