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

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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 is that true?

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 for these Lady Gaga tickets? — Barbara Davenport, Port Orange, Fla.

Answer

If Ticketmaster offered you a refund for the Lady Gaga concert, 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 Elliott Advocacy.

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 — even it is Lady Gaga.) Instead, it looks like the company told you to take it or leave it.

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.

Your credit card dispute was unsuccessful, but here’s your refund for the Lady Gaga concert

Remember, you can always appeal your case to a Ticketmaster executive. We list the names, numbers, and email addresses of the Ticketmaster customer service managers in our database. 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. (You can read more about why credit card disputes are so tricky, in Michelle’s comprehensive guide on the topic.)

Global Rescue is the world’s leading provider of medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services. Founded in 2004, Global Rescue has exclusive relationships with the Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations and Elite Medical Group. Global Rescue provides best-in-class services that identify, monitor and respond to client medical and security crises. Learn more about Global Rescue.

I reached out to Ticketmaster on your behalf. “Our fan support team has processed a refund for the Lady Gaga concert,” 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 weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, Forbes and the Washington Post. He also publishes 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 Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter. Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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