I couldn't see P!nk because of a foul-ball net. Can I get a refund from Ticketmaster?
January 11, 2024
Becky Taylor's view at a P!nk concert is obstructed by a foul-ball net. She wants her money back from Ticketmaster. Does she have a case?
I purchased three concert tickets for P!nk at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. I spent $607 for them.
The seats were not marked as "obstructed view." But when I got to the concert, I noticed that the seats had an extremely limited view because of the foul-ball net from the baseball field. It blocked a whole side of the stage.
There were also two large towers with speakers and a cameraman blocking the middle for a view of the performance. Even the big screens had foul ball net squares on them.
This is not what I expected after spending $607. I have emailed Ticketmaster and asked repeatedly for a refund. But they refuse. Can you help me get my money back? -- Becky Taylor, Covington, Ky.
You paid good money for a P!nk concert and ended up not seeing most of it. Well, that's just perfect!
So what does Ticketmaster have to say about an obstructed view? It defines an obstructed view as either an incomplete view or something that will be in your line of sight because of the position of the seats — like a pole, speakers, or the soundboard — and you won’t be able to see the entire stage. "Don’t worry," it adds. "Obstructed view tickets are clearly labeled as such at the time of purchase."
Only, yours weren't.
What we have here, as this not-legally-trained consumer advocate would say, is a breach of contract. But there are mitigating circumstances. The foul-ball net is retractable, and someone should have pulled it back before the concert. The camera operator could have positioned himself so that you could see Alecia get this party started on stage.
Although Ticketmaster isn't responsible for the foul-ball net or the guy blocking your view, it is responsible for fixing it, since it sold you the ticket.
You left nothing to chance. You took pictures of your obstructed view and sent them to Ticketmaster, which showed that you had only received half a concert. That's excellent work, and I believe it made a difference in the resolution of your case.
Ticketmaster is a burr in my saddle when it comes to consumer complaints. The company even threatened me when I told readers which Ticketmaster executives to contact for a faster resolution of their complaints. But threats won't stop me from helping consumers. Ticketmaster will have to pry my cold, dead hands from my keyboard. (In the meantime, I've bumped their customer responsiveness rating down to a 1 out of 5 for trying to bully a consumer advocate.)
Could you have avoided this? I think this is one of those rare times when the answer is no. You thought your ticket had an unobstructed view, and to be honest, so did Ticketmaster. I think Ticketmaster's only goof was not reading your complaint a little more closely -- maybe letting an AI or chatbot deal with it instead of a human. That seems to be happening more and more. A sober review of your grievance shows it was legit and deserved some consideration.
I reached out to Ticketmaster on your behalf. A short while later, you heard back from the company with some good news -- it would refund all three of your tickets.
Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy (https://elliottadvocacy.org), a nonprofit organization that helps consumers solve their problems. Email him at [email protected] or get help by contacting him at https://elliottadvocacy.org/help/
© 2023 Christopher Elliott