Gephardt: Credit Card Dispute Complicates Ticket Refund For Cher Fan
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The pandemic canceled or postponed concerts across the country. While many fans have received refunds, others are still trying to get their money back.
Whenever we’re in a dispute with a vendor, retailer, or in this case, a ticket seller, our credit cards come with a powerful tool — the chargeback. It can get our money back when there’s trouble, but it can also give us a little more trouble.
When Lee Quach learned that Cher, one of his all-time favorite performers, was coming to Salt Lake City, he ‘got tickets, babe.’
Quach found two Cher tickets available on third-party seller Vivid Seats for $744.80.
When the concert was postponed due to COVID-19, Quach said he asked Vivid Seats for a refund.
“I asked for my money and they told me the concert isn’t canceled, so you can’t get a refund,” Quach said.
Because the concert was merely postponed — no refund.
Quach contacted his credit card company, Discover, to dispute the charges. Discover sided with the ticket vendor writing to Quach, “we consider the transaction valid.”
Quach was out of luck until a few months later when the show was officially canceled.
Even then, Quach found himself stuck in the middle. Vivid Seats said they can’t give him his money because he’s engaged in a dispute with Discover and Discover told Quach the dispute is closed.
“I think maybe I made a mistake,” Quach said. “I want to know, where is my money?”
Worried he may never get his money back for the canceled show, Quach decided it was time to call the KSL Investigators.
KSL-TV reached out to both Discover and Vivid Seats on Quach’s behalf asking if someone could take another look at the situation. Vivid Seats responded with some good news for Quach: the very next day, Vivid Seats sent him a refund.
Discover did not respond to the email.
I took Quach’s situation to credit card expert Ted Rossman who said that credit card disputes can be a great tool when you’re ripped off, but they can also be tricky, especially when it comes down to something like the fine print of a concert ticket.
“There’s a lot of nuances with these ticketing companies,” Rossman said. “This is really a gray area. My understanding is that a lot of it has to do with the venue or the team or the concert promoter, or really whoever’s putting on that event.”
Rossman’s advice: don’t ever start with a credit card dispute. Try to work it out with the merchant first — which is, of course, what Quach did.