As the entire music, sports and entertainment events are getting cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; the ticket distributors are having a hard time dealing with excessive refund demands. Ticketmaster, the largest direct seller of tickets in the world, has quietly changed its refund policy, and will now only refund cancelled events.
According to Digital Music News, Ticketmaster previously refunded “postponed,” “rescheduled,” and “cancelled” events. But as of now, rescheduled and postponed events are not refundable anymore.
Earlier, if an event was postponed, you had two options, you could keep your tickets for the rescheduled date or get a full refund. Now, the second option is not available anymore. Although, if you don’t want to keep your tickets, Ticketmaster is giving an alternative to customers to sell their tickets themselves via Ticketmaster’s “Verified Reseller Program.”
“If your event was postponed or rescheduled and you are unable to attend (and resale is enabled for your event), you can sell your tickets to other fans on our safe and simple Ticketmaster resale marketplace. If refunds are not allowed for your event and you post through ticketmaster.com, we will waive seller fees for fans that create(d) resale postings from March 17 through May 31.” Ticketmaster announced on March 12.
Regarding Cancelled events, they stated, due to the unprecedented volume of cancellations, costumers should expect their refunds in as soon as 30 days for any event that is cancelled.
With all that being said, they still mentioned on their website that if the event organizer is offering refunds for postponed or rescheduled events, a refund link will appear on the costumer’s Ticketmaster account. They have also requested their costumers to periodically check back online to see if the statue of their event is changed.
Predictably this has fumed a lot of their costumers. Since the news broke, viral tweets criticizing their recent action and people accusing them of being “too greedy” during an acute period of time have surfaced. Due to this unprecedented time, a lot of fans were reconsidering their plans and changing the dates of the events might not work for everyone.
I applaud Ticketmaster for continuing to shine in what is apparently a competition to provide the worst customer service in any industry. Exorbitant ticket fees for negligible benefits—now taking advantage of a crisis to line their pockets? Next level. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 https://t.co/XySh6Ka04K— Katie Porter (@katieporteroc) April 14, 2020
Some people also believe this is considered illegal to change the TOS (Terms of Service) after purchasing tickets.
After a customer filed a class action lawsuit against Stubhub, a well-known secondhand broker, for not offering refunds for future postponement, one can be on its way for Ticketmaster too.
Ticketmaster has yet to address the backlash and their unsatisfied costumers.