The city of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan has announced it will be providing gift cards good towards the purchase of tickets to future events after its ticketing vendor failed to refund those who purchased tickets to events subsequently cancelled by governmental restrictions on events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The city council voted 6-1 at a meeting this week to provide gift cards – but not cash refunds – equal to the amount paid to Ticket Rocket for tickets to Moose Jaw Warriors games, a ZZ Top concert and a High Valley concert, all of which were called off in the spring.
“We do not have the legal responsibility (to make refunds according to the service agreement), but there is a moral responsibility, in that this company has left lots of us in a very frustrated state,” city manager Jim Puffalt said. “It’s certainly bad public relations and service to customers who wanted to go to the shows, and they can’t get a refund.”
Ticket Rocket was expected to issue refunds for the cancelled events by August 22 of this year, stemming from a settlement agreement reached in late May that resolved most of the dispute between the municipality and Ticket Rocket, which is based in New Zealand. Government authorities now believe the company has no ability or intention to make good on that agreement, due to the company having gone into receivership.
“Shame on Ticket Rocket for doing this to our community and not fulfilling their contract,” Council member Crystal Froese said. “… we do have an obligation to these people. This is the only way I can see of moving forward with this.”
The lone “no” vote on the council stemmed from the fact that the city would be shouldering a hefty (estimated at $200,000) burden based on the malfeasance of its ticketing vendor. That burden will be passed on to taxpayers, while those receiving gift cards good for future events are not all city residents. And not everyone is pleased with the thought of receiving a gift card rather than a refund, but the city authorities indicated that those who purchased tickets using a credit card can attempt to recover their lost money through a chargeback.