StubHub is offering some customers cash refunds for tickets to events that were canceled during the pandemic, creating an exception to a no-refunds policy it adopted in March 2020 to the dismay of many customers, the company told The Associated Press.
The ticket service changed its refunds policy just as the COVID-19 pandemic was picking up steam in the U.S., announcing that it would only give customers credit rather than cash when concerts, sports games and other events were canceled.
Customers complained to the press and filed lawsuits. In an interview, StubHub customer experience vice president Daron Fowlks declined to comment on litigation but said that customers who bought tickets to events in the U.S. or Canada on or before March 25, 2020, and were issued credits for cancellations, will now get refunds. Those will be paid out by the end of May.
Customers can choose to keep their credits if they like. StubHub, however, won't offer refunds to anyone who bought a ticket after March 25 of last year if an event is canceled — only credits. The credits are valid through the end of 2022.
In 14 states including California, Florida, New Jersey and New York, local laws already allowed customers to get cash refunds if they contacted customer service.
Events that were postponed or rescheduled won't be refunded, Fowlks said. If a ticketholder can't attend, they can resell their tickets on StubHub with no selling fee.
StubHub is offering the retroactive refunds now because the live events industry is opening back up. “The return of live events, the input of customers, partners, and regulators, and the opportunity to finally consult with our new parent company, viagogo, all contributed to StubHub’s decision to make this move now," the company said in a statement. Viagogo, a tickets marketplace, bought StubHub in February 2020.
Ticketmaster and its owner, Live Nation, whose pandemic ticketing policies were also subject to complaints and lawsuits, offers refunds or credits if an event is canceled once it gets funds from the event organizer. Postponed events may not be eligible for refunds.