SF Lawsuit Targets Ticketmaster For Postponed Concert Refunds

A San Francisco man paid $590 to see Rage Against the Machine in Oakland last month. The concert was postponed, and now he's suing Ticketmaster for a refund.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A San Francisco man has filed a class action lawsuit against Beverly Hills-based Ticketmaster on behalf of would-be concertgoers, seeking refunds for events postponed during the pandemic.

Attorneys for Derek Hansen filed the suit last month. They're seeking damages for false advertising, fraud, breach of contract, and violating the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act.

A number of Bay Area concert fans have complained to NBC Bay Area about difficulties getting refunds from Ticketmaster. They expect a refund for a show that's not happening. Gutride Safier, the San Francisco law firm that filed the class action, says Ticketmaster changed its policy as the pandemic took hold.

According to the legal complaint, on March 13, the Ticketmaster policy was that "refunds would be available for postponed or rescheduled events." As of March 14, only cancelled shows get refunds. Those with tickets to postponed events have to wait. Ticketmaster says it has to see what the promoter or performer allows, in terms of a refund.

Marie McCrary, an attorney with Gutride Safier, says Ticketmaster's policy is unfair to its customers.

"Ticketmaster is the company that made the representations to consumers, set the policy for the ability to get a refund, and took consumers’ money," McCrary said. "So, it’s up to that company to make them whole.”

In the lawsuit, Hansen claims he paid $590 in February for tickets to two separate Rage Against the Machine concerts in Oakland, planned for April 21 and 23. The lawsuit says the concerts were postponed in March, without a new date. Hansen's lawsuit says he should have received a refund, but that Ticketmaster changed its policies after the fact and refused to give his money back.

“I think they just don’t want to pay back consumers the money they paid for these events that aren’t going to take place as scheduled," McCrary said.

According to the Ticketmaster website, the Rage Against the Machine concerts were eventually rescheduled to June of next year.

Ticketmaster told NBC Bay Area it does not comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit is filed as Derek Hansen v. Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. and Live Nation Entertainment Co., case number 3:20-cv-02685-SK.

Ticketmaster recently announced it would give refunds for events that are marketed by Live Nation. Other events remain in limbo. We created a flow chart to help ticket holders understand their options:

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