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PROBLEM SOLVED - Dec. 30

Can I get a refund for these NFL tickets from Ticketmaster?

 

December 30, 2021



Lynne Larkin wants a refund or credit for tickets to an NFL game she purchased through Ticketmaster. The reason: The stadium changed its health protocols. But is that a valid reason?

I'm trying to get a refund or credit for NFL tickets I had to cancel. Earlier this year, I purchased tickets to the New Orleans Saints vs. Green Bay Packers game in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Ticketmaster site said to check each venue website for what safety measures will be in place for each event. The TIAA Stadium site said pod-distanced seating, distanced parking, full masking required, and other extensive safety measures. So on that basis, I purchased my tickets. I have screenshots of the TIAA Stadium site.

Someone who works at the stadium told me on Facebook that this is incorrect. All seats are available. There's no distancing and no masking. I don't feel safe attending a game under those circumstances. I decided to cancel my tickets and request a refund.

I asked for a refund once, but Ticketmaster didn't respond. Please help me get my $402 back. -

Lynne Larkin, Vero Beach, Fla.

I think you should get a refund for those tickets. It's an unusual football season in several ways. The New Orleans Saints played their home opening game in Jacksonville after being displaced by hurricane Ida. But COVID was also a factor.

The Ticketmaster site has a refund policy on its site, but it's not entirely clear. Full refunds, it says, will be available if the NFL or the team cancels a game and it can't be rescheduled. You can also get your money back if the game happens "under conditions that prohibit fans from attending."

The Ticketmaster site also notes that the season will be played "with stadiums at full capacity whenever possible."

Yes, that's confusing. How do you define "prohibit fans from attending"? If the stadium goes from full social distancing to "anything goes," does that count?

I imagine others are in your situation -- caught between their health concerns and the ambiguities of cancellation rules. There's only one way to get the answer: You have to ask.

I reviewed your paper trail with Ticketmaster. It looks as if it didn't even acknowledge your first refund request. That's highly unusual. Typically, companies send an automated response when you file a complaint through their site. It looks like your first request didn't go through.

I recommended that you try one of the executive customer service contacts for Ticketmaster that I publish on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org. That way, you can be sure that someone received your request.

And someone did. Ticketmaster promptly responded to you. It turns out that changing the health protocols at a stadium is grounds for a full refund. You received your money back for the tickets, minus the cost of insurance, and watched the game on TV instead.

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy. Email him at [email protected] or get help with any consumer problem by contacting him at http://www.elliott.org/help

© 2021 Christopher Elliott.

 

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