Steve Stine’s college basketball game was canceled a long time ago. But Vivid Seats still has his money. Does he have to jump through hoops to get a refund from Vivid Seats?
I need your help getting a refund from Vivid Seats. I paid $221 for two tickets for March Madness. It was a lot of money for me. COVID-19 put an end to that event. I sent Vivid Seats an email requesting a refund on March 11. Two days later, I received an email from them advising that our full refund would take two to four weeks.
I gave Vivid Seats a little extra time. On April 22 I asked about the refund again. That’s when the madness started!
Vivid Seats sent me an email saying that because I had not responded to an earlier email within 7 days, I can’t get a refund
Despite many emails back and forth, Vivid Seats can’t provide this supposed email that was sent to me. And it refuses to credit my account. I have copies of all the emails for my records.
Can you help me get my $221 back? Refund as promised of $221 – not a credit to buy something else — Steve Stine, Elmhurst, Ill.
You’re right. This is real March Madness. I’m not talking about the tournament, either.
Vivid Seats is a ticket reseller that makes lofty promises to its customers.
“We are committed to earning your satisfaction with every order,” it says on its site.
“We have the most responsive customer service team in the industry with decades of professional experience satisfying our thousands of loyal customers and corporate clients,” it adds. “And we are here to help you from start to finish…any time…all the time.”
OK, stop right there!
If your account is correct — and I have no reason to believe it isn’t — then the company is doing the exact opposite of what it promises.
Responsive customer service? No. Help any time … all the time? Nope. And did it earn your satisfaction? Absolutely not.
How to approach a company like Vivid Seats
When you contact a company, you should really remind it of the commitments it makes to customers in the large print. That’s often enough to prod it to change its tune, or its game plan, or whatever sports or music metaphor you would prefer to use.
I see lots of emails between you and the company, but none of them contain the email in which Vivid Seats gave you seven days to decide between a credit and a refund. Maybe it exists, maybe it doesn’t.
But let’s say it does exist. Vivid Seats says it gave you seven days to decide between a refund and credit. Not replying means you accepted the credit. That’s an example of negative option opt-in, which is highly unethical.
I mean, I could say: If you don’t click off this site, you have agreed to transfer all the money in your bank to me. That’s a negative option opt-in. Vivid Seats said, if you don’t respond to this email, you agree to accept a credit.
How to contact Vivid Seats
I think you could have appealed this to a manager at Vivid Seats. Maybe one of the customer service managers would have been more responsive. (I followed up with you, and you say you did, but no one responded.) Or you could have taken this directly to the founders, Eric Vassilatos and Jerry Bednyak. Contacting anyone at Vivid Seats is easy. Email addresses follow the [email protected] format.
But you could have also disputed the charge on your credit card. I think your bank would have sided with you.
Fortunately, none of that was necessary. I contacted Vivid Seats on your behalf. You received a full refund.
Is this fair or not?
Should ticket resellers be allowed to keep your money if an event is canceled? I think you know where I stand on this issue. No one should be able to take advantage of you during the pandemic — or any other time.
But I know there’s another side to this issue. The business owners who say a contract is a contract and that returning the money would be a hardship. Let’s hear from you. The comments are open! 🎟️