Refund Roulette: Gephardt Investigates Why Wrong Ticket Holders Are Getting The Cash

Jul 2, 2020, 10:21 PM | Updated: 11:51 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown more than a few curveballs at folks who bought tickets to now-canceled events this summer.

While many ticketholders are getting at least some of their money back, a Utah Jazz fan said the refunds for the tickets he purchased went to someone else. And our investigation exposed yet another pitfall of buying tickets from third parties.

Original Tickets Vs. Resale

“I love the Jazz, I’m a huge fan,” said Landon Johnson.

And he bought a handful of tickets for this season.

“I purchased a few tickets from the Jazz in a mini-plan,” Johnson explained. “And then I purchased a few other tickets from just another fan.”

He didn’t just buy them off some scalper on the street. To make sure the tickets were legitimate, Johnson used the Utah Jazz’s official ticket resale website. The Jazz ticket office could see that he was the new holder of those seats.

But when the NBA canceled the season and the Jazz announced refunds, the money didn’t go to Johnson – it went to the guy who originally bought the tickets and then resold them through the Jazz ticket resale site.

Johnson called the Jazz and protested.

“I was like if you guys can clearly see that the tickets are on my account and I’m the new owner of those tickets – I don’t know why they would be refunding someone who doesn’t own the tickets anymore,” he said.

The Fine Print

When his protests did not get him anywhere, Johnson called the KSL Investigators.

We reached out to the Jazz. A team spokesman declined to go on camera, but in a statement told us their ticket transfer platform is simply that: a vehicle used to safely transfer tickets. They do not handle any of the finances.

The statement goes on to read:

“The Jazz have proactively offered refunds for postponed games that can only be returned to the original form of payment. We are unable to trace additional private transactions on the secondary market. This unique COVID-driven situation reinforces the importance of consumer protection by only buying guaranteed tickets from authorized agents at the Vivint Smart Home Arena box office, UtahJazz.com or Ticketmaster.com.”

Utah’s Refund Rules

Refund rules between a business and a customer are clearly spelled out in Utah code. According to the Consumer Sales Practices Act, refunds are due within “30 days” if a supplier “fails to ship the goods or furnish the services.”

However, it stops short of clarifying whether refunds need to be passed down between ticket holders when tickets are bought and then resold on a secondary market and then the event is canceled.

A Grey Area

When the KSL Investigators reached out to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection to ask for their insight, we were told it’s a grey area.

“If you are going to refund money at all, why would you send it to someone who doesn’t actually own the tickets anymore?” asked Johnson.

After the KSL Investigators got involved, the Jazz offered to step in and help Johnson track down a refund from the original buyer of his seats, but he was able to connect with that person on his own and get his money back.

“He said, ‘Well, that doesn’t seem right, you know. I’ll take care of you. I’ll make it right,’” Johnson said. “But I know there’s going to be a lot of other people out there that don’t get their money back.”

Pitfalls Of The Ticket Resale Market

Johnson’s situation was merely another example of how dealing with a secondary ticket market can be bumpy.

It’s ripe for fraud — we have seen crooks print off multiple of copies of the same ticket and buyers don’t realize there’s an issue until multiple people show for the same seat.

In recent years, some performers and venues have begun requiring fans to show up with the credit card used to buy the original tickets. It’s a move aimed at keeping scalpers from buying up seats and then jacking up the prices.

Congress is trying to crack down on ticket bots which can buy up all the seats before you can even blink.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

(KSL TV)...
Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt helps restore West Valley man’s Social Security disability payments

Jeff Davis gets disability payments from the Social Security Administration. At least, he did up until his mom passed away in December.
2 days ago
The Pearsons tell KSL’s Matt Gephardt they should be reimbursed by either the airline or the onli...
Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Sandy couple Gets Gephardt after booking error left them paying out for pricey return flights

A Sandy couple bought roundtrip tickets to Hawaii, but when they discovered their return tickets were no good, they had to buy pricey replacements. When they were refused reimbursement, they decided to Get Gephardt.
3 days ago
Amy Olsen...
Matt Gephardt

Utahns cleared of DUI accusations are forced to pay to get their licenses back

Amy Olsen has her driving privilege back now, but it cost her $255. For her, it is a frustrating ordeal that began months earlier when a trooper pulled her over.
7 days ago
Gas bill...
Matt Gephardt

Gas company increasing bills for customers on fixed payments plan

If you're told you're going to pay the same price for 12 months, you wouldn't expect the price to go up. But when the natural gas company raised the rates on a Payson woman, she decided to Get Gephardt to investigate.
7 days ago
Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...
Matt Gephardt

$21 billion in gift cards go unused. Here’s how to avoid letting them go to waste

Gift cards: they are one of the most popular gifts to give and to receive, but that does not necessarily mean they are going to get used.
9 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

How to beat the dynamic pricing used by Amazon and many other retailers to pay less

The KSL Investigates team gives you information on how to beat dynamic pricing to get your money's worth and pay less.
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Refund Roulette: Gephardt Investigates Why Wrong Ticket Holders Are Getting The Cash