WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine today announced a settlement with StubHub, Inc. (StubHub), a ticket resale company, resolving a multi-state investigation into the company’s refusal to pay refunds to consumers – including over $3.6 million to District consumers – for concerts, sporting and other events that were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By refusing to issue full refunds on cancelled events during the pandemic, StubHub not only violated its policy but also violated the trust of its consumers,” said AG Racine. “With this settlement, we are making sure StubHub is taking the necessary steps to make sure consumers are made whole after the cancelled tickets during the pandemic. My office will continue to hold companies accountable when they violated their own policies at the expense of consumers.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, StubHub had a policy which promised consumers full refunds of the purchase price and fees they paid for tickets if their events were cancelled under its “FanProtect Guarantee.” However, in March 2020, with the nationwide stay-at-home orders in place, StubHub unilaterally changed its refund policy and stopped honoring its refund guarantee. Instead, StubHub told its customers that they would receive account credits equal to 120% of their purchases to be used for future events and denied their requests for refunds. After receiving complaints from District residents, OAG and other state attorneys general began to look into the issue. They first reached out to StubHub about the issue in 2020, but due to the company’s lack of responsiveness and failure to honor its promise to refund consumers in a timely fashion, they initiated consumer protection investigations.
In May 2021 – as a result of the attorney generals’ investigations – 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 a full refund unless they elected to retain their account credits. As a result, 7,867 District consumers received a total of over $3.6 million in refunds for tickets they had purchased. The attorneys general then also demanded action from StubHub in a settlement to ensure the conduct is not repeated.
As part of the settlement agreement with the attorneys general, StubHub will be required to:
- Disclose any modifications to its refund policies in a manner that is both clear and visible: This will be done before a consumer agrees to it.
- Honor its policies when events are cancelled.
- Punctually process refund requests: This will be done for any refund requests it receives from consumers for any events at issue going forward.
- Pay a civil penalty: StubHub will pay the District a civil penalty of $468,050, unless StubHub pays the refunds owed to District consumers and follows the other terms of the agreement.
A copy of the complaint is available here.
A copy of the consent judgment is available here.
Also joining the settlement were the attorneys general from Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Consumers who have not been contacted by StubHub and believe that they are entitled to a refund may either contact StubHub and (866) 788-2482 or OAG at (202) 442-9828.