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Ticketmaster Facing Its First Lawsuit Over Ticket Refunds

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SAN FRANCISCO  (CelebrityAccess) — Ticketmaster and Live Nation are facing legal action over their ticket refund policies for events that have been postponed due to COVID-19.

The proposed class-action suit, filed by Derek Hansen in federal court in California, claims that Live Nation’s changed refund policy is forcing ticket buyers to absorb the cost of concerts that have been postponed indefinitely.

Hansen alleges that Ticketmaster changed its refund policy in March to state that only canceled events are eligible for refunds, where previously, ticketholders for postponed events could also seek a refund.

“Plaintiff now holds four tickets to two RATM concerts that have been effectively cancelled, will almost certainly be cancelled, and which he bought with a guarantee of a monetary refund for cancellation. But under Defendants’ new, post-hoc policy revisions, he will only be provided a refund if, and when, the events are officially cancelled rather than “postponed.” the suit claims.

The plaintiff is seeking class status, as well as statutory and compensatory damages.

However, Ticketmaster has stated that they plan to offer refunds as quickly as possible. As noted by Ticketmaster, the money they collect for tickets is sent on a weekly basis to event organizers as tickets are sold, meaning that to provide refunds, they need to recover the money from the ticket sales.

On Friday, Ticketmaster revealed that they have more than 55,000 events in their system scheduled between March 1 and the end of 2020, with 30,000 of those events impacted by the pandemic, including 12,000 that have already been canceled.

“Let me reiterate: neither our clients, nor Ticketmaster, intend to withhold refunds on postponed shows. In fact, as of today, both Live Nation Entertainment and AEG Live, two of our largest event organizers, have announced they will begin to provide refunds, on a rolling basis, for all events impacted by COVID-19,” said Ticketmaster’s Jared Smith.

“The industry has come together to navigate this unprecedented time. We know fans are eager to return to live events, and collectively share in experiences with their favorite artists, athletes and actors. We need time to manage through so we are all in a position for that to become a reality, and we look forward to the day when we can come together again,” he added.

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