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Call Kurtis: Can Tickets Be Refunded If An Event Has Been Indefinitely Postponed?

Anthony Segura was golfing in Hawaii in 2019 when he had a chance encounter with President Barack Obama. When Anthony mentioned he and his wife were big fans of the former first lady, President Obama told him to be on the lookout for an upcoming tour with a stop in Sacramento.

Sure enough, Anthony was able to buy his wife a Christmas present: two tickets for an Evening With Michelle Obama at the Golden 1 Center in April 2020.

"We were all jazzed to go to the Golden 1 Center," he said. "We had some great seats."

But then, the pandemic hit and the event was postponed with a promise of a reschedule date announced in the near future. Fast forward to now, though, and it still hasn't happened. Anthony, like many viewers who have reached out about this event, is getting tired of the two-year wait.

"If we had the opportunity to get a refund, we would jump at the opportunity," he said.

Ticketmaster's written policy seems to leave refunds up to the event organizer when an event is postponed. But that got us wondering: how long can a ticket provider claim an event is postponed before ticket holders are eligible for refunds?

Turns out, none of the big-ticket providers like Ticketmaster or StubHub provide any kind of timeframe for how long a postponement can go on for. So no help there. A dictionary isn't much help either, even the definition of the word postponed sets an ambiguous endpoint.

Thankfully, there's a newly enacted California law that protects you in these situations.

Assembly Bill 1556 went into effect at the start of this year and changes a bit of state law that covers ticket sellers. Specifically, California's Business & Profession Code, Section 22507, states that "the ticket price of an event which is postponed, rescheduled, or replaced with another event at the same date and time, shall be fully refunded to the purchaser by the ticket seller upon request within 30 calendar days of the refund request."

As of January 1, 2022, anyone who wants a refund because an event was postponed, rescheduled or replaced should request it directly from the ticket seller and receive it within 30 calendar days.

Unfortunately for Anthony, the bill does not appear to be retroactive. Ticketmaster refused to provide an official statement for this story and Michelle Obama's team did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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