He ordered three tickets from Vivid Seats but only got two

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By Christopher Elliott

Mark Kovac pays for three tickets to an NBA game but receives only two from Vivid Seats. Where’s the third ticket, and can the company make the assist before game time?


I ordered and paid for three tickets to the Mavs-Wizards game through Vivid Seats. But the seller only delivered two tickets to my Ticketmaster account.

I’ve been trying to resolve this issue for six weeks but to no avail. I’ve spoken with 12 customer service representatives (I have their names). I begged them to help me, but all I got was lip service from the customer support team.

I thought this was a simple mistake that Vivid Seats could fix quickly. But now, I’m beginning to think there may be something more sinister at work. I don’t know who else to turn to. Can you please help me get this issue resolved? — Mark Kovac, Dallas


If you order three tickets, you should get three tickets. I know, I know. Thank you, Captain Obvious. But maybe not so obvious to Vivid Seats.

This case was incompetence and bureaucracy rolled into one. Incompetence, first. How else can you characterize 12 separate interactions with Vivid Seats’ customer service agents, meticulously documented in your email thread? And now bureaucracy, in that Vivid Seats knew you had a problem, it knew — or should have known — that the game was just days away, and yet it took its sweet time.

Come on!

You could have done a few things to speed up the process. Certainly, contacting Vivid Seats was the right first step. I think you could have gotten Ticketmaster involved, and maybe even your credit card company. (Related: She canceled her Dave Chappelle and Joe Rogan tickets because of COVID. Then this happened.)

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The good news: Vivid Seats is sending your other ticket

Here’s the order I would have tried. Contact the Vivid Seats executives. We list their names, numbers, and email addresses in our database. Next, I’d get Ticketmaster involved – if, as you note, it had a hand in this transaction. Finally, you could appeal to your credit card company if all else failed. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, you can dispute a charge for items ordered but not received and get a full refund. Then you could buy your basketball game tickets elsewhere. (Related: Can I get a refund for this rescheduled show from Vivid Seats?)

By the time you reached me, you had already gone through customer support and just begun your appeal to the executives at the company. But with only a few days until your game, you couldn’t afford to be patient, so you contacted me.

I reached out to Vivid Seats and it sent you the third ticket, as promised.

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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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