In recent weeks, Ticketmaster has seen its refund process draw backlash from consumers and lawmakers alike. Now, one of the seller’s partner venues is speaking out against the “unacceptable” practice of withholding refunds from fans.
Florida’s St. Augustine Amphitheatre is looking to refund fans that purchased tickets for the venue’s many concerts this year that have ultimately been postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus. However, fans can’t receive their refunds right away if a show is postponed indefinitely per Ticketmaster’s policy, a practice the venue does not agree with.
“Our ticketing agency, Ticketmaster, adjusted their refund policies on a global level, creating delays for refund requests and even more delays with the refunded ticket being credited back to your account,” said Gabe Pellicer, general manger of the St. Johns County Cultural Events Division via Florida Politics. “As you may know, refunds are typically available via the original point of purchase. This means that anyone who purchased tickets online through Ticketmaster has been unable to get refunds at this time. This is unacceptable and we are close to a resolution.”
US Representatives Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Katie Porter (D-CA) have also criticized Ticketmaster’s refund process and called on the company to be more proactive in their approach to refunds. In response, Ticketmaster President Jared Smith maintained that any pending refund money is held by the company’s clients, including “independent venues, promoters, and arts companies.” Pellicer argues that is not the case with the Northern Florida venues he oversees.
“The newly revised refund policy not allowing refunds for a postponed event until the event is rescheduled is reprehensible and extremely disappointing,” he said. “The delay of refunds does not align with how we do business and is not the experience we want for our patrons. I can assure you that there has been no directive given by our organization to withhold any refunds from patrons of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre and Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. We have no benefit in holding money that people may urgently need at this time.”
St. Augustine Amphitheatre has seen a number of concerts get postponed and rescheduled for later in the year or pushed to 2021. Postponed events that have not received a new date yet and thus not eligible for refunds from Ticketmaster include headlining shows from Of Monsters and Men, King Crimson and The Revivalists.