Refunds have been left up in the air as Ticketmaster grapples with massive amount of cancellations.

By Cailey Rizzo
April 14, 2020

While event cancellations are undoubtedly necessary in the interest of public health during the coronavirus pandemic, ticket holders of now canceled or rescheduled events are now wondering if they'll get refunds.

Companies like Ticketmaster and Stubhub are now faced with having to refund fans and work with venues or event organizers for when it comes to rescheduling a massive amount of events.

"Typically, event organizers have had the flexibility to offer refunds for virtually all postponed and rescheduled events," Ticketmaster told Travel + Leisure in a statement. "However, the unprecedented volume of over 30,000 events impacted to date, coupled with continued uncertainty over setting new dates while awaiting clearance from regional governments, has led to event organizers needing additional time to reschedule their events before deciding to offer refund options."

While the company reported "11,000 events, including over 4,000 postponed sports, concerts and arts events, have already authorized refunds," they noted that "we cannot guarantee all event organizers will offer refunds on their rescheduled events, we anticipate the vast majority will make a refund window available once new dates have been determined."

An uncertainty which has lead to fans sounding off on social media about not receiving an immediate refund considering that in a screenshot captured by The New York Times, shows that Ticketmaster altered their refund disclaimer from "Refunds are available if your event has been postponed, rescheduled or canceled," to "Refunds are available if your event is canceled," without notice.

The site's COVID-19 portal says, "event organizers are constantly assessing the situation and making determinations regarding refunds," and encourages ticket holders to monitor the status of their tickets.

Credit: Mario Tizón/ EyeEm/Getty Images

In Stubhub's response to coronavirus-related cancellations, (updated on April 10) the company is offering customers a coupon for  120 percent of their original order if their event has been canceled instead of a refund. For events that have not been postponed, the company — similar to Ticketmaster — says "we are waiting for the event organizer to decide whether to cancel or reschedule" before issuing a refund.

Last week, a man in Wisconsin filed a class-action lawsuit against StubHub — widely used for reselling tickets — when the company dropped their refund policy. They had previously issued refunds to customers before they received the charges back from the sellers but, due to the large number of cancellations at the moment, a StubHub spokesperson told the New York Times that practice was almost impossible

“We have never seen such a quick and total collapse in the live event industry, as in many industries,” John Breyault, vice president of public policy at the National Consumers League, told the New York Times, “but at the end of the day we can’t lose sight that these are dire financial times for consumers.”

Ticket sellers who are using Stubhub will be paid back in five to eight business days and for events that are postponed, they're instructed to wait on the status of the event.