These Eagles tickets are giving me a heartache tonight
Linda Popky can’t make her rescheduled Eagles concert. But Ticketmaster won’t offer a refund. Is there a way to get her money back in the long run?
Q: In October 2019, I bought tickets for the Eagles at the Chase Center in San Francisco for an April 2020 concert. Obviously, that didn’t happen. The concert was rescheduled for this spring and then rescheduled again for Oct. 22, 2021.
That seemed fine but then we were hit by the delta variant. My daughter, who is to accompany me to the concert, is high-risk because of a number of chronic medical issues. She and I are both vaccinated but our doctor has recommended that we remain vigilant and avoid higher-risk situations – like being close to several thousand people inside the Chase Center.
Yes, San Francisco requires all attendees to be vaccinated but this is still too many people in too close quarters to be safe. Even vaccinated people are having breakthrough infections and, with her pre-existing conditions, this could be extremely dangerous.
When I requested a refund, I got a recorded message that it was past the allowable refund period. In normal times, this makes sense. Given this situation and COVID, it does not.
I’ve tried emailing and phoning Ticketmaster support on this issue and I get a recorded message that says, “We’re busy and can’t help you.” I waited several weeks after filling out a web form for a response, but all I got back was an automated form that didn’t address my situation.
We love the Eagles, but it’s not worth risking her health to see this concert. Can you help me get a refund on these tickets? – Linda Popky, Redwood City, California
A: You should be able to get a refund but not for the reasons you think. You purchased tickets for an April 2020 concert, which didn’t happen. Ticketmaster should have offered a choice between a full refund and a rescheduled show. It never met the obligations of your first ticket purchase.
I’m also an Eagles fan and would have gladly waited for the rescheduled show. But I’d never attend a concert if it put a loved one’s health in peril.
Ticketmaster’s COVID policy is clear: Every time one of your Eagles concerts flew to a new date, it would let you choose between a refund and tickets for the new show. It looks like you agreed to the new show dates the first time but it isn’t clear how you ended up with the second set of tickets for the Oct. 22 show. You say you don’t recall receiving an offer for the second date.
If you can’t safely attend a concert, you shouldn’t have to forfeit your tickets. But the current Ticketmaster policy doesn’t appear to have any provisions for customers’ health, even though it should. Why doesn’t it? I can’t tell you why.
It looks like you were thinking of doing a credit card dispute as a last resort. That might have worked, but it could have also been a “heartache tonight,” as the Eagles might say. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), the law that protects credit card customers, you can dispute purchases for products you ordered but didn’t receive. If you had, then your bank might have sided with you since you didn’t get the tickets you bought. But since it’s been more than 90 days since your purchase, which is the limit under the FCBA, your money may be “already gone,” to quote Glenn Frey.
I suggested you try one of the executive customer service contacts for Ticketmaster that I publish on my nonprofit consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org. And you did.
Your efforts to get a refund were not wasted time.
“Within an hour of emailing the CEO, I had a refund,” you told me. I’m glad Ticketmaster did the right thing. That’s a resolution that left you with a peaceful, easy feeling.
Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or get help with any consumer problem by contacting him at http://www.elliott.org/help
© 2022 Christopher Elliott