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Ticketmaster finally refunds thousands for canceled concerts

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It took more than a week for Ticketmaster to deliver refunds to the many New Yorkers who were stung when Friday night’s Anthony Hamilton concert was postponed due to Hurricane Florence.

At 11 a.m. Thursday, the Arts & Entertainment desk of the city’s law department reminded artists that Ticketmaster is responsible for the tickets, not promoters. A legal email identified about 8,000 ticket-holders affected by the cancellation.

“Given the magnitude of the storm and that most of our office is downtown, we chose not to perform in the storm,” Hamilton said. “We hope those impacted by the storm will have insurance coverage that will cover lost wages and any other damages or expenses due to the storm.”

A few weeks after Hamilton’s concert was postponed, Ticketmaster said Monday that it had released refunds for Hamilton, and now it’s issuing refunds for another concert, Calvin Harris’s, that had been scheduled for Sept. 21 in the city.

“Given the financial uncertainty, I decided to cancel the show,” Harris said. “I know that many in NYC will be disappointed, so I hope you all understand why we made the decision to postpone the show.”

The complaints come as many large-scale concert-goers lose confidence in the controversial music services company. Several major promoters are fuming about Ticketmaster’s decision to charge fees of $10 to a $50 to credit card customers who signed up for upgrades or who paid for top-tier club seats that were not available. Ticketmaster defended its practices by pointing to the sales of its secondary market, where prices for concerts vary widely.

On Oct. 11, six concert promoters urged the company to stop charging that much. A day later, a Connecticut lawmaker threatened to revoke the state’s exclusive contract with Ticketmaster unless the charges were canceled. Both had the support of top city officials.

They wanted the prices to drop or disappear entirely.

“This is just the latest and most egregious example of Ticketmaster’s anti-consumer scheme,” said Councilman Justin Brannan, chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs. “Ticketmaster continues to erect transaction fees on its customers just because they request VIP seating. It is unconscionable that the company, once again, continues to nickel and dime their New York customers in the wake of Hurricane Florence.”

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