New York consumers are furious at local authorities closed several sites to those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, an increasingly common choice amid the continuing increase in the number of cases in the United States. cannot use, but also cannot get refunds and cannot sell due to the mobile-only anti-resale ticketing systems used by the main ticketing provider, Ticketmaster.
The KeyBank Center in Buffalo is one of many sites that have recently announced changes to their entry policies – it will no longer be enough to show a recent negative test and wear a mask, only proof of vaccination. This is a problem for some consumers, and not just for those who hesitate to vaccinate by choice.
“For concerts I’m up to do all kinds of things and would be quite ready to get the shot but it’s not an option for me from a health point of view – my doctor won’t approve it. “said Leanne Powers from Hamburg, NY to Buffalo’s. WKBW, who was thrilled to attend a November concert featuring Genesis at KeyBank before the vaccination requirement was changed. “These are second row tickets. This is an item in the bucket list.
Unfortunately for her, the $ 2,100 she paid for tickets can be an unrecoverable loss, unless the event organizers change their current policy.
Powers and others like her who contacted Ticketmaster to request refunds due to the after-sales policy change received a response form:
Thank you for contacting us regarding the refund of your ticket order.
Other options, if offered by the event organizer, such as the ability to display your ticket (s) for sale or transfer them to someone else, can be found in the details of your event.
Normally, the other option would be for the affected consumer to list their tickets for resale to at least recoup their cost, but in at least some of these cases, this simply leads them to another stalemate, as Ticketmaster issued the tickets in their store. mobile. -only in “safetix” format, and event planners have effectively locked tickets in their accounts, with no ability to list them for resale or even transfer them to a friend.
This does not suit Powers. “I don’t care if it’s $ 21 or $ 2,100. I think it is wrong that there is no possibility of reimbursement, ”said Powers.
Generally, in New York City, the law protects customers against the use of specially designed ticketing systems to make the transfer or resale of tickets more difficult for consumers, if not impossible. The state requires consumers to be offered tickets in a freely transferable format, which allows them to do whatever they want with the tickets once they have been purchased, without additional authorization from the venue or of the event organizer. This usually means a printed ticket or a printable PDF that can be easily sent to someone else without the need to transfer to another user account in the Ticketmaster (or AXS, or any other ticketing provider) system. . But even in a state like New York with consumer-specific ticketing rights protected by law, rights holders are using COVID as an excuse to offer tickets exclusively in systems like Safetix, where the ability to stop resale or stop selling. transfer is the clear and specific intention.
“Portability is the cornerstone of any consumer-friendly ticketing policy that any lawmaker considers,” said Sports Fans Coalition executive director Brian Hess, who spoke to TicketNews this week about the bills being considered. regarding consumer ticketing rights in Massachusetts. “Preserving this right is paramount to maintaining a strong and fair market that drives down prices, allows flexibility, and allows fans to recoup costs – say if they get sick or have a reason they can’t attend an event. match. Transferability is experienced.
New York’s existing ticketing rights law was extended a year earlier in the summer of 2021, after pressure from Sen. James Skoufis to add a number of other beneficial consumer protections to those already present has been suspended for the time being, with a promise that it will be reconsidered in the next session.
Buffalo Bills fans are also affected by recent decisions about vaccination rules, with the team also removing the option of showing a recent negative COVID test rather than proof of vaccination starting October 31. Membership holders can request a pro-rated refund, but this will cancel your ticket account, and they will lose any seniority they have accumulated for future subscription purchases.
The push towards a full and safe reopening has given event planners a card free enough to require vaccinations, but it could prove disastrous for consumers when that requirement is coupled with a restrictive ticketing system – like these New- Yorkers can attest to this.