Sep. 17—One of the largest ticket exchange and resale companies in the nation has agreed to pay $1.87 million in refunds to Minnesotans who lost money when events were canceled due to the pandemic, the state Attorney General's office announced Thursday.
California-based StubHub, Inc. faced multiple lawsuits after it refused to pay refunds to hundreds of thousands of buyers nationwide, including more than 5,500 Minnesotans.
Under its "FanProtect Guarantee," StubHub offered consumers full refunds of the purchase price and fees they paid for tickets, if their events were canceled. In March 2020, following the mass-cancellation of entertainment events, StubHub stopped honoring its refund guarantee, denied requests for refunds and instead told its customers that they would receive account credits equal to 120 percent of their purchases to be used for future events.
"Putting fans first has always been central to the StubHub business," the company said in a statement. "Adjusting our refund policy for canceled events during the pandemic was a difficult decision, but a necessary one at the time."
After nine other states, including the District of Columbia, began a coordinated investigation, StubHub reversed its decision in May 2021 and notified its customers that if they purchased tickets prior to March 25, 2020, and their events were canceled, they would receive full refunds of the amounts they paid for their tickets to events unless they elected to retain their account credits.
Thursday's settlement includes an injunction that requires StubHub to honor its refund policies, not change its policies for purchased tickets unless the purchasing consumer consents to the change, and promptly process refund requests it receives from consumers for the events at issue.
"Minnesotans should not lose money when a service they paid for was never provided," said Attorney General Keith Ellison. "The COVID-19 pandemic is not an excuse to withhold refunds."
The agreement also provides for a $309,150 civil penalty, which StubHub can avoid paying if it pays the refunds owed to Minnesota consumers and it does not violate the other terms of the agreement.
Consumers who have not been contacted by StubHub and believe they are entitled to a refund can call StubHub at 866-788-2482 or the Attorney General's office at 651-296-3353 or 800-657-3787.