Concertgoer Sues TICKETMASTER Over Refund Policy Change Amid Coronavirus Crisis

April 20, 2020

A San Francisco man has filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster, accusing the ticketing company of "deceptive practices relating to their sale of live events tickets and refusal to provide refunds for live events that have been rescheduled or postponed."

The man, who says he had to eat nearly $600 in RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE concert tickets, is seeking to represent a class action of would-be concertgoers who have not received Ticketmaster refunds after the coronavirus outbreak forced the cancelation or postponement of most large events and public gatherings.

The complaint, which has been obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NET, reads in part: "Prior to the coronavirus outbreak and at the time that Plaintiff and Class Members purchased event tickets from Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc., a division of Live Nation Entertainment Co., Ticketmaster assured customers that Ticketmaster would refund ticket purchase prices 'if your event is postponed, rescheduled or canceled.' After the coronavirus outbreak forced the cancelation or postponement of most large events and public gatherings, Ticketmaster retroactively revised its policies applicable to the prior ticket sales to allow for refunds only for canceled events, not postponed or rescheduled ones, including when postponed events are 'indefinitely' postponed. Yet, Live Nation's president recently predicted that live events will not occur again until fall 2021 at the earliest."

The plaintiff claims that he purchased in February two tickets to two separate RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE concerts, which were scheduled to take place in April in Oakland, California. "With fees and costs, the four RATM tickets cost Plaintiff approximately $590," the complaint reads. "On or around March 15, Ticketmaster informed Plaintiff that, due to the coronavirus outbreak, both RATM concerts would be indefinitely 'postponed.' Ticketmaster, however, would not refund the total amount Plaintiff paid for the RATM concert tickets. Plaintiff now holds four tickets to two RATM concerts that have been effectively cancelled, will almost certainly be cancelled, and which he bought with a guarantee of a monetary refund for cancellation. But under Defendants' new, post-hoc policy revisions, he will only be provided a refund if, and when, the events are officially cancelled rather than 'postponed.'"

The plaintiff is seeking an order against Ticketmaster awarding damages, injunctive relief and restitution and requiring the company to, among other things, reverse the unlawful changes they have sought to make to their refund policy as it relates to tickets purchased prior to March 30; prohibit Ticketmaster from refusing to offer refunds to any class member who purchased a ticket to an event that has been postponed or rescheduled; and pay damages and restitution to the plaintiff and class members.

Ticketmaster has reportedly canceled or postponed 30,000 events, totaling $2 billion in ticket sales. There are currently another 25,000 events still scheduled to take place through the end of 2020.

Over the weekend, Ticketmaster announced it will issue refunds for more than 18,000 events postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

According to Billboard, starting May 1, once postponed shows announce the rescheduled dates, fans will begin to receive e-mails from Ticketmaster to initiate a full refund. Fans will then have 30 days to request a refund; otherwise their ticket will be good for the rescheduled date.

Live Nation Entertainment, the global concert giant that owns Ticketmaster, will also offer fans an option to receive credit for future shows as well as the opportunity to donate their tickets.

"For cancelled shows, refunds will be automatically processed within 30 days, unless fans voluntarily opt into other programs," a statement from the company reads. "Live Nation venues will offer fans an option to receive a 150% credit for the value of their tickets to be used for a future Live Nation show. Fans will also be able to donate the proceeds of their refund to a charity to give concert tickets to health care workers, with Live Nation matching ticket donations."

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