Here’s Why Ticketmaster Won’t Give You a Refund for a Postponed Concert
Ticketmaster has come under fire this week for its ticket refund policy regarding canceled and postponed concerts, especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the president of Live Nation, Ticketmaster's parent company, has responded to the matter in a television interview with CNBC.
Company head Joe Berchtold appeared on the business news channel's Squawk Alley on Tuesday (April 14). There, he detailed the ticket sales subsidiary's outlook on live events going forward. Offering a rough timeline for when concerts may resume, the executive also addressed Ticketmaster's refund policy.
Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post.
"I think there's a lot of misperception about Ticketmaster," Berchtold explained regarding the company's much-maligned refund policy. "Ticketmaster doesn't sell these tickets and sit on a mountain of cash. Ticketmaster sells tickets and gives the cash over to the venues where the events are held."
For concertgoers wanting refunds, however, the distinction with Ticketmaster lies in whether a show has been flat-out canceled or merely postponed to a later date.
Canceled concerts are refunded at the point of purchase. But Berchtold said "about 90%" of the ticketing company's shows are postponed and working to get rescheduled. Regardless, getting ticket money back into a consumer's hands is not as cut and dried as one might think, the executive indicated.
"Before Ticketmaster [can] issue a refund on a rescheduled event," Berchtold continued, "it has to go to the venue, get that money; a lot of those venues are closed because of the current situation. They have to then sometimes go and get the money from somebody else, and so on down the chain. So it's a pretty big process to go through and right now the volume of it is just so huge."
But that doesn't mean ticket buyers won't be appeased in the long run. He added, "We're trying to … follow a standard process that says as soon as it gets rescheduled and there's a date, so people can then determine, can I go to that time or not, then we're gonna have an opportunity to get some refunds."
But when will concerts resume in earnest? In answer to that, the Live Nation president echoed recent projections that estimate fall 2021 is the earliest that most major shows will start hitting stages again.
"A year from now, 15 months from now, we have the vaccine in place," Berchtold theorized. "We're highly confident that concerts will be — 2021, 2022 — will be bigger than ever. The artists want to perform. The fans want to attend the shows. We're very comfortable, very confident that as we get through this, we'll be able to get back to the normal of being able to go to the shows thanks to the vaccine and the treatment."
Live Nation's Joe Berchtold Talks to CNBC's Squawk Alley - Tuesday, April 14
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