Ticketmaster Promises Billions in Refunds for Cancelled Concerts


From wondering. I'm David Brown. And this is business words daily on this. Wednesday April twenty. Second you know that Katy Perry concert. You're looking forward to okay. I was looking forward to it. Back in the pre pandemic era well Yeah that that's not gonNA happen at least not until twenty twenty one. She said recently. She's not alone either. Thirty thousand shows were cancelled OR POSTPONED DUE TO COVA. Nineteen so far. According to Jared Smith President of ticketmaster. That's the gigantic ticket agency. Owned by the world's largest concert promoter live nation. And it's not like those concerts and ball games are coming back anytime soon. The mayors of New York and Los Angeles don't anticipate allowing any large scale gatherings until there's a cure or vaccine for the corona virus according to variety at the earliest. That'll be late this year but it could take much longer and that uncertainty is causing a big problem for ticketmaster. The company had fantastic year delivering one hundred fifteen million tickets in thirty one countries in two thousand nineteen ticketmaster sells more than thirty billion dollars worth of tickets annually in twenty twenty was predicted to be a banner year that is until Corona virus now ticketmaster. Meinie refund billions of dollars in ticket sales late last week. The company announced that it will refund some ticket. Purchasers starting on May first customers who shows have been cancelled or who don't want to attend them on rescheduled. Dates can apply for refunds. They'll have thirty days to do so customers who shows reschedule later. We'll have a rolling thirty DAYS TO APPLY FOR REFUNDS TICKET. Masters new policy is almost exactly that of rival. Ag which announced it's refund program a few days earlier but ticketmaster is also using a big incentive to persuade customers not to ask for refunds so it can hang onto some of that cash according to variety if a show is cancelled altogether customers can take credit worth one hundred fifty percent of the ticket cost in the plan called Rock. When you're ready customers can apply that credit to an event to be held when the world opens up once again ticket masters. New Refund policy follows significant complaints from critics who claim the company's been holding onto customers money unfairly in response. Ticketmaster explained that it doesn't keep all those billions of dollars in ticket sales rather every week pays concert and festival promoters out of those proceeds so far this year that amounts to more than two billion dollars. The company said at a tweet normally ticketmaster has little trouble refunding tickets for cancelled events but when the entire concert industry shuts down overnight the company needs to recoup those funds before it can issue refunds from a corporate perspective. It's one mammoth cashflow nightmare. But it's also a nightmare for people who are suddenly unemployed and who need those refunds to pay the rent or buy groceries people spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on concert tickets and now in the face of indefinite postponements. They need those funds back. But lack of clarity in delays around refunds is made some customers so angry that they're turning to the courts. Matthew Mcmillan a national hockey league fan in Wisconsin was aggravated that ticket. Resellers STUB HUB hadn't refunded the price of tickets to a suspended hockey game so earlier. This month filed a five million dollar class action lawsuit against the company according to Billboard magazine. Stop Hub resells about five billion dollars worth of tickets. Every year like ticketmaster in order to issue thousands of refunds. It says it first needs to recoup the cash paid to the original ticket holders in some ways stubs. Problem is even more tangled than ticket masters since its tickets come from thousands of individual sellers and think about that for a second if your brain let you the original ticket holders purchase tickets to live events that are now cancelled or iffy. Where'd they buy them? Probably ticketmaster or A. E. G. Stop up now. Says IF AN EVENT IS CANCELLED IT WON'T ISSUE REFUNDS. Instead it'll give ticket holders a coupon worth one hundred twenty percent of the original ticket price that credit will be good for a year stubhub said in a statement late in. March. By month's end the company said almost three quarters of ticket holders had accepted the credit but that class action lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin Hockey Fan. He says he bought the tickets on. The basis of stub hubs longstanding. Money-back guarantee. Now he's asking the courts to forbid stubhub from issuing those credits and force it to refund the cash according to billboard the customers lawyer accused stub hub of quote putting its hands in the customer's pockets at a time of the greatest. Financial suffering in recent history stub declined to comment on the lawsuit. According to The New York Times. The refund mess is just one of the problems hitting the entire music

Coming up next