U.S. consumers who purchased tickets to see the Tokyo Olympics are seeking full refunds for their purchases, but the exclusive ticketing vendor is fighting to keep its “service fees” despite no fans being allowed. CoSport, which was the lone outlet for authorized ticket purchase in the U.S. market, called class action lawsuits filed in attempts to get the company to cough up the fees portion of the price consumers paid a “shakedown” in court.
From Yahoo Sports:
Facing a class action lawsuit over its refusal to fully refund Tokyo Olympic packages, CoSport, the exclusive U.S. reseller of Olympic tickets and hospitality, accused the plaintiffs on Wednesday of trying to “take advantage of and extort its good faith efforts.”
In a motion filed in federal court seeking to dismiss the action by five CoSport customers, the company says that it had already provided more than $23 million of cash refunds for Tokyo-related tickets and hospitality expenditures and that it planned to provide $9 million more “in the coming weeks and months.”
Currently underway in Japan, the Tokyo 2020 games were first postponed by COVID for a full year, then saw a ban put in place on foreign travel that meant all U.S.-based ticket buyers would not be allowed to attend. Eventually all spectators were banned due to the high rate of COVID cases in the Tokyo region. But the New Jersey-based company that was granted a monopoly on sales in the market by the International Olympic Committee (On Location Experiences has similar status for the 2024, ’26 and ’28 games) is fighting to keep the fees tacked on to the ticket prices.
One plaintiff claims that the cost of a ticket package from CoSport for the Olympics wound up costing more than $10,000, once hotels, hospitality, and tickets were totalled including fees. But when the spectator ban went into effect, they found out that CoSport only intended to refund the face value of the tickets themselves, but hang on to the service fees – amounting nearly $2,500 in retained money despite nothing actually being delivered.
“We would only get 75% of our refund back, which I thought was unacceptable,” Susanne Galanek told CBS. “I work really hard for my money and said that’s just ridiculous.”
Attorney Craig Kimmel, who represents Galanek in the lawsuit, agreed.
“CoSport wins either way. They’re going to keep the money they would have made in profit whether she goes or she doesn’t go to the event, and to me that’s just wrong and I think that any judge would see that as wrong,” he says. “From the contract that I read there was no intention on either parties part to have a charge in the event of something like COVID., You look at the terms and if the terms don’t say they can keep the money, they can’t keep the money.”
Galanek’s lawsuit is one of five that CoSport is attempting to have dismissed from federal court.