Shouldn’t Ticketmaster give my money back if the opera is canceled?

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By Christopher Elliott

Ticketmaster informed Elena Constantinescu that the opera she planned to see was canceled and promised to give her money back last February. But she says the refund never showed up. Can we help?

Question

In February 2020, I used my Visa card to purchase three tickets to “Rigoletto” through Ticketmaster. I paid $315 for the tickets. But the event was postponed because of COVID.

In early 2021, the event was formally canceled. Ticketmaster promised to send my money back to my credit card. But I never received it. Can you help me get my refund? — Elena Constantinescu, Tamarac, Fla.

Answer

Yours is a tragedy worthy of a Verdi opera. The pandemic! The promise! And the unfulfilled vow! But this should have had a decidedly un-operatic ending, at least not one like Rigoletto. Ticketmaster should have refunded your money back to you quickly, as it promised. That’s more of a Hollywood ending, and we like those here, too.

I’ve seen a few cases like this, with slow refunds for events that are postponed (some indefinitely). The organizers don’t want to refund your money, even though they should. Instead, they keep you hanging, telling you that you will get tickets when the show gets rescheduled. The terms and conditions are pretty murky. No one ever reads the fine print when buying a concert ticket, because they have every intention of making it to the show. (Here’s our guide to resolving your consumer problem.)

But was Ticketmaster really trying to avoid giving your money back? You could have reached out to an executive at Ticketmaster with your concern. We list the names, numbers, and emails of the Ticketmaster executives in our company contacts database. I also have a helpful guide on how to get a refund from Ticketmaster.

Surprise! Ticketmaster did give your money back

My advocacy team and I reviewed the correspondence between you and Ticketmaster. It looked as if Ticketmaster claimed to have refunded your tickets, but the funds hadn’t landed in your account. I recommended that you check with your bank to see if it could find the refund. Separately, I also reached out to Ticketmaster to see if it could provide any details of your refund. (Related: Shouldn’t Ticketmaster give my money back if the opera is canceled?)

And here’s that Hollywood ending, though I can’t really take credit for it: Your bank checked your account and sure enough, Ticketmaster had sent your money back as promised. Why couldn’t you find it? Ticketmaster posted the refund in early February, but it didn’t show up in your account until a few days later. After you found it, you dropped your claim against the company.

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Ticketmaster did what it promised. The curtain falls on this case!

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. He is based in Panamá City.

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