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Concert-goers frustrated at lack of refund options as events get pushed back

Brown County woman seeks a refund for Leann Rimes concert she can’t attend
Posted at 10:30 AM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 19:07:43-04

BROWN CO. — Frustrations are mounting for concert-goers as events keep getting pushed back amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and some Indiana consumers can’t get their money back.

Sue Reddy, a retired widow who lives in Nashville, bought tickets in May for the August 21 Leann Rimes concert at the Brown County Music Center.

“A good friend of mine is a big fan of Leann Rimes and she lives down in Louisville,” said Reddy.

COVID-19 prompted the April 10 concert to be pushed back to August 21, and then rescheduled again to February 4, 2021.

“I will not be in the state at that time,” said Reddy.

Reddy said she has not been able to get a refund for her concert tickets even though she can’t attend the event.

She reached out to Call 6 Investigates, and we found Reddy bought her tickets through TicketOffices.com.

Their website says they provide refunds if events are canceled because of COVID-19, however it also states ,” we do not refund or credit for postponed or rescheduled events, regardless of the length of time of the postponement or rescheduled date.”

TicketOffices.com, a resale marketplace, says consumers can re-sell their tickets.

However, Reddy said she never received paper tickets—just an email with a link.

"I'm a retired widow and $177 is a lot of money for me,” said Reddy. "I don't understand why they have to be so difficult to work with.”

Call 6 Investigates reached out to the Brown County Music Center, who investigated Sue Reddy’s case and found Reddy purchased her tickets through a 3rd party resale site that people use to re-sell their tickets.

“Because she did not purchase them through Ticketmaster, as she purchased them through a 3rd party, we have no way to refund her tickets,” said Christian Webb, Executive Director at the Brown County Music Center in an email to RTV6. “I am very sorry we could not be of more assistance, but there is always a danger of using a 3rd party system.”

Because the email confirmation through TicketOffices.com contained a link to Ticketmaster, Reddy thought she had purchased tickets through Ticketmaster.

“This whole thing has been very confusing,” said Reddy. “It’s very frustrating.”

Sue Reddy says ticket sellers and resellers should consider offering refunds if an event is rescheduled or postponed.

She is not alone in her frustrations.

The Indiana Attorney General’s office has received at least 38 complaints about the ticket industry since March.

Scott Barnhart, Director and Chief Counsel of the Consumer Protection Division, said education is the best defense against a Hoosier consumer falling prey to fraud or questionable practices.

“Consumers are encouraged to investigate and ask questions about a business’s return or refund policy prior to purchasing a product or service,” said Barnhart. “If an event has been cancelled or postponed, consumers are encouraged to consult with the business who sold the tickets to determine the potential remedies that are available to them.”

Concert goers should also make sure they’re using the correct website when buying tickets for an event.

In circumstances where the terms being offered are not what was previously advertised, you can report it to the Attorney General using the online complaint form.

The Attorney General’s office says consumers who see unexpected charges related to a cancellation should first contact the ticket company. If that is not successful, contact your credit card company. Then file a complaint with the Attorney General using the online complaint form.

Call 6 Investigates reached out to TicketOffices.com several times for a response and we are still waiting to hear back.

We did some checking and found not every ticket platform or website is refusing refunds for rescheduled concerts.

According to a Ticketmaster blog post, event organizers are offering more opportunities to get your money back.

“If you can’t make the new date, in many cases event organizers will provide you the option to request a refund, or they may be offering you the option to choose a refund or a credit,” read the Ticketmaster blog post.

A Live Nation survey found 91% of people said they were likely to attend a live music event assuming the government/health officials deem it is safe to return to public gatherings.

Ticketmaster also offered the following tips to avoid falling victim to ticket scams:

· Ticketmaster never sells tickets on Craigslist. People might pose as Ticketmaster on Craigslist – and sometimes they can seem very legit – but that’s not us, just a scammer trying to rip you off.

· Ticketmaster will never request that you wire funds. In fact, you shouldn’t wire funds for anything on Craigslist. Take it from Craigslist: “Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) – anyone who asks you to is a scammer.”

· Ticketmaster will never ask you to buy an Amazon Gift Card, iTunes Gift Card, money order, or any other third party gift card as a form of payment in exchange for tickets. Ever. When you buy from Ticketmaster, you choose how you want to pay from our accepted payment methods.

· Ticketmaster does not sell tickets to Disney theme parks. So if you see someone posing as Ticketmaster and selling tickets to Disney World in Florida or Disneyland in California, you can be certain they are not legit.

· Ticketmaster’s official email domain is “@ticketmaster.com”. It is NOT:

  • “payments@ticket-master.online”
  • “ticketmasterinfo.com”
  • “ticket-masters.com”
  • “contact@ticket-master.site”
  • “noreply@ticketmaster.com.seats.trade”
  • … or any other variation.