Concert goers struggle to get refunds for COVID-19 canceled shows

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The COVID-19 pandemic canceled concerts all over the country, including in Central North Carolina.

Some concert fans reached out to Troubleshooter Diane Wilson when they were told they could not get a full refund, only a credit put back on their accounts.

Jill Gitlin bought tickets on Groupon to several concerts--like Journey and Foreigner--that she and her friends could enjoy together. She looked forward to those concerts, but then COVID hit.

"Every day, I keep getting a new notice that another is being canceled, so I have a feeling all my concerts are canceled this year," Gitlin added.

With each canceled concert, she thought she'd get her money back for tickets that she bought for herself and friends. Instead, Groupon Bucks were added to her account for the cost of the tickets to the concerts.

The Groupon Bucks can be used to purchase anything on Groupon. Gitlin says the Groupon Bucks are an issue as she has to give money back to her friends that she bought tickets for to each concert.

"That means I have to come up with cash to give them back while Groupon is holding my couple of hundred dollars for tickets."

Gitlin is not alone as Troubleshooter Diane Wilson heard from several other Groupon customers also wanting their money back for tickets after the concerts got canceled. Susan Harrington bought tickets on Groupon for the Journey concert; Cassandra Kramer also wanted a refund as opposed to Groupon Bucks. They all got in touch with Troubleshooter Diane Wilson for help, and she reached out to Groupon.

"Due to COVID-19, Groupon is currently fielding an unprecedented number of very complex refund requests involving thousands of unique merchants," A representative with Groupon said. "Because Groupon is a platform situated in between customers and end merchants (some of which have changed their own refund policies in light of COVID-19) Groupon is having real-time conversations with customers and merchants to do its best to make everyone happy. Where customers have received refunds in the form of Groupon Bucks, those Groupon Bucks do not expire and can be used to purchase anything on the Groupon platform (including, Goods, local deals, travel and live events). We encourage anyone with a refund-related question to reach out to us at www.groupon.com/support."

When it comes to the customers Troubleshooter Diane Wilson reached out to Groupon about, the company representative said, "After reviewing their purchases, and in light of their dissatisfaction, we have converted both refunds to their original form of payment."

All of the viewers who reached out to Wilson confirmed that they got their refunds and are happy with the resolution.

The best advice if you're having trouble getting a refund is to reach out to the company that you bought the tickets from and check out their policy. If you can't get a refund or a credit toward a future order, consider filing a dispute with your credit card company.
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