As a fun-loving Londoner, chances are you’ve bought tickets to a gig, festival or sports event taking place at some point over the next few months. But with the government warning it could cancel large-scale gatherings to help stop the spread of coronavirus, will yours be affected? And if so, will you be entitled to a refund? Here’s everything you should know if your big-ticket event gets called off.
Will my event be cancelled?
Only a few events have been cancelled in the UK so far, but the government says it may restrict large-scale gatherings because big crowds constitute a public health risk. High-profile gigs, festivals and sporting events could all be affected.
The London Book Fair, which was due to take place at Olympia London, has already been called off due to COVID-19 (aka coronavirus), while several Six Nations rugby matches have also been postponed. In Italy, all sports fixtures are being played behind closed doors, and FA and Premier League bosses have been in talks with health officials about similar measures being brought here.
Uefa has said this summer’s Euro 2020 finals, set to take place across 12 countries including the UK, will go ahead as planned ‘unless the situation gets worse’. The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, however, may be postponed until later in the year. And closer to home, a spokesperson for Glastonbury festival said organisers were ’monitoring the situation’.
Will I be entitled to a full refund?
If you bought your tickets from an official retailer like See Tickets or Ticketmaster, you should be entitled to a full face-value refund. In many cases, this will take place automatically. Postage and booking fees, however, are unlikely to be included. You should also be entitled to a refund if the event is postponed and rearranged to a date you can’t make.
When it comes to ticket-reselling websites such as StubHub and Viagogo, refund policies vary and buyers tend to have fewer protections. It’s best to check the terms and conditions for whichever site you’ve bought your tickets from.
What should I do to get my money back?
If your refund doesn’t come through automatically, you should get in touch with the seller directly and request one. If the company ignores or refuses your claim, you should then get in touch with your bank or credit card company.
If you’ve paid using a credit card, you have extra protections for any purchases over £100 (as long as they’re less than £30,000). Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, credit card firms are jointly liable for any breach of contract by the retailer – including an event being cancelled.
If you’ve paid using a debit card, or used a credit card on something costing less than £100, you can ask your bank to reverse a transaction (in a process known as ’chargeback’). However, a seller can dispute a chargeback, and there’s no law guaranteeing you’ll get your money back in this case.
Will my hotel and travel costs be reimbursed, too?
In the event you’ve already paid for transport and accommodation you no longer need because an event has been called off, it’s worth getting in touch with the firms you’ve booked through. They may be able to offer refunds or let you rebook for another date. Again, however, you don’t have any legal protection here and, unfortunately, refunds aren’t guaranteed.