StubHub Refund Policy Change May Run Afoul of Massachusetts Law StubHub Refund Policy Change May Run Afoul of Massachusetts Law
StubHub’s Covid-19 policy shift against allowing refunds for cancelled events may run afoul of Massachusetts law, according to consumer rights activists. More than 100... StubHub Refund Policy Change May Run Afoul of Massachusetts Law

StubHub’s Covid-19 policy shift against allowing refunds for cancelled events may run afoul of Massachusetts law, according to consumer rights activists. More than 100 consumer complaints have been received in the state, according to a report by WCVB.

The ticket resale marketplace changed its terms in March as thousands of events were being postponed or cancelled, going from guaranteeing the consumer their money back for an event that is cancelled to offering only a voucher good for a future purchase – with exceptions for states where law required refunds. While Massachusetts has no such law, the policy change being applied to existing sales after the fact could have the company in hot water.

Massachusetts has clear rules on returns and refunds. Companies doing business in the state can have any policy they choose, but it must be disclosed and can’t be altered after a transaction. State law says it’s a deceptive trade practice “to fail to perform any promises made to a buyer in connection with the refund.”

“You can’t change the rules midstream,” says Edgar Dworsky of Consumerworld.org, a former assistant Attorney General. “These consumers made a deal with StubHub. Under state law, it’s actually illegal to fail to honor any promises made in connection with the return policy or to misrepresent it. These people are entitled to their money back.”

The story uses as examples two customers who purchased tickets to events taking place this year – a Bon Jovi performance and a staging of Les Miserables. Both bought tickets believing that the company’s “Fan Protect” guarantee would protect them in the event of any issues. But the Viagogo-owned resale platform’s policy change in late March removed that ability, and both were offered only a 120 percent credit for their cancelled tickets.

“Pretty unfair, almost unethical on their part,” one said.

StubHub’s policy change drew fire from the outset, as most other ticket resale platforms began offering credits to customers holding tickets to cancelled shows, but still allowed refunds for those who asked. StubHub has already been targeted by a $5 million lawsuit over the change.

  • Kevin

    June 26, 2020 #1 Author

    This policy of theirs makes no sense at all unless they are planning bankruptcy. As a seller, Stubhub is NOT offering me a chance to withhold payment to them and they don’t care if I have been refunded by my supplier or not. In other words, I am being forced to repay Stubhub so what are they doing with all this “extra” money they should have since they are not refunding anyone but also are keeping 100% of the money they received from sales

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  • Robert

    June 26, 2020 #2 Author

    Stub Hub not only changed their refund policy, but also changed their payment policy to sellers. The “Fan Protect Guarantee” for sellers really has no credibility, even when Stub Hub was owned by eBay. I have found sellers to have virtually no rights, with respect to selling tickets on this platform. Any seller knows what I am talking about. When the COVID-19 pandemic was becoming serious, Stub Hub changed their payment policy to sellers, in that they were paid after the event took place. This way Stub Hub could cover any refunds to buyers for cancelled events, and wouldn’t have to chase down monies owed by sellers for shows that were cancelled. I have been waiting since March for payment to tickets sold for an event that was postponed, not cancelled, and Stub Hub will NOT pay me until the show takes place.

    With respect to cancelled versus postponed and rescheduled events, Stub Hub will not accept an event as postponed, then rescheduled, IF the event tickets are reprinted. This happened with the “Shin Lim” show in Chicago, which was postponed from March 2020, and rescheduled to September 2020. The venue is issuing reprinted tickets with the new date, but Stub Hub will not accept the tickets, and cancelled the event, making it more difficult for me to get a refund from the theater. Stub Hub has a habit of making up and changing their policies as they go along, to fit circumstances that are favorable to them.

    If you are a seller, and owe Stub Hub for monies owed for cancelled events, please beware, because they send out threatening letters to sellers warning of collection action. Here is a direct quote from an email sent to me this week: “To pay this charge, contact StubHub Customer Service at 866.788.2482. If we don’t get your payment immediately, your account will be sent to an outside collection agency and will be restricted”. What a wonderful company to make these threats against the people who list their tickets for sale, and who make a ton of money for this company in the form of sales and commissions. If it wasn’t for sellers listing tickets on their site, they would not be in business. If people look for other platforms to sell their tickets, especially licensed ticket brokers, then Stub Hub would close up shop very quickly. It needs to go!

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