In a new report by www.digitalmusicnews.com, in the maelstrom that is the current concert and music festival landscape with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Ticketmaster has quietly and perhaps deceitfully changed its refund policy to be even less accommodating and unfair than before in light of the current economic situation facing many fans and venues. In other words, because of the entire industry shut down due to coronavirus, they are opting to leave fans holding the bag from cancellations and postponements. Thus, fans will have a near-impossible time getting refunds when many in the world are out of work. As fans are looking for refunds, Ticketmaster 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 ticket holders 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.
Fans took to social media to relay their anger and dismay.
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.)
We will continue to follow this story.
UPDATED: Live Nation just announced a new deal where they raised money to protect themselves against losses. No mention of relief for fans. https://www.livenationentertainment.com/2020/04/live-nation-announces-credit-agreement-amendment-additional-revolving-credit-facility-and-cost-reduction-program/
Editor’s note: Ghost Cult has accepted advertising from Ticketmaster and Live Nation in the past and occasionally gets compensated for tickets sold from links in our posts.