I have long-haul COVID. Why can’t I get a refund for my Lady Gaga tickets?

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By Christopher Elliott

Why won’t Ticketmaster refund Barbara Davenport’s VIP tickets to the Lady Gaga show? It claims she missed her window for requesting a cancellation. But she didn’t.

Question

I bought VIP tickets for a Lady Gaga concert in New Jersey, but the event was postponed twice because of COVID. No new date has been set. Ticketmaster sent me an email that said I could have tickets to the new concert or a full refund. I asked for a refund, but now Ticketmaster is refusing. 

I’m 68 years old and have been diagnosed with long-haul COVID. I don’t feel I will be able to make a trip from Florida to New Jersey. Can you help me get my $1,795 back? — Barbara Davenport, Port Orange, Fla. 

Answer

If Ticketmaster offered you a refund, you should get one. It looks like Ticketmaster is refusing because you missed your window for requesting your money back. But the emails from Ticketmaster made no mention of a window or deadline. 

Instead, they say, “These options will be available until the Event Organizer either cancels or reschedules the event, at which point you will receive a new communication about the status of your order.” The show was still postponed at the time you contacted me.

I’m also sorry to hear about your health problems. Ticketmaster should have been sensitive to your long-haul COVID diagnosis instead of pocketing $1,795. (And by the way, that’s a lot of money for concert tickets.) Instead, it looks like the company told you to take it or leave it. (Related: My Vegas Golden Knights tickets disappeared. Why won’t Ticketmaster refund them?)

As I’ve mentioned several times, a concert organizer can’t postpone a show and insist that you accept the new date. You purchased tickets for a concert on a specific day, and if the organizer can’t meet its obligation, you deserve a quick refund. I’m sure if you’d known about the refund window, you would have complied. But it looks like in its hurry to notify you about the postponement, Ticketmaster forgot to mention its window. (Here’s the best travel advice.)

Remember, you can always appeal your case to a Ticketmaster executive. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of the Ticketmaster customer service managers on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org. You tried to contact your credit card company and initiate a dispute. The Fair Credit Billing Act protects consumers against purchases that were not delivered as promised, so you would have stood a good chance of receiving a full refund from your credit card company. Unfortunately, your credit card turned down your request, saying too much time had elapsed. I reached out to Ticketmaster on your behalf. “Our fan support team has processed a refund,” a representative told me. You report that you got the refund this time. 

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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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