Online ticket firm SOS Master Tickets, which was selling tickets for various summer festivals and gigs, has disappeared off the face of the earth, apparently taking everybody's money with it.

People began to smell a rat last week when tickets for Essex and Staffordshire's weekend V Festival failed to show up. SOS promised its users a full refund by 29 August, but yesterday the Spanish-registered website disappeared completely, while the company's phones have remained disconnected.

Now, Leeds and Reading Festival goers who bought tickets from thesiteare in anguish with the festivals but hours away, and SOS still nowhere to be seen.

"Absolutely gutted"

According to users on the Leeds Festival website,SOS Master Tickets has been charging up to £200 for individual tickets for the past few weeks, though nobody seemed to be actually receiving any.

Such is their anger, some forum members have even formed a "We hate SOS Master Ticket" Facebook group.

"Me and my boyfriend ordered them, we were told they were to come today - HA! They haven't come, also the website doesn't work anymore," said one poster.

"There is no contact to them. Hopefully we can claim back off the credit card. Absolutely gutted as I was stoked to be able to see Metallica."

Graham Burns, spokesman for the Association of Secondary Ticket Agencies, told The Metro (link): "I am afraid they have been victims of a rip-off.

"We alerted the authorities to this months ago, because the prices they were offering for tickets were simply not achievable."