StubHub held accountable for failure to provide refunds for cancelled events

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Attorney General Mark R. Herring has resolved a multistate investigation into California-based StubHub concerning the company’s refusal to pay refunds to consumers for concerts, sports events, and other events that were canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 8,300 Virginia consumers were affected by StubHub’s actions and were given the option to obtain refunds from the company.

Virginia is joined by nine other states and the District of Columbia in the multistate resolution with the company.

StubHub operates one of the largest ticket reselling marketplaces in the country. Under its “FanProtect Guarantee,” StubHub offered consumers full refunds of the purchase price and fees they paid for tickets if their events were cancelled. In March 2020, however, following the mass-cancellation of entertainment events, StubHub stopped honoring its refund guarantee and instead told its customers that they would receive account credits equal to 120 percent of their purchases to be used for future events and denied their requests for refunds.

“Virginia consumers should be able to trust that a company will honor their cancellation policies and refund guarantees, and the COVID pandemic should not be used as an excuse to withhold refunds owed to customers for cancelled events,” Herring said. “The COVID pandemic continues to put a financial strain on so many in this country, and I’m proud that my team led this effort to ensure consumers receive their refunds from StubHub.”

Following the commencement of the states’ coordinated investigations, led by Virginia, in May 2021, StubHub reversed its decision and notified its customers that if they purchased tickets prior to March 25, 2020 and their events were cancelled, they would receive full refunds of the amounts they paid for their tickets to events unless they elected to retain their account credits.

This included 8,386 consumers residing in Virginia or purchasing tickets for an event in Virginia, and who had previously purchased tickets on StubHub’s marketplace under terms that included the FanProtect Guarantee.

Consumers who have not been contacted by StubHub and believe they are entitled to a refund may either:

Herring’s agreement also includes an injunction that requires StubHub to:

  • Clearly and conspicuously disclose any modification to its refund policies before a consumer agrees to it;
  • Honor those policies when events are canceled;
  • And promptly process refund requests it receives from consumers for the events at issue going forward.

The agreement also provides for a $456,450 civil penalty, which StubHub can avoid paying provided that it pays the refunds owed to Virginia consumers and it does not violate the other terms of the agreement.

The settlement is in the form of a Consent Judgment, which has been filed for approval with the Richmond Circuit Court.

Joining Herring in holding StubHub accountable are the attorneys general of Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.


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