NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For months, major concerts and sporting events have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And new figures show more than half of ticket holders still haven’t gotten their money back.
Canadian Doug Farley was supposed to visit New York City in mid-March to see his Calgary Flames take on the Islanders, Devils and Rangers, but the NHL season, like everything else, was paused, so he tried to get a refund.
“It was no problem canceling flights. It was no problem canceling New York City hotels. They were really good. But StubHub was the one that caused the grief,” Farley told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge on Thursday.
StubHub, an event ticket re-seller, told him the company couldn’t issue a refund, only a credit towards a future event.
So Farley filed a credit card dispute against them, and won back his $600.
But StubHub responded by booting him from their ticket platform altogether, something experts say is a sneaky clause in StubHub’s fine print.
“It’s really bad customer relations, I think, to kick people off for disputes like this,” said Ted Rossman of BankRate.
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Rossman, a credit card industry analyst, said other sellers like Ticketmaster also have their issues, but there’s a particular flaw in StubHub’s business model.
“When all these events got canceled at the same time and the buyers wanted their money back, StubHub didn’t have it. It had already been disbursed to the sellers. They’re trying to claw that back. There’s class action suits, that they violated their fan protect guarantee,” Rossman said.
That guarantee is a promise you’ll get your money back.
It turns out, according to BankRate, more than half of people who laid out cash for events since the pandemic shut everything down didn’t get it returned, and 60% have given up trying.
Farley said refunds should be a piece of cake.
“You give the guy a free piece of cheesecake, do you want them to come back and eat 500 more down the road? You don’t throw him out of the restaurant,” Rossman said.
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Financial experts say there are rumors StubHub may not even survive the pandemic, but for now it’s still trying to weather the storm.
As for Farley, he said he can’t wait for his hockey team to one day soon score the hat trick by beating three Tri-State Area teams in a row.
New York Attorney General Letitia James‘ office said it has received more than 100 complaints about people not getting refunds for canceled events.