Sarah Taylor and her husband were excited to go see one of their favorite artists Beck play at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Sunday, November 27.
Beck was part of the Arcade Fire tour but backed out in October after Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler was accused of sexual misconduct. Butler has denied the allegations.
“The main act that we were going to see was Beck,” Taylor said. “We’ve seen Arcade Fire and they’re great, but that wasn’t really our vibe so we decided to get a refund.”
The Calgary woman tried to get a refund through Ticketmaster but had no luck. She’s listed them on StubHub at a fraction of the price they paid for them which was $300. As of Sunday morning, many tickets were going for $50 or less on the site.
“I was totally naïve in thinking that this would be a straightforward return process,” Taylor said. “I’ve never been to a point where I’ve just been shut down at every step of the way. I’ve tried to email, I’ve tried to call, I’ve tried to go through all of their apps.
“We haven’t been able to list them on Ticketmaster and at this point, we’re just so frustrated with the process so we just decided we are going to take a loss and not go to the show,” Taylor said.
She and her husband ended up cancelling their hotel room for the weekend in Edmonton.
There is no official process to get a refund but some have had success.
When Roxanne Harde found out about the accusations against Butler, she said she was disappointed and wanted to stand by the alleged victims.
“None of us wanted to see Win Butler and Arcade Fire so we decided at that point let’s just go anyway and we will go see Beck and then go out for dinner,” said Harde who had purchased five tickets for a total of $2,000.
But when Beck cancelled, the Camrose woman also wanted her money back.
“It was just a nightmare. There was no way to get (a refund) through the Ticketmaster website. It was just a loop that they put you into,” Harde said. “So my daughter and I started trolling Ticketmaster, Arcade Fire, and then eventually, Live Nation on social media,”
Harde added that her daughter got some DM‘s from people who had gotten a refund through Live Nation Alberta.
“I contacted Live Nation Alberta through Facebook and started a conversation and just kept at it,” she said. “This was about 15 messages a day saying that I have talked to a lawyer and I’m willing to engage in a class-action suit.
“This is a bait and switch. This is false advertising. This is not the concert that we paid for. You need to give people a refund when it’s no longer the concert that they paid for.”
Harde said she finally heard back from Live Nation Alberta and got her $2,000 back this week.
“It was insane because I mean we were literally being trolls. Just direct messaging and replying on Facebook and on Twitter saying I want a refund. You lost Beck. It’s not the show that I paid for. I want a refund, with that message over and over again probably I’m guessing more than 50 posts,” Harde said.
“What it did actually take was for people to see those posts and message us to say, ‘Hey I got a refund and this is how I did it.’”
Harde said government needs to step in to hold companies accountable. She said she feels as though consumers are not being protected.
“I actually talked to a lawyer about a class-action suit because I think there should be one. I think that the band and Ticketmaster and Live Nation need to be held accountable,” Harde said
Arcade Fire plays in Toronto on December 1 and 2.
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