Ticketmaster Draws Fierce Backlash Over Refund Policy Change Ticketmaster Draws Fierce Backlash Over Refund Policy Change
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, more and more concerts and festivals are being postponed. Now, fans are lashing out against Ticketmaster... Ticketmaster Draws Fierce Backlash Over Refund Policy Change

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the globe, more and more concerts and festivals are being postponed. Now, fans are lashing out against Ticketmaster for their change in refund policy, as they’ll only refund tickets if an event is cancelled.

Originally, fans were able to receive refunds “if your event is postponed, rescheduled or cancelled,” Ticketmaster stated on its website a few weeks ago. However, now, an event must be cancelled to receive money back, although some concerts have no reschedule date in sight.

Ticketholders took to social media to express their frustration regarding the policy.

According to The New York Times, Ticketmaster acknowledged that it made changes to its website once the coronavirus pandemic caused the touring business to come to a grinding halt last month, however, it noted that the company’s underlying refund policy has not changed. Before customers hit “accept” when buying tickets, a note from Ticketmaster says that refunds are processed automatically for cancellations, but event organizers may place “limitations” on refunds when gigs are postponed or rescheduled.

“In the past, with a routine volume of event interruptions, we and our event organizers have been able to consistently offer more flexibility with refunds for postponed and rescheduled events,” Ticketmaster said in a statement. “However, considering the currently unprecedented volume of affected events, we are focused on supporting organizers as they work to determine venue availability, new dates and refund policies, while rescheduling thousands of events in what continues to be an evolving situation.”

Ticketmaster isn’t alone. Late last month, StubHub announced a change to its refund policy and said it would offer vouchers worth 120% of a ticket, rather than a refund. This caused widespread anger from fans, since a lot of ticketholders were hoping for a refund during this financial crisis. One man in Wisconsin sued StubHub. In a statement, StubHub said that due to the huge number of cancelled concerts, it’s simply not possible to refund customers at this time.

“The complications that arise, and just the magnitude of this timing challenge, is frankly challenging for any intermediary in the normal course of practice,” StubHub President Sukhinder Singh Cassidy said in an interview with The Times. “When practically speaking, that normal course no longer exists.”

A new report from Pollstar shows that the live entertainment industry is taking a hard hit from the pandemic; revenue this year is expected to be down as much as $9 billion – an unparalleled crisis in the industry’s history.