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.
Hey, @Ticketmaster – you are no longer offering refunds to postponed events? Only officially cancelled ones? And the policy is RETROACTIVE?
— Joel Schipper (@JSchipperWDRB) April 13, 2020
I hope ticketmaster goes bankrupt😍😍 Im so sick of those thieves constantly changing policies last minute so that they benefit😳 its absolutely revolting I think
— 𝖍𝖆𝖗𝖕𝖊𝖗𝖆⁷↺ (@cranbhobi) April 13, 2020
*everyone suffering during the pandemic*
ticketmaster: hold on, let me make you suffer even more pic.twitter.com/ZYisECqOTK
— ♡ ellie ⁷ | jikook au 📝 ♡ (@jikooksbloom) April 13, 2020
ticketmaster changing their policy and not allowing refunds if a concert is postponed has to be one of the most idiotic moves ive ever seen, especially now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic. fuck ticketmaster i think.
— ♡ (@koojms) April 13, 2020
ticketmaster changing its refund policy in the middle of the pandemic to no longer offer refunds for postponed shows is the biggest finesse of 2020
— richee🍍 (@richeepeace) April 13, 2020
Ummm…..Ticketmaster changing their policy to no refunds for postponed shows is the stupidest thing ever. Do they have a specific team working against broke people who save up for events and can not afford to lose the money????pic.twitter.com/rx5qhm6fuA
— S⁷ 🦋 (@JINius_1) April 14, 2020
whoever at ticketmaster was like “guys i bet they won’t find out if we pull a fast one and change the refund policy in the wake of a global pandemic”… you are a special kind of evil
— Tanay Patri (@TanayPatri) April 14, 2020
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.