The email from Ticketmaster said Mr. Holmes was one of a “randomly selected group of ballot winners” offered tickets in a “supplementary round” that would be on “a first-come, first-served basis.” It urged him to “act quickly.” But farther down, it said he would have until noon on April 27 to claim the tickets, after which “they will be re-allocated.”
Even so, Mr. Holmes said he acted within minutes to no avail. It was unclear how many tickets were actually available, or how many people received the same email about them.
He searched Twitter and found many others who said they had a similar experience.
Janine Barclay, 58, who received the same email on Tuesday, declined a lunch invitation for May 7 because she thought she was headed to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “I was telling everybody about this,” she said on Friday, “and then I’ve got egg on my face.”
She received the email while she was out of the house and put off claiming the tickets, thinking she had a couple of days. Ms. Barclay said she was grateful that she lived close enough to Windsor Castle that her instinct was not to book a hotel or travel.
“They misled people,” Mr. Holmes said, but he added that he knew to expect disappointment in these situations. “We know how it goes with concerts these days,” he said. “It’s so hard to get tickets, it’s an event itself.” He plans to watch the concert on television at a family barbecue.
Beyond bad blood with Swifties, Ticketmaster was criticized in March when fans tried to attend the final round of the Eurovision Song Contest and some complained that glitches left them ticketless. The Cure said last month that Ticketmaster agreed to issue refunds to some fans after they complained of high ticket fees.
“It is a fiasco,” said Ms. Barclay, a swim coach and teacher in Pinner, England, who was excited to take her husband to the coronation concert. “For a big company like this,” she said, “you would have thought that they would have handled it better.”