Ticketmaster Quietly Changes Its Refund Policy (TL;DR: You’re Screwed)

Federal Judge Dismisses Class-Action Lawsuit Against Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster is facing ample fan scrutiny and criticism after quietly changing its refund policy to exclusively cover canceled events, instead of those that have been postponed or rescheduled. 

It’s hardly a secret that the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has brought the live-event industry to a screeching halt. Responding both to government mandates and health concerns, promoters have canceled (or delayed) sporting events, concerts, and essentially all other audience-based entertainment functions.

And predictably, a substantial number of would-be attendees are looking to receive refunds for the tickets they bought prior to the pandemic. In responding to this unprecedented cluster of repayment requests, Ticketmaster has quietly changed its refund policy to cover only canceled events — not the many functions that promoters have indefinitely “postponed” or rescheduled to a date/time that some ticketholders cannot make.

Previously, Ticketmaster’s refund policy stated: “Refunds are available if your event is postponed, rescheduled, or canceled.”

Now, however, the Live Nation company’s refund policy simply says: “Refunds are available if your event is canceled.”

Plus, Ticketmaster’s “Coronavirus Impact” webpage quite carefully describes the difference between cancellations and postponements, in addition to the corresponding policies of each.

On social media, fans’ frustration with the refund reversal appears to be boiling over.

One agitated Twitter user wrote: “@Ticketmaster won’t help me out with my refund…Time to call a lawyer and @bbb_us [the Better Business Bureau].”

Another disgruntled individual asked: “Why is it that when I buy concert tickets you take the money out of my account in a matter of SECONDS, but when shows are being canceled it can take you months to return my money??”

Lastly, a different fan yet tweeted: “All the concerts I bought tickets for have been ‘postponed’…How about you just refund us for our purchase? Nobody knows their future right now.”

Earlier this week, Digital Music News was the first to report that an angry customer had filed a class-action lawsuit against ticket-resale platform StubHub, over the brand’s opting to provide vouchers (instead of cash refunds) for tickets to events canceled because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement, StubHub noted, “It is currently impossible for us to offer immediate cash refunds to all buyers.” It’s likely that Ticketmaster is experiencing similar fiscal difficulties, albeit on a much larger scale. (StubHub moves approximately $5 billion in tickets annually, whereas Ticketmaster’s yearly sales volume has exceeded $30 billion in the past.)

Stay tuned for additional updates on Ticketmaster’s refund policy.

26 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Adrienne Wright

    Andre Rieu now rescheduled to 18th September at Leeds Arena. I am on holiday at the new date. Surely, you owe me a refund. I didn’t alter the date from May 6th

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Abracadebra

    The Eagles concert was rescheduled from April to October at which time we can’t attend. I need my $600 refunded!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Paul

      Contact TicketMaster and request a refund. Explain that when you purchased tickets their Refund Policy stated that a postponement of an event was grounds to receive a refund. State that you agreed to that policy at the time of purchase.

      When they refuse your refund. Document that refusal.

      Contact your bank and request a charge back. Explain that at the time you purchased tickets, the policy stated that a postponement was grounds for a full refund. The event has been postponed to a date you can’t attend, but TicketMaster has refused to issue a refund.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Alen

        Its not likely large concerts will be allowed in October. Then when Ticketmaster goes bankrupt, your money will be gone.

        Reply
  3. Avatar
    The Real Legend

    I bought tickets to a concert with Blood Orange and Tei Shi through them. It got cancelled. I hope we can figure this out to say the least.

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Goddamn scammers

    This is clearly not legal so gather up and sue. You cannot change the terms of an agreement after it was made. Furthermore terms of an agreement must be reasonable, or they won’t be upheld in court.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Anonymous

      In total agreement. it’s not possible to change a contract term after it’s formed without both parties’ consent.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Paul

      I wouldn’t doubt that TicketMaster’s TOS states that you agree to binding arbitration. Binding arbitrators almost always settle in favor of corporations. We need consumer protections laws that prohibit forced binding arbitration.

      But you might find solace from your credit card. Here’s how to navigate a chargeback in this situation:

      Contact TicketMaster and request a refund. Explain that when you purchased tickets their Refund Policy stated that a postponement of an event was grounds to receive a refund. State that you agreed to that policy at the time of purchase.

      When they refuse your refund. Document that refusal.

