Ticketmaster Says Its Refund Policy Has ‘Remained Consistent’ — Nothing to See Here

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In response to the ample public outcry and numerous fan complaints stemming from its refund-policy shift, Ticketmaster has indicated that its reimbursement-centered fine print has remained consistent amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Digital Music News first reported last week that Ticketmaster had quietly updated the refund-policy text on its website because of the coronavirus crisis. Previously, the text said: “Refunds are available if your event is postponed, rescheduled, or canceled.” However, the same page’s disclaimer was updated to read: “Refunds are available if your event is canceled.”

A multitude of upcoming events have been technically “postponed” or rescheduled to far-off dates, oftentimes to dates that don’t work for buyers’ schedules. Expectedly, would-be attendees became frustrated with the policy shift. Similarly, other fans took issue with the prospect of having their money tied up for (at least) several months.

Now, in a terse statement, Ticketmaster is claiming that its refund policy terms have ‘remained consistent,’ and that individual event holders are responsible for deciding whether fans will get their money back for postponed functions.  The aforementioned website-text changes were made to further clarify this policy, Ticketmaster said.

On March 12th, Ticketmaster published a comprehensive statement on the matter (independent of this above-cited clarification), which reads, in part: “If an event organizer is offering refunds for postponed or rescheduled events, a refund link will appear on your Ticketmaster account.”

Notably, the Live Nation company also wrote: “Event organizers are constantly assessing the situation and making determinations regarding refunds. If your event is not currently enabled for refunds, check back later.”

Finally, the ticketing giant revealed that it will waive Ticketmaster.com selling fees for passes to events that aren’t offering refunds presently.

It bears mentioning that a substantial portion of ticketholders—some 30 to 40 percent—are requesting and receiving refunds when promoters make them available, according to Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman.

This point’s far-reaching financial implications are making an already-difficult situation even more troubling for concert promoters, including Coachella organizer AEG Presents and a substantial number of smaller operations, as they rely on annual revenue to fund normal operations.

To be sure, the futures of Burning Man, SXSW, and an array of other beloved events are in jeopardy, in an additional testament to just how hard the COVID-19 crisis is hitting the live-event industry.  The fallout includes companies, promoters, artists, and millions of fans.

Stay tuned for updates on Ticketmaster’s refund policy.

2 Responses

  1. Mark So

    TM is out of their minds to think people are going to sit by for this