Fans are lashing out at Ticketmaster after the ticket purchasing company reportedly rewrote their refund policy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Originally, the online event retailer issued refunds for events that were either canceled, postponed, or rescheduled. Now, that policy has been updated so that buyers are only guaranteed refunds for events that were canceled, The New York Times reports. If an event is postponed or rescheduled, Ticketmaster will only issue refunds if the organizer is offering them.
“I have about $3,000 tied up in these tickets,” Tami Combs of Indiana said in an interview with NYT. “This is my money that they are holding hostage.”
Fellow online ticket retailer, StubHub, is also facing scrutiny for their similar policy. In a statement, the company said “If the event is postponed, ticket buyers can choose to either attend the event on the new date or resell the ticket. If the event is postponed to a future, undetermined date, StubHub will email the ticket holder as soon as the details are announced.”
Ticketmaster, which is owned by Live Nation Entertainment, does not appear to be budging on the refunds, maintaining that the rewording is not a change, but a clarification of the existing policy.
Crisis communications expert Ross Johnson believes the company will regret this in post-quarantine days.
“People will remember how companies act in this crisis,” said Johnson.
“This is a whole different ballgame for the Ticketmasters of the world. What they should be doing is saying, ‘We feel your pain.’”