As the COVID-19 pandemic forces cancellations and postponements of events amid lockdowns, Ticketmaster is being criticized over its refund policy.
With thousands of summer shows postponed as governors shut states down, New York Attorney General Letitia James is looking into complaints about Ticketmaster, The Wall Street Journal reported.
On Thursday (April 16) Democratic state Sen. James Skoufis urged the AG to probe the giant ticket agency. He said its new refund policy is making it harder for customers to get their money back.
“Deceptively changing the language of refund policies and excluding postponed or rescheduled events are forms of corporate robbery,” Skoufis told the newspaper in a statement.
The ticket agency has denied the allegations and said the change was a clarification.
“Typically, event organizers have had the flexibility to offer refunds for virtually all postponed and rescheduled events,” Ticketmaster told the WSJ.
The company noted the sheer volume of postponed events requires more time to determine whether to provide refunds. More than 11,000 concerts, ball games, and other event refunds have already been issued, the company said.
Ticketmaster, a division of Live Nation Entertainment Co., the nation’s largest concert promoter, revised its refund policy to cover only canceled events, not postponed or rescheduled ones.
A check of the agency’s refund policy on its website says “As always, canceled events are automatically refunded. If an event organizer is offering refunds for postponed or rescheduled events, a refund link will appear on your Ticketmaster account. Otherwise, you are encouraged to periodically check back online to see if the status of their event has changed.”
Previously, the policy said, “Refunds are available if your event is postponed, rescheduled, or canceled.”
The website’s Frequently Asked Questions section also says “the venue or the event promoter determines policies relating to the cancellation of an event, not us. When we issue a refund to you, we will refund the price that you paid for your ticket. Service fees, processing fees and any other fees, such as delivery fees, are not refundable.”
“A spokesman for Attorney General Letitia James said the office had previously received complaints about Ticketmaster and is looking into the matter,” the newspaper said.