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No compensation for dissatisfied Battle of Waterloo spectators
More than 120,000 spectators gathered earlier this month to commemorate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, but not all were pleased with the re-enactment event. Belgian consumer association Test-Achats received hundreds of complaints from spectators, citing "unacceptable conditions" during the battle reconstruction. However, the organisers have decided not to grant the spectators’ requests for compensation.
According to Test-Achats, spectators reported several problems: "Some seating, even the more expensive seats, offered only a limited view of the battlefield, or none at all. Several spectators were obliged to take their children into their lap, despite having paid full price for a seat for them,” recounts Test-Achats. "In addition, the traffic and parking situation was found to be poorly set up. In short, it was very poorly organised.”
Test-Achats sided with the spectators, saying they are "fully within their rights to demand compensation." Etienne Claude, president of the non-profit organisation Waterloo 1815-2015, and Patrick Parmentier, managing director of organisers VO-Event, reacted negatively to the press release from Test-Achats. While Parmentier acknowledges that some errors were made, such as the incorrect numbering of the stands, he points out that all spectators found a suitable solution in the end. There will be no compensation provided, according to the organisers.