Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of public events, shows, and events such as weddings and parties are not able to go ahead until the restrictions are lifted. This article will explain your rights, when it comes to cancelled or postponed events.
In this article:
- What are my rights for getting my money back from a cancelled event?
- What are my rights for postponed events?
- What are my rights on getting a refund on hotel & travel costs?
- What if there is a change to an upcoming event?
- What can I do if I need to cancel a personal event?
- What can I do if my refund claim is refused?
What are my rights for getting my money back from a cancelled event ?
If you bought your tickets directly from the event organiser or a primary ticket retailer then you will benefit from consumer protections, as required by the industry’s self regulating body. This means you are entitled to refund of the ticket at face value if the event has been cancelled, but this usually does not include booking fees or delivery costs.
If you, however, bought your tickets from a secondary ticket seller you may not have the same protection, and you will need to check the site’s terms and conditions to see their refund policies.
In either circumstance, you’ll need to contact the company you bought the tickets from and request a refund, if one has not been offered to you already.
Important to know: If you have paid an entry fee for an event such a marathon, you'll need to review the terms and conditions of the event organiser, as you may not be automatically offered a refund.
What are my rights for postponed events?
If an event you have a ticket for has been postponed, keep a hold of the ticket until a new date has been announced. You can then get a refund if you are not able to attend on the rescheduled date (this is likely to be at face-value price, and not include delivery or booking fees).
As with cancelled events, if you bought your ticket through a secondary site you will need to check the site’s terms and conditions to find their refund policy. If you cannot get a refund, consider re-selling your ticket through reputable websites, such as Ticketmaster and TicketSwap.
Important to know: If the event postponed is an event such a race or marathon, you may not be able to get the entry fee refunded; check the organiser’s terms and conditions to see if a refund is available.
What are my rights on getting a refund for hotel & travel costs?
If you no longer need a hotel or transport booking now, it’s best to get in contact with the company you booked with, to see if you can be refunded, or if your booking can be rescheduled for a later date. However, if your booking has been cancelled by the hotel/transport agency you should be entitled to a refund.
Important to know:
If you have travel insurance, you may be able to claim back cost for the entire trip, so get in touch with them to check what your policy includes.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is currently advising against all non-essential travel ‘indefinitely’, and as insurers and airlines tend to take their cue from the FCO, you should be able to get a refund on any imminent trips you had booked. However, if you have not heard that your flight has been cancelled, it's best to get in touch with the airline you booked with; it's likely you’ll not be refunded, until close to the planned travel date by airlines and insurers.
What if there's is a change to an upcoming event?
If an event is changed significantly, you may be able to get a refund. For example, if you paid for a concert ticket and the headline act pulls out, you should get a refund. However, if you paid for a festival ticket and one or two acts are no longer performing, you may not be entitled to a refund because the ticket is for the festival not the performer.
You should get in touch with the event organisers, who should be able to assist you further.
What can I do if I need to cancel a personal event?
All weddings and parties planned are now no longer possible following government action which prevents gatherings (with the exception of funerals). If you have an upcoming event planned, it is best to contact the venue and suppliers to discuss how to proceed.
It may be possible to postpone and change the date of the event, however if the venue or supplier cancels, you are entitled to a refund but you will need to check for any exclusions in the contract you agreed to.
Important to know:
- If you cancel the event, and a new date can’t be agreed upon, it’s likely you will not be refunded, but if a company refuses to refund your deposit you should enquire as to why - deposits can’t be ‘non-refundable’.
- If you have insurance for the planned event, then you should check your policy to see what is covered.
What can I do if my refund claim is refused?
If you submitted a claim to the ticketing company that has been ignored or refused, you'll need to contact the bank or credit card company of the card you used to pay.
- If you paid by credit card and bought anything between £100 and £30,000, there are additional protections for when something has gone wrong with a purchase. Your credit card company will be jointly liable for any breach of contract (like an event cancellation) under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, and you can claim your money back from it.
- If you paid by debit card, ask your card provider to reverse the transaction; this process is called ‘chargeback’. This is not a law or a right so may not be successful, but is a way your bank may be able to help you, especially if your ticket was under £100.