MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Concerts and sporting events have been canceled or postponed because of the pandemic. Now, fans are accusing ticket companies of holding their money hostage instead of issuing refunds.
The WMC Action News 5 Investigators were contacted by a ticket holder who wanted help.
“I knew I wasn’t the only one affected by this,” said Horn Lake resident Brandy Yewell.
Yewell bought three tickets to the Alabama-Kent State game for her husband’s birthday through ticket re-seller StubHub.
“It was a lifelong dream to watch the Crimson Tide play at home,” she said. “When I purchased the tickets, the guarantee was if this event is canceled you get your money back.”
When the September 26 game was officially canceled, StubHub only offered her credit to another event.
“I said, ‘There are no events. There’s no events scheduled. So y’all are going to hold my almost $400 hostage?’”
Four lawsuits were filed against StubHub in federal court.
Each alleges the ticket company changed its refund policy without notifying fans after the pandemic started.
The policy once promised a full refund for canceled events but now only offers a coupon worth 120% of an original order.
The Investigators tried to reach StubHub but contact information wasn’t listed on its media relations site.
Instead, a statement from the company dated March 25 only says StubHub is “monitoring the evolving situation related to the novel coronavirus”.
“I understand there’s a pandemic going on. I just wish StubHub understood there was a pandemic and people probably need their money back,” said Yewell.
In May, StubHub’s president resigned.
StubHub, though, isn’t the only ticket seller in hot water.
Type “Memphis” into Ticketmaster’s event locator and you’ll find dozens of shows and games that have been canceled or postponed.
Gina Halso paid Ticketmaster $1,200 for a meet and greet with JoJo Siwa in Raleigh, North Carolina for her and her granddaughter.
The concert is postponed for next year.
“I don’t even know if she’ll like JoJo in a year," said Halso.
Ticketmaster is offering refunds for canceled events but if the event is postponed or rescheduled, the event organizer must issue the refund.
A federal lawsuit filed against Ticketmaster alleges the company retroactively changed its policy to allow refunds only for canceled events, even though the company’s president "predicted live events will not occur until Fall 2021 at the earliest. "
“It’s been postponed for a year. It’s a lot of money. I want to be able to do something else for my granddaughters before a year is up.”
As for Yewell, she reached out to attorneys for one of the lawsuits pending against StubHub.
It’s a class-action lawsuit that, if won, could result in refunds for all customers.
Yewell hopes she won’t have to wait for a court order to get her money.
“They need to do the right thing and just refund it.”
The Investigators reached out to an attorney for StubHub but didn’t hear back.
Ticketmaster refunded Halso after we reached out to the company but it did not provide further comment.