Fans who use Craigslist to buy tickets online should be particularly careful, according to Tulsa, OK Better Business Bureau (BBB) President and CEO Rick Brinkley.

While the Web site remains a popular destination for all sorts of commerce, ticket buyers have little to no recourse should problems arise, Brinkley said, such as the cancellation of an August 20 concert by crooner Rod Stewart at the BOK Center in Tulsa.

An illness forced Stewart to cancel the show, and Brinkley told TicketNews that ticket buyers that bought from the box office or reputable brokers are the only ones who could count on receiving refunds. The BBB encourages customers to buy tickets from “official ticket outlets,” such as the box office or primary ticket seller like Ticketmaster, but it also believes that for people who use ticket brokers make sure to understand the broker’s refund policy and search the BBB Web site to see if the broker has a good reputation.

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“In order to receive a refund for the ticket, the purchaser needed to provide a receipt and the credit card to which the tickets were originally charged. Of course, the people who bought them on craigslist did not have either of these….and really didn’t know who it was they were dealing with,” said Brinkley, who was also interviewed on the matter by KTUL-TV NewsChannel 8. See the video below. “The consumers are now at the mercy of an anonymous email exchange. If they purchased from a trustworthy person, they may get their money back and the seller can get his/her money back through a refund. However, many consumers now can’t get the seller to return their emails and they don’t have a name, address, or telephone number for the seller. The consumer is left holding the bag and the seller will reap doubly by getting a full refund on the tickets as well as the consumer’s money.”

Brinkley was quick to add that the BBB does not recommend people use ticket brokers, only that the organization outlines some safeguards for those consumers that choose to use brokers.

“We urge extreme caution when purchasing from anonymous websites like craigslist and others,” Brinkley said.