A class action alleges CoSport, the sole authorized seller of tickets to the Tokyo Summer Olympics, has refused to issue refunds in light of the decision that international spectators will not be allowed to attend the event this summer.
A proposed class action alleges CoSport, the sole authorized seller of tickets to the Tokyo Summer Olympics, has refused to issue refunds in light of the decision that international spectators will not be allowed to attend the event this summer.
The 27-page complaint argues that Olympic tickets and accommodations purchased from CoSport by proposed class members for this summer’s games, which were postponed from the summer of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, are “worthless” and “of no value whatsoever” in the wake of the Japanese Olympic Committee’s decision to keep international spectators from attending. Olympic ticket buyers are entitled to a full refund under defendant Jet Set Sports, LLC’s terms and conditions yet have received far less than total reimbursement, the lawsuit alleges.
“Instead, CoSport only offers a partial refund (75%) IF the customer elects her refund by the eight (8) day deadline and the customer agrees to hold CoSports harmless for retaining the remainder of their refund (25%),” the case says, describing the defendant’s alleged conduct as a breach of contract and violation of New Jersey consumer protection laws.
According to its website, CoSport, the exclusive resource for Americans to buy tickets to Olympic events, is the world’s leading provider of both tickets and hospitality packages, the suit says. Per the case, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and United States Olympic Committee refer all Americans to CoSport for tickets and accommodations, and the company has supported “hundreds of thousands of fans” over the last 10 Olympic and Winter Olympic Games.
The plaintiff, a Dallas resident and “avid supporter” of the U.S. Olympic Team, claims to have paid more than $16,370 for a “Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games SS Package” from CoSport in December 2019. Included in the package, the lawsuit says, were tickets to diving, water polo, beach volleyball and other athletic events and five nights at the Keio Plaza Hotel in addition to meals, pre-game events and onsite management.
According to the lawsuit, the announcement was made on March 24, 2020 that the 2020 Summer Olympics, slated to begin on July 24, 2020, was to be postponed until July 23, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with the postponement announcement came the decision from organizers to implement “a number of safety measures” as a way to facilitate the safest environment possible for both athletes and spectators, the suit relays. Although many precautionary measures, such as mandatory vaccinations, limitations on the number of spectators and rules governing how competitors would move around and interact with the public, were well known, Olympics organizers never stated that international spectators would be prohibited from attending the games, the complaint says. In an update to customers, CoSport stated in February that it would reopen ticket and hospitality package sales, the suit reads. Less than a month later, however, the defendant revealed that it had become aware that the Japanese government was considering barring international spectators from the games, though at the time no final decision had been made, per the case.
On March 20, 2021, the final word came down from the Japanese government barring international spectators from this summer’s Olympics, the lawsuit says. That same day, CoSport, in an email to customers, detailed how its refund process would work, saying it would work with organizers in securing refunds for ticket and hospitality package buyers, according to the suit.
As the lawsuit tells it, however, CoSport soon thereafter “changed its tune.” From the complaint:
“Instead of making good on its prior promise to ‘work with Tokyo 2020 to secure your refund based on the terms and conditions of your purchase,’ it offered only a refund of seventy-five percent of the purchase price. Essentially, CoSport seeks to retain its profit from selling worthless tickets and accommodations in direct contradiction to its own contractual obligations.”
CoSport customers then received an email with a link to take part in a survey in order to request a refund, the case goes on. The problem, the suit charges, is that the refund request survey did not allow CoSport customers to seek a refund without also agreeing to absolve the company of further liability. More from the complaint:
“In other words, despite their contractual, legal and ethical right to a full refund, Plaintiff and other customers were forced to either forego making any request for a refund or be forced to allow CoSport to retain 25% of their money due. This is contrary to the customers’ rights under the CoSport Terms and Conditions.”
The breach-of-contract lawsuit looks to represent all persons in the United States who bought tickets and accommodations packages from CoSport for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and entered into a CoSport Terms and Conditions of Sale Agreement substantially in the form of the exhibit attached to the complaint found below.
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