StubHub will pay out over $16 million in refunds to over 75,000 customers for events canceled at the start of the pandemic last year

  • 11 attorneys general were investigating StubHub after customers said they weren’t refunded for tickets that were canceled due to the pandemic.
  • The company said it had been “necessary” to adjust its written refund policy after scores of events were canceled last year.
  • Refunds total more than $US16.7 ($AU23) million for customers in six states and Washington D.C.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

StubHub will pay at least $US16.7 ($AU23) million to refund tickets purchased by thousands of customers who had events canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attorneys general in 10 states and the District of Columbia had filed civil suits against StubHub, the largest global secondary ticketing marketplace, saying the company had refused to honor its own FanProtect Guarantee. The policy promises consumers full refunds of the purchase price and fees customers paid for tickets if their events were canceled.

According to the civil suits, instead of issuing refunds to its customers after thousands of concerts, sporting events, and other events were canceled amid coronavirus lockdowns last year, StubHub decided to give credits equal to 120% of their purchases to be used for future events.

In a settlement announced Wednesday, StubHub has agreed to honor the FanProtect Guarantee, as well as disclose any future modification to its refund policies and promptly process refund requests it receives from consumers for events going forward.

StubHub notified its customers in May that it was reversing course for those who purchased tickets prior to March 25, 2020, and would issue full refunds of the amount paid. Customers also had the option to receive the refund in account credits.

“Adjusting our refund policy for canceled events during the pandemic was a difficult decision, but a necessary one at the time,” StubHub said in a statement. “As soon as circumstances allowed, StubHub achieved its goal of providing impacted customers the choice to keep the 120% credit they were issued when their event was canceled or receive a cash refund.”

Last year, as events were canceled, StubHub furloughed two-thirds of its North American workforce, leaving few full-time employees still working at the secondary ticket marketplace, Insider previously reported.

The states and territories involved in the settlement with the District of Columbia are Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Refunds among customers in Indiana, Arkansas, Arizona, the District of Columbia, Colorado, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are estimated at over $US16.7 ($AU23) million, according to the states. StubHub did not respond to Insider’s request for comment on the total amount refunded to all customers living in the areas impacted by the settlement.

“Hoosiers have suffered enough from the pandemic without having to pay admission to events canceled due to circumstances quite outside their control,” Indiana Attorney General Rokita said in a statement. “They have every right to expect these refunds, and we will always work diligently to protect consumers.”

Last year, two lawmakers blasted Ticketmaster for appearing to drag its feet on refunds of events canceled because of the pandemic. The Live Nation subsidiary announced it would issue refunds for postponed events as well as those that are canceled.