      Contact your bank and request a charge back. Explain that at the time you purchased tickets, the policy stated that a postponement was grounds for a full refund. The event has been postponed to a date you can’t attend, but TicketMaster has refused to issue a refund.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Beth S

        thank you for this advise. I have done just that for the Eagles tickets I’d purchased. I also purchased tickets for David LaChappelle, which has been officially “postponed” but not re-scheduled and the refund request seems to have been accepted, (I’ll know for sure in 30 days or less).

        Reply
  5. Avatar
    Andrew

    Leave it up to ticketmaster to always make the scumbag move
    Let’s get a class action suit going!

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    Mark Hinton

    We need to ask the artist to refuse using the agency until they do right by their fans

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    Bail Out 2.0?

    Didn’t we handover trillions of dollars to Corporate America to cover their losses? Where’s the $ Lebowski?

    Reply
  8. Avatar
    Anonymous

    The venues hold the money until the show occurs. This is just a policy change to try and keep the venues liquid until this situation passes

    Reply
  9. Avatar
    Tix Buyer

    The TM screen grabs came from an article last week in The NY Times. That article also says TM is claiming it changed the language on its website but not its policy. I’m no fan or TM for all the right reasons but I’d like to see more proof of a policy change than just those screen grabs. Stubhub clearly admitted its policy hanged. Not so TM. Better reporting is needed.

    Reply
  10. Avatar
    Leviathonlx

    I’ll take ‘tons of people are just going to do a chargeback’ for 1000.

    Reply
  11. Avatar
    Barb

    Ticketmaster must be one of the biggest mafias out there. I remember paying a “convenience fee” for printing my ticket on my own printer. Lord–they get you coming and going. This does not surprise me in the least. I love bands who refuse to be a part of their scammy business model.

    Reply
  12. Avatar
    Fun for my to postpone shows. This is not fair and I can’t believe the artists agree to this crapsara

    I also want Fun for my to postpone shows. This is not fair and I can’t believe the artists agree to this crap

    Reply
  13. Avatar
    Miguel

    I don’t think most people understand that Ticketmaster isn’t refusing the refunds, it is up to the act or sporting event whether or not to process the refund when an event is postponed. And for the people that get so pissed off at fees when they think they do “all the work” when printing their own tickets, how do they think the backend work gets done to set them up to do that, and get digital tickets, etc.? It’s not magic, it’s somebody putting their time and effort in to making that happen. Either way, most good organizations will allow refunds, just give everyone some time to sort it out before starting in on the losing effort that will be any type of lawsuit…

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Lefty

      Miguel – many people need that money right now for basic provisions. They don’t have time to wait around for ticketmaster to do the right thing and honor the legally-binding purchase agreement. Defending these guys who have a super long history of being greedy and shady is not a good look.

      Reply
  14. Avatar
    sharon t

    They grab the money the DAY you purchase. I bought Santana tickets for AUGUST in January, they have my money. I’d bet it will be postponed, and not sure I can go a different date because of my teaching schedule. So take my money RIGHT AWAY but jerk us around on the refunds??? I’ve always said TicketNazi Sucks, but nothing you can do as a consumer!!!

    Reply
  15. Avatar
    Allenbykentucky

    We need to start a class action lawsuit as soon as possible but we do not want them to go bankrupt

    Reply
  16. Avatar
    Tim

    Ticketmaster is a scam.Order tickets in February for a concert in August. Sign electronic agreement ,then they want to change the rules to benefit Them .Concerts are a thing of the past right now .So while there drawing interest off all of the concert money in a high interest bank account .Consumer is getting screwed .Stop buying Ticketmaster Tickets.Pay per view is going to be the new normal .People will remember your B.S Ticketmaster. Never again will I buy concert ticket from your crooked company .

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Barney

      Nobody is forcing consumers to buy tickets through TM. The consumer knows the timeline, the fees, and has access to read policies, but instead of protesting with their wallets, they just moan and groan and continue to purchase. If people really were fed up with TM, they would show it by refraining and see some real change.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Z

        You missed it were they changed the policy and are applying it retroactively so reading the policy at the time of purchase wouldn’t have been helpful in this situation. Also for many events they have a monopoly so you don’t get to shop around.

        Reply
  17. Avatar
    Robin

    Im pretty sure they must honor the terms and conditions at time of PURCHASE… Class action law suit? It’s fine for them to change going forward… But not backwards.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.