The Investigators: Fans stuck with hundreds of dollars in tickets after pandemic brings concert cancellations

Updated: Dec. 14, 2020 at 9:47 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The pandemic canceled concerts and sporting events leaving fans with millions of dollars in unused tickets.

And with ticket companies either refusing to issue refunds or changing the rules on how to get your money back, it looks like class-action lawsuits may provide some results.

Motley Crue was set to play in August at the Citi Field in New York City.

So 57-year-old Laraine Shpall and her husband purchased tickets for the concert through StubHub, an online ticket seller.

“It’s the love of my life. We switch on and off,” said Shpall. “I’ll go to classical with him and he’ll go to rock with me, and that’s how it is. So, I was looking forward to this concert.”

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down Citi Field and the concert was indefinitely postponed.

When StubHub didn’t issue a refund for her tickets, Shpall called the WMC Action News 5 Investigators.

“Somebody is sitting on my money,” said Shpall. “Maybe $524 is not a lot to you but it’s an awful lot to me.”

StubHub is currently battling a class-action lawsuit.

One a telephone hearing last week, attorneys for the ticket company and the ticket holders who are suing said they will work to settle the case in February.

Shpall isn’t holding her breath.

“They could even be bankrupt by then, I don’t know their financial situation,” she said.

“It’s everything but tears on the phone. We want to help you get your refund, ya know?” said Ginny Alter, another StubHub customer.

Alter was supposed to attend concerts at the Orpheum and Minglewood Hall in March.

StubHub told her if she could show the venues had canceled the show, the company would refund her.

She went on a quest for those cancellation emails but StubHub has yet to issue a refund.

The Investigators asked: Do you think you’ll get your money back from Stubhub if they settle this class action lawsuit?

“I think if they can get around it, they will,” said Alter.

Alter’s money remains tied up in those concert tickets...

So is Shpall’s.

“It could pay my health insurance for this month,” said Shpall. “We’re not wealthy people. Seniors -- we live on a fixed income and this was a splurge for us.”

If the StubHub case cannot be settled early next year, a jury trial is tentatively scheduled for next November. Meanwhile, Ticketmaster’s federal lawsuit is still pending.

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