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Thousands of music lovers still waiting for concert ticket refunds

Consumer expert shares advice for getting your money back
US Virus Outbreak Canceled Concerts
Posted at 5:00 AM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 07:03:03-05

For a year and a half, music fans have been struggling to get refunds.

For Tom Relly, it was several hundred dollars worth of tickets to a canceled Foo Fighters concert.

"They are a pretty big business, and we are just little people who want our money back," he said.

In Diedre Perlmutter's case, it was a postponed Cher performance.

"Now they are not refunding anything because it has not been canceled," she said.

Mike Kramer is at his wit's end trying to get answers about his tickets to a soccer match.

He tried calling but said, "the recording flat out said we are not providing any phone support at this time."

Third-party ticket sellers may not have money to give

The good news: Ticketmaster is now refunding tickets to events canceled in 2020 and 2021.

But millions of people like Kramer are dealing with third-party ticket sellers that all have different policies.

Michelle Couch Friedman, who is with the nonprofit consumer group Elliott Advocacy, says there's nothing wrong with resellers until it comes to refunds.

"Any time you are putting a third party between you and your purchase, you are adding a layer of difficulty if there is a problem later," she said.

Many concertgoers did not even realize they were buying from a third-party ticket broker, which never even had the tickets.

"When the concerts or events are being canceled, the refunds are going to those people who were the original ticket holder," Friedman said.

That means a third-party buyer may never receive a refund.

What you can do

There are some things people can do to protect themselves when buying concert tickets or requesting a refund.

Elliott Advocacy suggests:

  • Buying directly from Ticketmaster, if possible.
  • Being careful when Googling for Ticketmaster. Third-party sites often pay for search engines' top listings. 
  • Emailing the ticket site or contacting them through Twitter if you can't reach a human over the phone.
  • Filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

Finally, customers can dispute the charge through their credit card, but if the refund is already in the works, Elliott Advocacy says that could actually muck things up and get them nowhere.

So use a credit card dispute as a last resort, so you don't waste your money.

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Don't Waste Your Money

8:47 PM, Oct 17, 2018

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