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Frustrated music fans still waiting for concert refunds

Third-party ticket sites dragging feet refunding money
Garth Brooks
Posted at 11:07 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-11 20:55:01-05

CINCINNNATI — Concerts are back after more than a year-long hiatus due to the pandemic.

But with performers like Garth Brooks and Florida Georgia Line still canceling shows in 2021, some music fans are not getting to enjoy the concert resurgence. Instead, they are just struggling to get refunds.

Case in point, the concert that was supposed to be the biggest show of 2021 in Cincinnati: Garth Brooks at Paul Brown Stadium.

Fans like Cherri Suttman of Boone County ended up heartbroken when the show was canceled.

"It would have been so great to see," Suttman said.

But now she is even more heartbroken, because she worries she may never again see the $400 she paid for two tickets.

"I don't know if I will ever buy concert tickets again," Suttman said.

Suttman said she thought she bought her tickets from Ticketmaster, but her Google search apparently took her to a site called Tix City.

"I thought, 'Well, I guess Tix City is part of Ticketmaster,'" Suttman said.

It wasn't. It was a third-party seller, and Suttman said she "had no idea, no idea."

When she went back to the Tix City website to ask about a refund, her browser flagged it as a possible "security threat." (Our WCPO web browsers also blocked us from seeing it due to security concerns.)

The Better Business Bureau, meanwhile, gives it an F rating for too many unresolved complaints.

Many complaints about third-party ticket sites

Suttman's predicament is too common, given all the cancellations within the past year.

Ticketmaster is now giving full refunds for canceled concerts like Brooks', but third-party websites have primarily been giving vouchers for future concerts — or nothing at all, as Nikki Agee learned last fall with her $600 Elton John tickets.

"Any refund had to come through the person who transferred me the tickets,"Agee said. "You have to get a refund from the person who sold you the ticket."

So what can you do to protect yourself?

There are some things you can do next time you are buying concert tickets.
USA Today suggests you:

  • Buy directly from Ticketmaster, if possible. And make sure it really is Ticketmaster.
  • Avoid Googling for Ticketmaster. You may end up on a lookalike site, which could be a scam site.
  • Pay with a credit card, never debit card, for the extra fraud protections.
  • Print out all confirmations, so you have a paper trail.

CLICK HERE for more of USA Today's tips.

Finally, if you get nowhere, like Cherri Suttman, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

"It's very disappointing," Suttman said.

After WCPO emailed Tix City, the reseller replied saying they are working on refunds and hope to send Suttman's money back to her soon. She is hoping so.

So be careful where you buy tickets from, and don't waste your money.

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Don't Waste Your Money

8:47 PM, Oct 17, 2018

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