I couldn’t see P!nk because of a foul-ball net. Can I get a refund from Ticketmaster?

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By Christopher Elliott

Becky Taylor’s view at a P!nk concert is obstructed by a foul-ball net. She wants a refund from Ticketmaster. Does she have a case?

Question

I purchased three concert tickets for P!nk at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. I spent $607 for them.

The seats were not marked as “obstructed view.” But when I got to the concert, I noticed that the seats had an extremely limited view because of the foul-ball net from the baseball field. It blocked a whole side of the stage. 

There were also two large towers with speakers and a cameraman blocking the middle for a view of the performance. Even the big screens had foul ball net squares on them. 

This is not what I expected after spending $607. I have emailed Ticketmaster and asked repeatedly for a refund. But they refuse. Can you help me get my money back? — Becky Taylor, Covington, Ky.

Answer

You paid good money for a P!nk concert and ended up not seeing most of it. Well, that’s just perfect! 

So what does Ticketmaster have to say about an obstructed view?

It defines an obstructed view as either an incomplete view or something will be in your line of sight because of the position of the seats — like a pole, speakers or the sound board — and you won’t be able to see the entire stage.

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“Don’t worry,” it adds. “Obstructed view tickets are clearly labeled as such at time of purchase.”

Only, yours weren’t. 

How much of a problem are obstructed views at concert venues?

Complaints about obstructed views are relatively uncommon. Usually, the venue clearly discloses if there’s something between you and the stage. But if you arrive at your venue and can’t see the performance, there’s a way to get a refund from Ticketmaster.

How to get a refund from Ticketmaster for an obstructed view

Here are some steps you can take to get your money back when you have an obstructed view:

Check your refund policy

Ticketmaster processes refunds the original method of payment used at the time of purchase, as soon as funds are received from the event organizer. But tickets have different refund policies, so check yours before you start your refund adventure.

Contact Ticketmaster customer service

The company Fan Support Team for help. If you’ve purchased obstructed view tickets in error, you can ask for a refund before the performance. Remember, obstructed view tickets are supposed to be clearly labeled at the time of purchase.

Send evidence of the obstructed view

If you have video or camera proof of the obstructed view, email it to Ticketmaster to support your refund request. (Related: Ticketmaster still owes me $150 for these Jim Gaffigan tickets!)

Be persistent

If the customer representative doesn’t offer the result you want, be calm, polite, and persistent, following the Elliott Method. Ask for a manager or supervisor. A manager will likely have more flexibility and authority to resolve the issue. (Here’s how to get a refund from Ticketmaster.)

By following these steps, you may be able to get a refund for obstructed view seats purchased through Ticketmaster.

Did Ticketmaster breach its contract with you?

What we have here, as this not-legally-trained consumer advocate would say, is a breach of contract. But there are mitigating circumstances. The foul-ball net is retractable, and someone should have pulled it back before the concert. The camera operator could have positioned himself so that you could see Alecia get this party started on stage. (Related: She canceled her credit card. Will she ever see her refund for the BTS concert?)

Although Ticketmaster isn’t responsible for the foul-ball net or the guy blocking your view, it is responsible for fixing it, since it sold you the ticket. (Related: Ticketmaster sent my refund to a closed credit card account! Now what?)

You left nothing to chance. You took pictures of your obstructed view and sent it to Ticketmaster, which showed that you had only received half a concert. That’s excellent work, and I believe it made a difference in the resolution of your case.

Ticketmaster is a burr in my saddle when it comes to consumer complaints. The company even threatened me when I told readers which Ticketmaster executives to contact for a faster resolution of their complaints.

But threats won’t stop me from helping consumers. Ticketmaster will have to pry my cold, dead hands from my keyboard. (In the meantime, I’ve bumped their customer responsiveness rating down to a 1 out of 5 for trying to bully a consumer advocate.)

Could you have avoided this? I think this is one of those rare times when the answer is no. You thought your ticket had an unobstructed view, and to be honest, so did Ticketmaster. I think Ticketmaster’s only goof was not reading your complaint a little more closely  — maybe letting an AI or chatbot deal with it instead of a human. That seems to be happening more and more. A sober review of your grievance shows it was legit and deserved some consideration.

You contacted my advocacy team for help. I reached out to Ticketmaster on your behalf. A short while later, you heard back from the company with some good news — it would refund all three of your tickets.

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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.

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