The New York State Attorney General’s Office said that since the first week of February, it had received thousands of consumer complaints related to the virus, on issues such as pricing or bogus medical treatment, but only 10 so far regarding ticketing matters. But experts say they expect an increase in official complaints, as more and more concerts are postponed.
For many online fans, a serious concern is whether companies abandoned their refund policies when they saw the tidal wave of debt building.
Ticketmaster, which belongs to concert giant Live Nation Entertainment, admitted that it had made changes to parts of its website after the coronavirus blocked tours last month, but that its underlying refund policy hadn’t changed. This policy – which customers must click to accept when purchasing tickets – says that refunds are processed automatically for cancellations, but that event organizers may impose “limitations” on refunds when it comes to shows postponed or rescheduled.
“In the past, with a regular volume of event interruptions, we and our event organizers have been able to systematically offer more flexibility with refunds for postponed and rescheduled events,” Ticketmaster said in a communicated. “However, given the currently unprecedented volume of events involved, we are focusing on supporting organizers in their efforts to determine site availability, new dates and refund policies, while rescheduling thousands of events in a situation that continues to evolve. ”
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, president of StubHub, said the company had long issued refunds to ticket buyers before recovering fees from sellers, but the large number of cancellations made this almost impossible.
“The complications that arise, and the magnitude of this time challenge, are frankly difficult for any intermediary in the normal course of practice,” said Singh Cassidy in an interview, “when, in practice, this normal course does not exist. more. ”