Some Hero is Suing Ticketmaster Over Their Sneaky Refund Policy Change
A California fan has moved to file a lawsuit against Ticketmaster for what he alleges are “deceptive practices relating to their sale of live events tickets and refusal to provide refunds for live events that have been rescheduled or postponed.”
The ticketing behemoth came under intense backlash last week when it was discovered that the company changed their refund policy retroactively in the wake of mass coronavirus concert cancelations. The new policy offered fans the opportunity to get their money back only if an event was permanently canceled as opposed to rescheduled or postponed, leaving many fans holding paper to events far into the future, or with no definitive new date at all, at a time when millions are out of work and need the money for survival.
Ticketmaster eventually attempted to shift blame to concert promoters, but fans — and lawmakers — weren’t having it: the company eventually relented, saying they’d offer a 30-day refund window on all postponed and rescheduled concerts starting May 1 once those rescheduled dates are announced.
And therein lies the problem: the man, who says he spent nearly $600 on tickets for two Rage Against the Machine shows in April that won’t happen, is left holding the bill until the band announces new dates. The lawsuit appears to have been filed before Ticketmaster announced the new 30-day refund window starting May 1, but even under Ticketmaster’s latest policy the claimant will still be forced to wait an indefinite amount of time until new dates are announced instead of simply being entitled to his money back right away, as he would have been according to Ticketmaster’s policy before they sneakily changed it.
The complaint, which was obtained by Blabbermouth, reads in part:
“Prior to the coronavirus outbreak and at the time that Plaintiff and Class Members purchased event tickets from Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc., a division of Live Nation Entertainment Co., Ticketmaster assured customers that Ticketmaster would refund ticket purchase prices ‘if your event is postponed, rescheduled or canceled.’ After the coronavirus outbreak forced the cancelation or postponement of most large events and public gatherings, Ticketmaster retroactively revised its policies applicable to the prior ticket sales to allow for refunds only for canceled events, not postponed or rescheduled ones, including when postponed events are ‘indefinitely’ postponed. Yet, Live Nation’s president recently predicted that live events will not occur again until fall 2021 at the earliest.”
“With fees and costs, the four RATM tickets cost Plaintiff approximately $590. On or around March 15, Ticketmaster informed Plaintiff that, due to the coronavirus outbreak, both RATM concerts would be indefinitely ‘postponed.’ Ticketmaster, however, would not refund the total amount Plaintiff paid for the RATM concert tickets. Plaintiff now holds four tickets to two RATM concerts that have been effectively cancelled, will almost certainly be cancelled, and which he bought with a guarantee of a monetary refund for cancellation. But under Defendants’ new, post-hoc policy revisions, he will only be provided a refund if, and when, the events are officially cancelled rather than ‘postponed.’”
The latest update from Ticketmaster will allow the plaintiff to claim a refund even if the shows are rescheduled (and not just canceled, as of the above states) but, again, he will need to wait for the new dates to be announced before he can initiate that claim.
According to Blabbermouth, “The plaintiff is seeking an order against Ticketmaster awarding damages, injunctive relief and restitution and requiring the company to, among other things, reverse the unlawful changes they have sought to make to their refund policy as it relates to tickets purchased prior to March 30; prohibit Ticketmaster from refusing to offer refunds to any class member who purchased a ticket to an event that has been postponed or rescheduled; and pay damages and restitution to the plaintiff and class members.”
We hope the unnamed California man, and all the other folks inconvenienced by Ticketmaster’s sneaky policy change, get the rewards they deserve.