TicketsOnSale.com faces a proposed class action that alleges the company wrongfully charged a California man for tickets to a summer 2020 concert that was postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 22-page lawsuit claims the defendants, TicketsOnSale.com and Ticket Fulfillment Services LP, who jointly operate an online secondary ticket reselling platform, improperly denied the plaintiff’s request for refund on the grounds that their policy is to issue reimbursement only when an event is officially canceled, and not merely “postponed indefinitely.”
The complaint argues that the indefinite postponement of the event to which the plaintiff had tickets, a concert by Hillsong Worship at San Diego’s Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre that was to take place on June 23, 2020, amounts to a bona fide cancellation for which the man should be entitled to a full refund.
“Defendants have retained Plaintiff’s money, yet Plaintiff’s tickets are unusable,” the case, filed in California’s Southern District Court, says. “Defendants’ characterization of the concert as ‘postponed,’ rather than cancelled, is thus not sufficient to justify denying the request for a refund pursuant to Defendants’ ‘100% Buyer Guarantee.’”
As of the lawsuit’s filing on March 23, 2021, the concert at issue has not been rescheduled.
TicketsOnSale.com allows private parties to resell tickets to live events. The defendants charge a fee to consumers who utilize their platform and advertise the service as a safer, more reliable avenue than making ticket-exchange transactions directly, according to the case. Another purported benefit of using the defendants’ service is the companies’ “100% Buyer Guarantee,” which supposedly protects all transactions made on the website, the suit says.
“On information and belief, Defendants’ ‘100% Buyer Guarantee’ is a material term of contract intended as an inducement to use Defendants’ ticket resale marketplace over competitor services,” the complaint reads.
In early March 2020, the plaintiff spent more than $360 on two concert tickets bought through TicketsOnSale, the case says. In the order confirmation message the plaintiff received, the defendants expressly stated that they guaranteed that his tickets “will be within the zone or section listed or one comparable and that you will receive these tickets in time for the event or your money back,” the lawsuit relays.
As the coronavirus pandemic progressed, the plaintiff received on April 6, 2020 an email from the defendants informing him that his tickets were still valid and that the concert had been rescheduled for August 15, the suit says. On or around June 22, according to the case, the plaintiff was told via email that the concert had been postponed indefinitely, yet was assured that his tickets remained valid and would be honored.
“Subsequently,” the lawsuit says, “with no indication that the concert would be rescheduled, Plaintiff disputed the charges to his American Express credit card for the ticket sales and was issued a credit for the full amount of $368.03.”
Then, on or around October 16, American Express verified the plaintiff’s transaction and again billed the man’s account for the tickets, the complaint claims. In February of this year, the defendants allegedly denied the plaintiff’s request for a refund given the event had not been officially canceled.
Per the suit, TicketsOnSale.com’s conduct amounts to a violation of the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law, as well as a breach of contract considering the companies’ “100% Buyer Guarantee.”
The lawsuit looks to represent California residents who used the defendants’ ticket resale platform to buy one or more tickets to any event that was subsequently canceled, postponed indefinitely or rescheduled at any point within the last four years and until judgment in the case is entered, and to whom TicketsOnSale.com has not provided a full refund, including fees.
ClassAction.org’s coverage of COVID-19 litigation can be found here and over on our Newswire.