LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Although concerts and other large events are still months away from returning according to Gov. Newsom, people who have purchased tickets for postponed and rescheduled events are having a hard time receiving refunds.
High school principal Veronica Brown is a huge Janet Jackson fan. When she heard the singer's world tour was coming to Staples Center this August, she purchased four tickets.
Brown bought the tickets, totaling over $1,800, the day they went on sale in February.
"I am finishing chemotherapy on July 29, and so that was my way of celebrating, going to the Janet Jackson concert," said Brown.
When the pandemic hit, Newsom announced that no concerts would likely be happening before 2021.
In April, Brown tried to contact TicketCenter.com, the website where she bought the tickets but did not receive a response.
"I said OK, surely they're going to give us back our money, and I would call and call and call and then I started emailing, no response," Brown said.
Carlvette McIver purchased four tickets to see Paw Patrol Live in May with her sister's biological children who had recently been adopted out of foster care.
Instead of offering a refund, AXS, the company from which she bought the tickets, sent her an email telling her the show had been rescheduled for March 2021.
"The tickets were $100 each and I bought six tickets. I clearly explained my position, that I was self-employed and I needed the cash," McIver said.
She was told in that same email that if she no longer wanted the tickets, she could try to resell them.
"The right thing to do by consumers, given the unprecedented number of cancellations we have seen, is to give their money back," said John Breyault with the National Consumers League, one of many consumers groups pushing for ticket sales companies to refund consumers during the pandemic.
"Basically these companies are asking consumers to do is to give them a no-interest, long term loan, with some expectation that the service is going to be provided at some point in the future," Breyault said.
Ticket giant Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation recently updated its policy after receiving backlash from consumers.
For canceled shows, refunds will be automatically processed. As for rescheduled and postponed shows, ticket holders will have a 30-day window to request a refund.
McIver said she later received another email from AXS telling her she could put in a request for a refund.
Ticket Center did not immediately respond for comment.
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