DANVILLE, Ind. – Customers are pleading for help after they said they purchased tickets to events and concerts, their event or concert was cancelled or postponed, and they couldn’t get in touch with a representative.
In 2019, Stephen Smith and his wife bought tickets to see the band Chicago. It cost them $280.
“It was Chicago with Rick Springfield. Rick Springfield was the opening act,” Smith told CBS4.
In 2019, though, the pandemic was in full force. The Coronavirus crisis did not improve like anyone had hoped for. Eventually, Ticketmaster notified Smith that Rick Springfield would not be the opening act after all and that his show had been rescheduled. As that date neared, the Smiths determined they were uncomfortable attending. They opted for a refund instead.
“I tried to contact them several times, through email, phone and chat on their site,” he said.
Smith said he called at least 15 times but never received a response.
“One of the only emails I received from them – other than the concert date – was an email with two weeks left. It said, ‘Are you still coming? If not, do you want to sell your tickets?’ I thought that was interesting because I haven’t been contacted about these other emails, phone calls or chats I have initiated,” Smith explained.
With the concert date closing in, Smith felt forced to sell his tickets to someone else. He said he lost about $80 in all.
“I couldn’t believe that a company like Ticketmaster would not respond to me at all,” he said, frustrated. “I get the staffing issues, but to not answer the phones. Not answer emails?”
Reuben Zielinski said he, too, had a frustrating experience with Ticketmaster. He purchased tickets to see the Rolling Stones in Buffalo, New York.
“It was in June, supposedly. The pandemic hit and we started thinking maybe we shouldn’t go,” he said.
Zielinski went online and requested a refund instead. He said Ticketmaster agreed.
Months later, though, Zielinski realized he had not yet gotten his money back.
“I went on the website again and it said the refund was no longer in process. The concert was postponed again,” he said. “So, I tried to apply for another refund, and it just kept coming up postponed.”
Like dozens of other customers, Zielinski said he never talked to a human representative. He called but got a recording. He tried to “chat” through the website but got a bot.
“It seemed like I was getting canned answers,” he recalled.
Zielinski said eventually, he was told the promoter didn’t have the funds to return his money.
“That was BS,” he said, bluntly.
Finally, Zielinski filed a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s office. Five days later, he received his refund.
“I don’t think I’ll ever do business with them again,” he concluded.
Look up Ticketmaster on the Better Business Bureau website, and you’ll find quite a few complaints. People had similar stories: they had a situation, tried to contact the company, but couldn’t get through.
President Tim Maniscalo weighed in, saying Ticketmaster has – in the past – responded to complaints on their website.
“Maybe not always to the customers satisfaction, but they do at least respond,” he told CBS4.
A Ticketmaster spokesperson offered to look into several cases and sent us a statement as a response, but then stopped answering CBS4’s emails.
The company said, “We are seeing record demand for events following over a year hiatus. Our Fan Support centers are rapidly hiring team members to keep pace with the volume and greatly appreciate fans’ patience as the team works to minimize wait times.”
If Hoosiers are looking for help after a consumer issue, they can always file a complaint or leave a review with the BBB. They can also file a complaint with the state attorney general’s office.