Concert ticket problems and your consumer rights is something that people are facing now that lockdown restrictions are easing.

Boris Johnson has laid out a roadmap to reopen the economy and give some certainty to the hospitality industry. The official date set is 21st June for concerts and gigs to go ahead.

Some people will have bought a concert ticket well in advance for gigs that will be scheduled to go ahead before the official date set out by the UK Government.

Those who haven’t yet bought a concert ticket will be wondering what’s happening when concert tickets are still being advertised and on sale.

This will leave some of you wondering what to do if you have paid for tickets for gigs that probably won’t go ahead, accommodation that you may need to book and travel arrangements to sort out.


Why are concert tickets being sold when gigs are unlikely to be going ahead?

It’s a good question to ask. It’s clearly wrong and simply should not be allowed to happen.

I would like to see such practices banned, but it’s unlikely that will be the case now.

There are a number of consumer laws that it breaches;

Misrepresentation Act 1967

A misrepresentation has clearly taken place by the concert organisers selling concert tickets knowing that the event will not be taking place.

Of course, they will say that it hasn’t yet been confirmed. Boris has set out a roadmap to give some certainty to the hospitality industry and it is highly unlikely that he will deviate from that.

Consumers are being enticed into making a decision they would not otherwise have made.

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

Protects consumers from unfair and misleading trading practices and bans misleading omissions.

It is misleading because tickets are being sold to trick and mislead consumers into making a decision to buy tickets they would not have otherwise bought.

What should people do if they have concert tickets for gigs that are scheduled to be held before 21st June?

The important thing to do is NOT to cancel your tickets.

The UK has some of the best consumer laws in the world and the important thing to stress is for consumers NOT to cancel their tickets as this will invalidate a refund.

If you choose to cancel your ticket, that’s a decision you have made and will deny you the right to a refund.

How do people go about getting a refund?

What you need to do is ‘sit tight’ and let the scheduled date pass. Once the date has passed, you have it confirmed that the gig was not held and you can request a refund.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 has a fairness test. The crux of it is that the contract is unfulfilled and has not been delivered, therefore you will be entitled to a refund in due course.

You shouldn’t have a problem in getting a refund. If you do, you can raise a chargeback with your bank within 180 days as a disputed transaction.

What is the difference between a concert being postponed or cancelled and how does this affect your right to a refund?

A concert being postponed simply means that it will be rescheduled at a later date, whereas a concert that has been cancelled simply didn’t go ahead.

Concert promoters are trying to stop refunds by saying that the concert is postponed, not cancelled.

Playing with words does not affect your consumer rights.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 has a fairness test;

  • Key terms need to be transparent
  • Contract is unfulfilled and has not been delivered

Are you still entitled to a refund if a concert date has been rescheduled? 

Yes – if a date has been moved, you are under no obligation to accept it and your right to a refund still applies.

The contract you originally entered into and paid for was unfulfilled so this doesn’t affect your consumer rights. 

Should people buy new concert tickets instead for gigs that are unlikely to go ahead?

Do not buy new concert tickets either until new dates are confirmed, as we are not out of the woods yet. The situation we find ourselves in is fluid and there are no certainties as things stand.

You can find out more about how to resolve complaints and motoring disputes in my book.

Have you bought a concert ticket and are having problems getting a refund? How have you dealt with it?

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