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Ticketmaster Clears Up Unpopular Return Policy, but Fans Wanting Refunds Better Act Quick 

click to enlarge Elton John is one of the top concert draws forced to cancel or postpone tours because of the coronavirus pandemic. - JAIME MONZON
  • Jaime Monzon
  • Elton John is one of the top concert draws forced to cancel or postpone tours because of the coronavirus pandemic.
After serious blowback for appearing to tweak its refund policy to not cover events postponed by the pandemic, Ticketmaster's head honcho tweeted out a statement obviously intended to put buyers at ease.

“To be clear, Ticketmaster intends to refund as many tickets as possible in as timely a fashion as is feasible,” company president Jared Smith wrote on the social media platform. “We are working every day towards that goal.”

Ticketmaster has 55,000 events in its system that were set to take place between March 1 and the end of 2020, according to the statement. Of that total, 30,000 — representing $2 billion in ticket sales — have been canceled or postponed, "making it impossible to issue refunds to fans before recouping sales receipts from the organizers, as we've done in the past."

According to the statement, 12,000 of the events have been canceled and are now being refunded, while another 5,000 have been rescheduled, which also clears the company to offer refunds. The company said organizers are working to figure out how to present the remaining events disrupted by COVID-19 — a "complex task" since no one's entirely sure when live events can resume.

According to trade magazine Billboard, Ticketmaster will make good on refunds — but with an apparent catch.

Starting May 1, once postponed shows receive their new dates, ticketholders will receive a Ticketmaster email prompting them to seek a refund if they want it. The customer will then have 30 days to make that request. Otherwise, they'll automatically be issued a ticket for the rescheduled date.

Fans also can opt to receive credit for cancelled and postponed shows or donate their tickets to healthcare workers through something called the Hero Nation program.

In other words, if you want a refund, better keep checking your email.

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