As Minnesota’s economy continues to recover from COVID-19, StubHub has announced they will refund ticket buyers for cancelled sporting events and concerts throughout the state. With sports, music, theater and other live entertainment venues forced to cancel shows due to the pandemic, some fans are now facing financial hardship after spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on tickets.
In order to ensure fairness and transparency, Stubhub has agreed to reimburse customers for their full purchase price. They also plan to cover travel expenses incurred during cancellation periods, plus provide credit toward future purchases at no extra cost.
Who is affected?
Many people bought tickets to concerts, sporting events and other live entertainment expecting to receive a refund if the event was canceled due to weather, illness or another reason. But many ticket sellers don’t offer refunds, even if the event is rescheduled. Some fans have been left out in the cold.
In October 2017, Stubhub announced it wouldn’t provide refunds for tickets purchased through the site unless the event was cancelled because of “acts of terrorism.” Fans had complained about the policy since it went into effect in 2016. In response to those complaints, Stubhub changed its policies. Now, it says it will issue refunds for tickets purchased through its marketplace, including the secondary marketplaces SeatGeek and Viagogo.
But there are some exceptions. If you bought a ticket through Ticketmaster,AXS or Vivid Seats, you won’t be able to claim a refund. Neither will tickets purchased through Ticketfly, Live Nation Entertainment or Goldenvoice. And if you bought a ticket through a third party seller like Groupon, eBay or Amazon, you’ll still need to contact the venue directly to see if you’re eligible for a refund.
If you want to know whether you qualify for a refund, check with the venue’s customer service department. You might find that the venue offers refunds for cancellations caused by acts of terrorism.
If you bought tickets from Stubhub and never received a refund you might be eligible to join a lawsuit against the ticketing giant. On Friday, the company sent an email to customers who had used its service to buy tickets to sporting events. In it, StubHub offered a chance to join a class action suit against the company. “We are writing to let you know about a recent change regarding our Ticket Refund Policy,” read the letter. “As part of ongoing efforts to improve customer experience, we recently changed how we handle refunds.”
The company says that the changes do not affect anyone who already paid for their tickets. But if you still haven’t received a refund, there’s a way to make sure you’re included in the case. You’ll need to complete a short questionnaire on the website. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to sign up for the lawsuit.
StubHub says that it will pay $5 million to settle the claims. The settlement covers people who bought tickets from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018. Customers who bought tickets prior to those dates are excluded.
Stubhub has a bait-and-switch refund policy
The lawsuit claims that StubHub’s Fan Protect Guarantee was one of its cornerstones. A spokesperson said that the guarantee would continue to apply even after the coronaviruses outbreak. However, the lawsuit alleges that the company did not disclose the terms until 2018. In addition, it alleged that the company failed to inform customers about how much money they could lose due to cancellations.
Stubhub has conflicting statements about its policies regarding seller and buyer protection
When StubHub announced that it would offer refunds to people who had already paid for tickets to events, many fans rejoiced. But the online ticket marketplace later reversed course and said that those who bought tickets after March 13th would receive discounts instead. Fans who had already paid for seats are now being left out in the cold.
The change came just days after the San Francisco 49ers played the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIV. Many fans who wanted to attend the game didn’t want to pay $1,500 for a seat at Levi Stadium. So they turned to StubHub, where they could buy tickets for less than half price.
But the company told Business Insider that it doesn’t make sense to offer refunds because it wants to encourage people to use its site. “We’re giving consumers what we think is fair,” StubHub spokesperson Matt Miller told BI. “If someone buys a ticket today, we don’t feel like we owe them anything.”
That’s a pretty confusing stance, considering that StubHub originally promised full refunds. And it’s hard to understand why the company wouldn’t offer refunds to people who bought tickets before March 13. After all, that’s the date when the company changed its mind.
So why did StubHub decide to offer discounts instead of refunds? Because it thinks the best way to encourage people to use the site is to reward them for doing so. “Our goal is to provide customers with a great experience, and we believe offering a discount helps us achieve that,” Miller said.
Settlement forces StubHub to change its business practices
StubHub faced mounting criticism over its refund policies after it announced changes to how it handled refunds. Under the terms of the settlement, the online ticket marketplace must now allow customers to cancel their purchases within 24 hours of purchase. Previously, the company allowed cancellations up to seven days after purchase.
In May 2021, under legal threat, StubHub changed its policy again to comply with the agreement. Now, ticket sellers cannot offer refunds unless they are notified about the change in advance. This will affect ticket resellers like Viagogo and Seatwave, who sell tickets through third-party platforms like StubHub. These companies typically do not provide customer support, making it difficult for consumers to seek out information about the terms of sale.
Sign up for a StubHub refund mass arbitration case
StubHub has been accused of misleading customers about refunds for canceled events. A class action lawsuit filed against the ticket reselling site claims that it failed to properly refund customers who purchased event tickets via its mobile app. In some cases, the suit alleges, StubHub didn’t even notify customers about their right to a full refund.
The lawsuit says that StubHub misled customers into believing that they could receive a full refund within 24 hours of canceling their purchase. But according to the complaint, that wasn’t always the case. Some people waited up to four days to get their money back.
In addition to the refund policy, the lawsuit also accuses StubHub of failing to provide adequate customer support. One plaintiff says he tried calling StubHub multiple times over the course of three months without getting through. When he finally did reach someone, the person told him there was nothing he could do.