Had a concert canceled because of COVID-19? Depending on where you live and how you got the tickets, you may be due a cash refund.
Attorneys general in 10 states and Washington, D.C., announced a settlement with ticket marketplace StubHub this week following a massive investigation into its refund policy for live events canceled during the pandemic. As part of the agreement, StubHub vowed to adjust its process — and pay back thousands of ticket holders millions of dollars.
The issue concerns StubHub's FanProtect Guarantee policy, which before the pandemic ensured that customers who bought tickets on StubHub to events that were later canceled could get a full refund. When the coronavirus crisis locked down the U.S. in late March 2020, though, StubHub changed its rules. It no longer offered refunds; the only option was to get 120% of the purchase price in account credits.
People complained, the states launched a probe, and StubHub went back to its original stance this past May, telling customers who bought tickets before March 25, 2020, that they'd be refunded unless they wanted to keep the vouchers.
Most of the public officials involved in the StubHub settlement issued statements Tuesday and Wednesday celebrating the decision. Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring, for example, said "the COVID pandemic should not be used as an excuse to withhold refunds owed to customers for cancelled events." Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh added that StubHub had a responsibility to follow its policy "despite the unprecedented circumstances," and "this settlement ensures that consumers will receive the refunds that they are entitled to."
Although only Arizona, Colorado and D.C. gave dollar amounts, Law360 reported the refunds exceed $9.5 million in total. (Business Insider calculated that the payments in seven locations were more than $16.7 million.)
As part of the settlement, StubHub also has to communicate any changes to its refund policies in advance, make good on its promises and process refund requests quickly.
"Adjusting our refund policy for canceled events during the pandemic was a difficult decision, but a necessary one at the time," the company said in its own statement. "We appreciate the patience of our customers, partners and regulators as we worked toward providing that choice, and we appreciate the ongoing dialogue with the states as we worked to formalize the actions StubHub voluntarily took beginning in May 2021 through this multi-state agreement."
(FYI: StubHub's website now says "if your event is canceled and not rescheduled, you will receive a credit worth 120% of the amount you paid for the impacted event or the option of a cash refund." You can find the "request cash refund" button in the StubHub Wallet of your online or in-app account.)
Who's eligible for StubHub refunds
Affected customers should have already been notified by StubHub via email (and, in some cases, they've already been paid refunds). But if you think you were overlooked or your refund is taking too long, the action you should to take depends on your location.
Here's what we know.
- over 6,100 consumers due "nearly $2 million in cash refunds"
- for more info, call StubHub at 866-788-2482 or file a complaint with the attorney general's office
- "nearly 2,000" consumers affected
- for more info, call StubHub at 866-788-2482 or contact the attorney general's office at 501-682-2007
- 8,688 customers due $3,120,442 in refunds
- for more info, call StubHub at 866-788-2482 or contact the Colorado Department of Law at 800-222-4444
- "approximately 6,800 consumers" affected
- for more info, call StubHub at 866-788-2482 or contact the attorney general's office at 1-800-382-5516
- more than 8,500 customers affected
- for more info, call StubHub at 866-788-2482 or contact the attorney general's office at 410-528-8662
- more than 5,500 consumers due $1.87 million
- for more info, call StubHub at 866-788-2482 or contact the attorney general's office at at 651-296-3353 (or 800-657-3787)
- 2,175 consumers affected
- for more info, call StubHub at 866-788-2482 or contact the attorney general's office at 603-271-3641
- 12,137 customers affected
- for more info, call StubHub at 866-788-2482 or contact the attorney general's office at 1-800-282-0515
- 8,386 consumers affected
- for more info, call StubHub at 866-788-2482 or file a complaint with the state
- more than 8,600 customers affected
- for more info, call StubHub at 866-788-2482 or contact the state's consumer protection hotline at 800-422-7128
- 7,867 consumers due over $3.6 million
- for more info, call StubHub at 866-788-2482 or call the attorney general's office at 202-442-9828
If you're not in — or your event wasn't set in — one of these places, you may want to look into your state's refund laws, call StubHub or contact your attorney general's office to find out more about local policies.