*Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated which vendor from which customer Brenda Ritchie purchased her tickets and thereby conflated the refund problems she has had with the official ticket vendor. Etix, the Allegan County Fair’s retailer, says it is processing refunds to ticketholders. People who bought their tickets from third parties may experience more trouble getting a refund. We regret the error, which has been corrected.
ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — Last weekend’s Nelly concert at the Allegan County Fair was ultimately pushed back to Thursday, after fair organizers said the rapper’s plane was grounded and he couldn’t make the trip then. They say full refunds are available for ticketholders requesting them.
With the help of ticket retailer Etix, Saree Miller, executive director for the Allegan County Fair, said refunds are being processed for ticketholders who request them, saying they should take about two weeks to show up on credit or debit card statements. Anyone who bought their tickets with cash and is requesting a refund can stop by the fair’s office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday from Sept. 20 to Sept. 30.
Some fans who bought their tickets through third-party sites, not Etix, say they have been running into problems when it comes to filing for refunds. Brenda Ritchie said when she tried to get a refund from ticket reseller Event Tickets Center, the request form didn’t work and the company then told her she wasn’t entitled to one.
“You call, and they were like ‘Nope, that email initial for the cancellation was sent out in error. And that it is a rescheduled event, not a canceled event, so there is no refund to be granted,'” Ritchie said.
She said that’s a bad policy.
“Because they were able to come up with a different date later on, a few days later, to me, that’s a whole new event,” she said. “That has nothing to do with the event that we had initially scheduled. When you get an email saying the event is canceled and then say, ‘It was sent out an error,’ good luck not following through with that. People have plenty of proof.”
Ritchie, a mother of four, doesn’t know if she will get her money back, but knows she and her friends won’t be able to go this time.
“You’re not rescheduling it for another Saturday where it even might be a little easier to find a babysitter. You’re scheduling it for a Thursday night,” she said. “People have families and that doesn’t work.”
John Breyault with the National Consumers League said a concert being temporarily canceled entitles ticketholders to a refund.
“Normally, when you see when situations like this arise is that the artists would postpone and then you would reschedule,” he said. “There’s a lot of unusual things in this particular case. It sounds like there is a lot of miscommunications that happened. I think whoever’s to blame, consumers shouldn’t be holding the bag at the end of the day.”
Breyault said ticketholders who believe they are due a refund but don’t get one should file a complaint with the state attorney general or the Federal Trade Commission.
When buying tickets to an event, it’s important to vet the retailer. Instead of performing an internet search, go to the venue’s website to make sure you’re using its approved retailer.