Major league baseball fans that purchased tickets for Baltimore Orioles playoff games that were never played have openly complained about the lack of refunds for service charges from Ticketmaster.
According to BaltimoreSportsReport.com, several Orioles postseason games were moved or cancelled – the Wild Card game was played in Texas, game 163 was never played, and the Orioles hosted only two of the three divisional playoff games, and now fans are angry over the $6-per-order service charge that they will not be getting back for games that never occurred.
“A lot of this is due to the business structure and relationship between Ticketmaster and its clients (in this case, the Orioles),” Will Flaherty, director of communications for SeatGeek, told TicketNews via email. “Ticketmaster’s revenue comes from these service fees. As such, they protect those revenue streams fiercely (and contractually), and as such Ticketmaster may not be bound to refund their revenues from these sales.”
Greg Bader, spokesman for the Orioles told The Baltimore Sun the policy was set by the team, along with Ticketmaster and MLB Advanced Media and receipts clearly state that processing and shipping charges are non-refundable. The refund policy on the club’s website says that per order processing, shipping, and handling fees are non-refundable.
“There are fees associated with this process that Ticketmaster, MLB Advanced Media and the Orioles do not refund as outlined in the original refund policy which is stated clearly online, was shown during the original purchase process, and is found on the back of each ticket,” Bader told The Sun. “There are significant costs that these entities encounter in processing ticket orders even for games that are unplayed, including the printing and mailing of tickets themselves, that this non-refundable fee helps cover.”
Other clubs such as the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, and Detroit Tigers also do not offer refunds for processing fees, while the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals offer full refunds.
“If anything, I think this situation and the resulting PR backlash the Orioles have faced may lead teams to dig in at the negotiating table the next time their contract with Ticketmaster is up for renewal, and insist that refunds are furnished for service charges in the circumstance of an unplayed/cancelled postseason game,” Flaherty told TicketNews.