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Can I get a refund if my event is cancelled because of coronavirus?

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17/03/2020
The government has advised against attending large gatherings and public events such as shows and concerts as part of its next phase to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

Many organisers have already cancelled or postponed events. But what are your rights if you had a ticket? Will you be left out of pocket?

If the event has been cancelled…

According to consumer group Which?, if you bought your ticket directly from the event organiser or from a website such as a Ticketmaster or See Tickets, you should get your money back under the requirements of industry body, the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR).

A statement on STAR’s website says: “If you have tickets for an event and it is cancelled, you will be contacted by the company you bought your tickets from regarding exchanges and refunds.”

It advises people not to call venues and ticket sellers directly as “they are extremely busy at this time”.

Which? says you are entitled to a full refund of the ticket’s face value if an event is cancelled, but you might not get booking fees or delivery costs back.

If you bought your ticket from a secondary ticket seller such as Viagogo or StubHub you may not have as much protection. You’re advised to check the website’s terms and conditions.

If the event is postponed…

Which? says you should hold on to your ticket if the event is postponed as it will still be valid for the new date. If you can’t attend the new date, you are eligible for a full refund of the ticket’s face value.

You’re not entitled to a refund of your booking fee or delivery costs.

If you decide not to attend an event…

If the event you have a ticket for is still going ahead but you decide not to attend because of coronavirus fears, you’re unlikely to get your money back.

Adam French, consumer rights expert at Which?, said: “This is an unprecedented situation and will place a strain on businesses, but we would urge them to adopt a compassionate and flexible approach with their customers – especially consumers who may be more vulnerable. The government should also make clear how it will support businesses and people who may be losing out in these circumstances.

“If you have tickets for an event, hold on to them as you may be entitled to a refund of at least the face value of the ticket, even if the date changes. If you are unsuccessful, you can try to get a refund by contacting your credit or debit card provider to see if a chargeback or section 75 claim is possible.”

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