Late last month, Digital Music News was the first to report that ticketing platform StubHub wouldn’t be offering North American customers refunds to events cancelled because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Now, a disgruntled buyer has filed a class-action lawsuit against the company in an effort to get his money back.
Matthew McMillan and his legal team submitted the complaint to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. Predictably, the lawsuit is straightforward enough. McMillan and his lawyers claim that StubHub has “sought to surreptitiously shift their losses onto their innocent customers, furthering the financial hardship endured by people across the country” by changing their policies and failing to distribute refunds.
The complaint also noted that StubHub originally promised said refunds (under the “FanProtect” guarantee) before replacing them with vouchers for 120 percent of the tickets’ purchase price. This policy shift resulted from StubHub deciding “to pay ticket sellers before the event[s] had occurred,” thereby losing the forwarded money unless the ticket sellers could be contacted and convinced to return the funds.
McMillan resides in Wisconsin, and because the disputed cash “exceeds the sum or value of $5,000,000,” involves individuals from throughout the United States, and pertains to multiple Wisconsin-based events, the matter should be heard in the Western District Court, according to the filing.
To bolster their argument, the plaintiff and his legal team highlighted several other points of significance. That includes the argument that customers “paying substantial prices, often beyond face-value” for tickets constitutes a sizable portion of StubHub’s business.
Also, the filing reintroduces a (poorly aged) quote that StubHub Vice President and General Counsel Stephanie Burns provided before the House of Representatives in February: “StubHub’s FanProtect guarantee is the hallmark of our business and why we have earned the trust of fans around the globe.”
Despite StubHub’s open statement on the coronavirus pandemic and reiteration of the voucher-only policy, customers are still voicing their frustration via social media. And at the time of this writing, StubHub hadn’t addressed the above reported lawsuit or the continued (and seemingly mounting) complaints of clients.