AG Brnovich Secures Refunds for Events Canceled Due to COVID-19 Featured

Katie Conner, AZ AG News Release October 28, 2020 362

AG Brnovich Secures $71 Million in Ticket Refunds for Arizona Events Impacted by COVID-19

Big Idea

  • Many events were canceled due to COVID-19
  • Ticketmaster has agreed to refund over $71M for consumers who purchased tickets
  • Ticketmaster changed their policy after March 14
  • Ticketmaster joined in good faith negotiations to resolve the issue
  •

Arizona ticket holders should check to see if a refund is available

PHOENIX - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced today that his office secured an agreement with Ticketmaster, returning over $71 million in refunds for consumers who purchased tickets to Arizona live events that were cancelled, postponed, or rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Consumers who spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars on tickets to live events were left in limbo because of COVID-19,” said Attorney General Brnovich. “While we’re all sensitive to the plight of artists and venues impacted by COVID-19, companies have to honor refund representations. As a result of our investigation, Ticketmaster worked with our office to ensure full refunds for consumers who purchased tickets for Arizona events that didn’t take place as scheduled.”

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO) asserted that up to March 13, 2020, Ticketmaster’s online FAQs promised to automatically make refunds available for cancelled, postponed, or rescheduled events within 7-10 business days. However, as of March 14, 2020, Ticketmaster’s website was updated to provide that it would only issue refunds automatically for cancelled events and allowed Event Organizers (promoters, artists, and venues) to set refund limitations on postponed or rescheduled events.

In April 2020, the AGO sent a letter to Ticketmaster expressing concerns over Ticketmaster’s change to the company’s refund representations. Through good-faith negotiations with the AGO, Ticketmaster (working with Event Organizers) authorized $71,030,000 in consumer refunds for 650 Arizona events that were cancelled, postponed, or rescheduled because of COVID-19. At this point, every customer who purchased tickets for an Arizona event should have received an option to obtain a full refund for the event if it was cancelled, rescheduled, or postponed due to COVID-19.

Pursuant to the consent agreement, Ticketmaster agrees to clearly and conspicuously disclose its purchase policy and material facts about its refund policies for cancelled, postponed, or rescheduled events before consumers purchase their tickets.

Arizona ticketholders who purchased tickets prior to March 14, 2020 and who have not received an email from Ticketmaster offering a refund for a cancelled, postponed, or rescheduled event in Arizona, are encouraged to file a consumer complaint with the AGO.

The AGO consent agreement with Ticketmaster is pending court approval.

The AGO has secured over $180 million in restitution, debt and timeshare fee savings, and concert ticket refunds since General Brnovich took office in 2015 – that far exceeds the restitution secured by the AG’s Office from 2000-2014 combined.

Civil Litigation Division Chief Counsel Joseph Sciarrotta, Senior Litigation Counsel Rebecca Salisbury, and Consumer Protection Litigation Unit Chief Matthew du Mée handled this case.

If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the metro areas at (800) 352-8431. Bilingual consumer protection staff is available to assist. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Arizona Attorney General’s website.

Copy of Complaint

Copy of Consent Agreement

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Last modified on Wednesday, 28 October 2020 16:13
Published in Arizona News

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