Remember when you decided 2020 would be the Best Year Ever and bought tickets for festivals, concerts and sporting events? Yeah, you were going to have a blast. Until the coronavirus showed up and cancelled almost every social gathering of more than 100 people.
So now, not only are your plans cancelled, but your money’s tied up with Ticketek or wherever else you bought your tickets.
This is a story from our US partners, please visit the Australian website for local stories.
If you’re worried you’ll lose your cash and miss out on the event you were looking forward to, here’s what to do.
First, check with your ticket vendor
Whether it’s your event’s venue or a ticket marketplace like StubHub, the place you bought your tickets is the best place to look for answers.
You may automatically receive an email regarding the company’s policy, but if not, log into your account or check the venue’s homepage.
For example, StubHub sent an email with a super chill offer: “If you buy tickets on StubHub to an event that is cancelled, you have the option to receive a coupon worth 120% of your original order to go to the live event of your choosing within the next 12 months. Alternatively, you can choose to receive a full refund for the original order amount (including service and delivery fees) to the original payment method.”
Ticketmaster’s FAQ page about coronavirus issues says that if your event gets cancelled, you’ll get info about either a rescheduled event date or how to get a refund.
Refunds may not be automatic, so keep an eye on your inbox for messages regarding your tickets. Live Nation said via Twitter that ticketholders for cancelled events would receive an email with details.
If you purchased insurance for your ticket through a partner (meaning you grabbed it on the last screen of your online checkout process by checking a box and adding a few bucks to your total), pay close attention to the terms of that agreement. Most policies don’t offer a refund if you change your mind—say, if your concert doesn’t get cancelled but you decide you don’t want to stand around with 3,000 people.
If you get stuck with tickets
What if your event got cancelled and you can’t figure out what to do next? Maybe the venue has been lax on details, or you can’t get through on the customer service line after waiting on hold for eons. Or calling out the company on Twitter has failed. What else can you do?
It may be time to call up the credit card you used to book your tickets. Your card issuer may be willing to help you file a dispute for the purchase. “Your odds of success depend on your particular circumstances as well as the amount of the charges and your relationship with the card issuer,” said Ted Rossman, industry analyst for CreditCards.com. “Be polite but persistent in making your case.”
Don’t forget the plans you made around your plans
You can’t forget about the peripherals that go with your event tickets, like the hotel room you booked for the music festival or the plane tickets you bought for the basketball tournament. While airlines and hotels have been fairly relaxed on who can cancel and get a refund (or account credit), Rossman still warned that your mileage may vary. Ask about these reservations as early as possible to learn about your options.
And while it can be stressful to have your money and social outings in limbo, try to be patient. Many event venues are still in the process of creating policies for their cancelled events, so it may take a few days to find out the next steps for your scenario. Keep checking your venue or event webpage, and remain patient and calm if you call to ask about the situation.