Why can't I get a refund from Ticketmaster for my Taylor Swift concert?
September 9, 2021
Ticketmaster still owes Matthew Gerstman a $2,031 refund for a canceled Taylor Swift concert. A year later, he is seeing red.
I had three tickets to a Taylor Swift concert in Inglewood, Calif., in the summer of 2020. In February, Ticketmaster notified me that the show had been canceled because of COVID-19.
Ticketmaster had shut down phone and email support. The only mechanism I had to contact them was Twitter and they were inconsistent in responding. Eventually, a representative informed me that they had processed a refund. They gave me a confirmation number. A few weeks later, after I didn't see the refund on my credit card, I emailed Chase's executive team and received two voicemails and a letter verifying that they rejected the refund because Ticketmaster had sent the refund to a closed account.
I've tried to contact Ticketmaster several times about my refund, but Ticketmaster still has $2,031 -- and it's been more than a year. Can you help me?
Matthew Gerstman, New York
Ticketmaster should have refunded your tickets swiftly. It knew that you had closed your account and should have contacted you to make alternate arrangements. Instead, it sat on your $2,031. That's not something you're likely to shake off. The money belongs with you.
Ticketmaster's refund policy is clear. All sales are final, and refunds are only allowed in "limited circumstances." If you qualify for a refund -- which you do -- you'll see a "Request a Refund" link in your online account.
"After submitting your request, your refund will be processed to the original method of payment used at time of purchase, once funds are received from the event organizer," according to Ticketmaster's site.
It appears the event organizer paid Ticketmaster, and then Ticketmaster tried to refund the original method of payment -- and failed.
I reviewed the correspondence between you and Ticketmaster. It looks like you used various methods to communicate with the company, including phone, text and social media. Those can be effective under some circumstances. But when you're trying to build a paper trail -- written evidence that you are trying to resolve a problem -- those methods become problematic. In the end, you had to share a Dropbox folder with screenshots. That can make it a little challenging for a customer service agent to follow the progress of a case or lack thereof.
I think a few carefully written emails to Ticketmaster might have gotten your case moving and prevented any more bad blood. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of the Ticketmaster customer service executives on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org.
It appears that there's one blank space in your file: An official letter from your former credit card company that says it received and rejected the payment sent by Ticketmaster. Without the letter, Ticketmaster will not reprocess your refund.
You found the document, sent it to me, and I forwarded it to Ticketmaster. In May, more than a year after your concert had been canceled, you received a resolution.
"Our Fan Support has been in touch with Matthew to see if he would prefer to receive a check in the mail or manual credit for a refund," a Ticketmaster representative told me. "This has now be resolved."