Ticketmaster is one of the largest ticket sales and distribution companies in the world. They sell tickets for a wide variety of events including concerts, sports games, theater shows and more. One common question that comes up is whether or not Ticketmaster will provide refunds if an event is cancelled or rescheduled due to inclement weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, etc. In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at Ticketmaster’s official refund policy when it comes to events impacted by weather.
Ticketmaster’s Stance on Weather-Related Refunds
In most cases, Ticketmaster will only offer refunds for events that are completely cancelled due to weather. If the event goes on as planned but the weather is less than ideal (i.e. light rain during an outdoor concert), Ticketmaster will generally not provide refunds to disappointed ticket holders. Their official policy states:
“Refunds are available if your event is postponed, rescheduled or canceled. Refunds are not guaranteed for events that occur, but for which ticket holders do not feel like attending due to reasons that might include weather conditions, performer illness, family emergencies, transportation issues, or any other circumstance.”
So the key things to note are:
- Full refunds are issued if the event is outright cancelled due to weather.
- No refunds are given if the event still happens but the weather is unpleasant.
- Exceptions are not usually made for personal circumstances that prevent ticket holders from attending.
This policy applies to all Ticketmaster sales, regardless of the event type or venue.
Are There Any Exceptions?
In some very rare cases, Ticketmaster may offer exceptions and provide refunds even if the event is not cancelled outright. According to their policy:
“Unless otherwise stated at the time of purchase, our standard refund policy for tickets to cancelled, postponed or rescheduled events is as follows: Refunds will be available if an event is cancelled, postponed or rescheduled and not rescheduled within 48 hours of the original event date and time. For rescheduled events, refunds will generally be available for 30 days from the new show date. In extenuating circumstances, exceptions to this policy may be made on a case-by-case basis.”
So there is some wiggle room for “extenuating circumstances” but Ticketmaster does not define what that means. Generally, it would have to be a pretty major weather event like a hurricane or blizzard that severely impacts a large geographic region for several days. Even then, refunds are not guaranteed.
Refund Eligibility if the Event is Rescheduled
If an event is rescheduled rather than outright cancelled due to weather, there is a larger window for potentially obtaining a refund:
- If the rescheduled event date is more than 48 hours from the original date, a refund can be requested.
- Refunds remain available for 30 days after the new rescheduled date.
So if an event set for Friday night gets postponed to Sunday due to a major storm, refunds could be requested up until 48 hours before that Sunday (i.e. Friday morning). Or the ticket holder could wait and see how the rescheduled event goes, and potentially request a refund within 30 days after that Sunday date.
Again, these are just Ticketmaster’s general policies – exceptions are unlikely but possible depending on the exact circumstances.
How to Request a Weather-Related Refund from Ticketmaster
If an event is cancelled, postponed over 48 hours, or rescheduled with the refund period still active, here are the steps to request your money back from Ticketmaster:
- Contact Ticketmaster Customer Support – This can be done online via their Contact Us form, by phone, or on social media.
- Provide event details – Have your order number and other ticket details ready to give to the agent.
- Explain reason for refund – Specify the event cancellation, postponement, or other circumstances.
- Wait for refund processing – If approved, refunds are generally issued within 30 days back to the original payment method.
Keep in mind that for rescheduled events, you will likely have the option to transfer your ticket to the new date rather than get a full refund. This may be a better option if you still want to see the event. Discuss all options with the Ticketmaster agent when requesting your refund.
Special Cases: NBA, NFL, and Other Sporting Events
Sporting events like professional basketball, football, baseball, and hockey games have their own unique refund policies through Ticketmaster. They are generally more accommodating when it comes to weather-related issues.
For example, the NFL policy states that refunds are available “if a game is cancelled and cannot be rescheduled, or is rescheduled but cannot be played within 48 hours of the original game time.” The NHL and NBA have similar policies.
Even if the game is played as scheduled in poor weather, refund exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. Factors like safety, travel conditions for fans, damage to the venue, etc. are taken into account.
Again, contacting Ticketmaster customer service is the first step. Provide details on your specific sporting event and why you feel a refund is warranted, and they will evaluate based on the league’s official policy.
Getting Refunds on Resold Tickets
If you purchased “resale” tickets on Ticketmaster from a third party rather than directly from the venue or event organizer, getting a weather-related refund becomes more difficult.
The original ticket holder sets the refund policy when reselling tickets on Ticketmaster. Many will explicitly state “no refunds” or “all sales final.” This leaves the buyer no recourse for refunds even if the event is ultimately cancelled.
However, if the resale listing did not state any refund policy, then the standard Ticketmaster weather policy would apply. The steps to request a refund are the same, but keep in mind that availability depends entirely on what the reseller allows when posting the tickets.
Purchasing Ticket Refund Insurance
Some companies like Allianz Insurance sell ticket refund insurance policies. For an added fee when you buy event tickets, you can get financial coverage in case you cannot attend due to covered reasons like weather, illness, travel issues, and more.
This is separate from Ticketmaster, but provides a way to get your money back if Ticketmaster or the event venue refuses to issue a refund directly. Policies vary so read the fine print carefully when purchasing ticket insurance.
Getting Credit if Refunds Are Not Available
If Ticketmaster denies a refund request even for a cancelled or rescheduled event, there are still a couple options:
- Ticketmaster credit – In some cases, they may offer you a credit for the value of the ticket to use towards future Ticketmaster purchases instead of cash back.
- Chargeback – As a last resort, you can dispute the charge with your credit card company and request a chargeback. This starts a formal process where your credit card issuer investigates the claim.
Credit card chargebacks in particular can be challenging when dealing with major ticket vendors. Make sure to save all documentation and correspondence if you end up going this route.
Key Takeaways on Ticketmaster Refunds and Weather
To recap Ticketmaster’s general refund policy when events are impacted by weather:
- Full refunds are issued only for events that are completely cancelled (not postponed or rescheduled).
- No refunds for events still held, even in unpleasant weather.
- Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for extreme weather.
- Refunds available if postponed over 48 hours from original date.
- 30 day refund window from rescheduled date.
- Sporting events have more flexible policies.
- Reseller/resale tickets set their own policies.
- Insurance and credits may offer other options if refund denied.
As a major ticket retailer, Ticketmaster tends to enforce their posted policies pretty firmly. But it never hurts to politely make your case if you feel the weather truly warranted a refund. Being a reasonable and understanding customer goes a long way versus being confrontational or demanding.
The Bottom Line
Ticketmaster refund practices on weather-impacted events leave much to be desired for many customers. But legally, their strict policies are generally sound according to the terms agreed upon at ticket purchase. As with most things, exceptions can be made but should not be expected as the norm.
For high-priced tickets, explore options like refundable airline tickets or ticket insurance to protect your investment against weather perils. Otherwise, be prepared for the possibility of being denied a refund even for cancelled or rescheduled shows. Check venue and league policies directly as well, as these can supersede Ticketmaster’s rules in many cases.