Can you get a refund for unused concert tickets?

  • Posted on: 08 Jul 2024
    Can you get a refund for unused concert tickets?

  • What are the chances of getting a refund after buying concert tickets and not attending the concert?

    Concerts as a concept is one that is enjoyed by music enthusiasts and people planning to attend the event. However, there are time and circumstances when you cannot proceed to use your tickets as planned or desired. Sick, having a hard time traveling or facing some other unexpected situation or personal change that means you cannot be at the show. This puts you in a situation where you have the remaining tickets and the question is – can I get a refund?

    Some concerts allow you to get a refund while others do not and this depends on the policies set by the concert promoter or the ticketing company. Most have no-refund policies, but for a select few, they will offer refunds or exchanges on particular merchandise. Here is what you need to know.

    Ticketmaster Refund Policy

    Since Ticketmaster is the biggest ticket seller for concerts and live events, and many venues let the ticket seller set the refund policy, it is essential to know. Generally, Ticketmaster does not refund for a ticket that was not used as per terms and conditions unless an event has been cancelled or rescheduled. If there are any circumstances that warrant such, some venues may allow for it particularly during instances such as an illness but only when the organizers have been informed beforehand.

    Tixbag Refund Policy

    Every customer should be satisfied when they get to the ticketing booth or at the time of purchasing a ticket through Tixbag. We guarantee that if you are not 100% satisfied with the tickets you ordered through Tixbag, then you should inform our customer service department within 30 days of delivery. In the event that this fails, we shall ensure that you get satisfaction by either refunding you the face value of the ticket or assisting you to exchange the tickets for another event of your choice. When it comes to ticket booking, Tixbag provides some of the best and easy refund policies that customers can opt for. Our team offers assurance to our service and products to ensure ticket buyers are always happy.

    StubHub Refund Policy

    It is important for the reader to understand that StubHub is a ticket resale platform where fans can buy and resell tickets to other fans. For the tickets bought on stub hub but not used, there is provision for a refund of the ticket amount if the event is canceled and no other date is set. Organizers of events are also allowed to offer refunds for cancelled events that are not rescheduled. Other than ticket resales with no subsequent events or makeup dates, StubHub does not allow sellers to refund annoyed buyers.

    To understand the refund policy of the companies involved in the formation of Live Nation the following companies refund policies are vital to consider AEG refund policies. 

    Two other large-scale concert and live event promoters, Live Nation and AEG, also have guidelines that forbid refunding the ticket buyers apart from if the event gets cancelled. A courtesy refund may also be offered in more extreme, such as death or illness, at the discretion of Live Nation if informed before the date of the performance.

    Venue and Performer-Specific Policies

    Thus, in most cases laws do not allow consumers to receive refunds and major concert promoters and ticket sellers also do not offer a refund policy; however, there are some venues and performers that do have exceptions. Some artists demand a full refund up to 24 hours before the show, if the tickets are sold back through the box office. Special exemption can also be made to venue box tickets sales as these are also fixed by the venues. That said, such policies are not standardized, and are only implemented sporadically at some venues and shows.

    Credit Card Purchase Protection

    And one of the actions some of the buyers of concert tickets can take towards getting back their money is approaching the credit card company. Most credit card companies have purchase protection which means that should a customer fail to attend the event due to sickness or injury, the tickets’ cost will be refunded. In such cases, purchase protection proves useful but they do not apply in cases where an individual fails to attend a concert due to change of mind or for any other reason that was not force mandated.

    May I get a Refund for the Tickets or Exchange Them for Another Event?

    Rather than demanding a refund for the tickets which one has not used for the show, one can sell the tickets as one of the viable options. Some of the most common ways include using ticket resale sites such as StubHub where tickets can be sold at face value or even higher depending on the market forces at play. Some municipalities permit scalping while others ban the practice and while scalping of tickets for all forms of events is banned in some locations, ticket reselling for sporting events remains banned whereas ticket reselling for amusement events is allowed but scalping of tickets is not permitted at an enhanced price. In other areas, restrictions ensure that the prices of resold items do not exceed the face value of the tickets. Transferring tickets through print-at-home tickets and barcodes displayed on phones are easier that they used to be.

    For those who are not okay or willing to resale extra tickets some of the venues and artists offer ticket exchange for another show. But exchange is generally possible only if there are empty seats available in the flight in the first place. Promoters also keep a short window for exchanging depending on the event and the request has to be made between 72hrs to 30 days before the intended event. Regarding exchanges, these are also as flexible as refunds and resales depending on the policies set by the ticketing organizations and may differ.

    So what about class action lawsuits?

    Among the concert goers who have requested for refunds, some of them have sought the legal action of class action lawsuits with an aim of recovering their ticketing charges for shows that have been canceled or postponed. In view of this COVID-19 pandemic, so many concerts that were scheduled for the year 2020 were either postponed to different year or more with no refund offer. However, litigation efforts to seek a collective legal action against Ticketmaster and Live Nation for reimbursement on these unused tickets has not been successful in different legal decisions. Judges avoid nullifying the companies’ no-refund clauses, provided the makeup show dates are provided at some point.

    Refund claims for postponed shows have not been successful through class actions but, law suits on fraudulent commercial practices have at times led to refund offers. During a Bruce Springsteen Broadway residency show, the venue was technically not canceling shows, but rather closing its doors and not letting people inside, until a lawsuit made the venue return money as a settlement. Sanctions in this regard thus require clear communication on cancellation and availability of the venue as a legal matter.

    Cohosting and Leasing of Spaces / When All Else Fails, Reach Out to the Venue

    In cases where there is no resale exchange and no refund provision available, a last effort that can be undertaken by concert goers is to try and contact the venue or the box office and ask. In most instances, there are no obligations to do so but it is always helpful to talk to the ticket seller and let them know your situation, in which they may allow you or give you credits towards other venues. Still, for a number of smaller local venues, acts of kindness to meet frustrated spectators do happen once in a while as long as there is no other refund provisions.

    It is always advisable to give a call and ask for our money back on unused tickets, if we are able to give some convincing and polite reasons. Hospitals for instance, are business establishments just like any other and in their desire to attract more clients, they can ignore their published standards. But such courtesy refunds depend fully on discretion and availability of funds in a particular circumstance. Thus, even though it is extremely limited and unpredictable, at least there is one course of action – directly asking about refunds.

    The truth with the majority of concert tickets however is that yes, in addition to actual show cancellations, there is no money back guarantee or ticket exchange as a rule of thumb in the industry. Music lovers must then buy wisely and pay for reducing allowances in anticipation of backing out. Only purchase tickets that one is relatively sure that they will be able to use, and it is also advisable to review policies before buying when one can. Unluckily for the fans who paid for tickets and did not get to see their desired shows, no refund policies help make business profitable and reliable for the promoters. As for me, it is still an exception rather than a rule to find such flexible schedules for fans.