eBay confirms refunds for Michael Jackson tickets

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eBay have announced today that they will be extending the terms of the Buyer Protection Programme to cover all buyers of Michael Jackson tickets. The statement, made in eBay’s press centre rather than the more widely read Announcement Board, says “eBay is committed to ensuring that no buyer is left out of pocket as a result of the unique nature of the event, and will ensure all buyers on the site can receive a full refund for their ticket purchase.”

Yesterday, eBay advised buyers of Michael Jackson tickets to contact the seller they had bought from. Other secondary tickets sellers, such as Seatwave and Viagogo, said yesterday that they would ensure all buyers receive a refund.

Exact details of eBay’s scheme are unclear and more information is promised next week but it seems likely that eBay buyers  of Michael Jackson tickets will not be left out of pocket.

53 Responses

  1. Gotta say big brownie points to eBay but I wonder if the tickets are now worth something in their own right. Is it possible that buyers can now get a refund and sell the ticket on eBay?

  2. Is it really necessary to ban all future MJ ticket listings? Are there really people out there that don’t know they can’t see him in concert?

  3. If I had a ticket I would keep it very safe, it’ll be worth quite a bit in a few years.

  4. There are no tickets to keep

    The promoters only send them out about 10 days before the concert.

  5. I’ve heard a rumour (and it really is a rumour) that the promoters aren’t in the mood to cancel the concerts and may be staging “Tribute” concerts in the place of MJ with a star cast.

  6. That’s going to make for a bunch of fun SNAD claims then.

    The “refunds for all” announcement has finally made it to the AB

    The sad news of Michael Jackson’s death has left fans of the King of Pop bereft. eBay is committed to ensuring that no buyer is left out of pocket as a result of the unique nature of the event,

    has got to be one of the strangest-worded AB posts I’ve ever seen.

  7. We at Worldticketshop were saddened to hear that Michael Jackson suffered a heart attack and passed away yesterday at his Holmby Hills home.

    His passing, which has reverberated around the world, has also shocked all of us here in the Worldticketshop offices in the Netherlands.

    We would also like to inform the public that Worldticketshop will fully refund all Michael Jackson tickets – we are currently organizing refunds starting today, in order to ensure your payment comes as soon as possible. It may take a short time as we have quite a number of clients to remunerate. We will personally be in contact with all our affected clients shortly.

    At Worldticketshop, unlike some other companies in the secondary ticket market – will fully honour our Buyer Guarantee – and in situations such as Jackson’s death, of course we will do the correct thing – which is to get all the money back to fans as soon as possible.

  8. #9 Are you sure this kind of announcement is a good place to criticise and insult your competition?

  9. Is it legal for ebay to force refunds? If someone buys a ticket on ebay they’re taking a risk. They shouldn’t be entitled to any more than the face value of the ticket they bought.

  10. I would imagine ebay would be refunding the ticket and reversing the payment made to the original seller of the ticket. Sounds fair enough to me.

  11. eBay can’t reverse the payments back to sellers for those tickets paid for more than 45 days ago.

    And I’m being publicly singled out and censured by eBay staff on the eBay boards for saying so.

    It’s unclear yet how eBay is going to handle it, but I suspect the kneejerk reaction by eBay – clearly a PR exercise by them because of all the publicity – wasn’t thought through.

    Of course all buyers of tickets should be refunded by the sellers who sold them the tickets.

    But the question of how eBay is going to force those sellers who received payments more than 45 days to refund, is still open to debate.

    That’s if you’re allowed to debate it on the eBay boards, which I’m not 😕

  12. I think the 45 day limit only applies to Paypal refunds. What about the new eBay returns process, can’t be bothered to check time limits but I would guess there either isn’t one mentioned or it’s vague at best.

  13. Sue, thank you. 🙂

    The problem is this . . . .

    (And this applies only to those transactions outside the 45 day limit.)

    If eBay refunds the buyers then there is no incentive for the sellers to refund the buyers.

    That means that those sellers who are doing the right thing and refunding – the good guys – will be paying back the money, but those sellers who don’t refund – the bad guys – are quids in cos eBay is going to refund anyway.

    So the good guys lose, and the bad guys win.

    Now that’s not fair in anyone’s book.

    Pete, the eBay Buyer Protection is 45 days as well. Same as PayPal.

    I really don’t think eBay thought this through and now they’re in a pickle. The announcement said that all buyers would be covered by eBay/PayPal Buyer Protection.

    But both of those have a 45 limit for claims, and that can’t be changed without 30 days notice to users, so neither PayPal nor eBay has any authority to take back the money from the sellers whose buyers paid more than 45 days ago.

    So we will have to see.

  14. Sue – Yes of course it’s important that the buyers don’t lose out.

    But it also matters that it’s fair to all sellers, and not just the bad ones 😯

    I also think that the sale of tickets on eBay so far in advance should never have been allowed.

    That was eBay being greedy,

    And now I suspect they’re going to have to pay for that.

    Karma perhaps 🙂

  15. @15 +16 I’ve tried to use eBay’s Easy Returns and it’s not valid for items bought 35 days after the transaction date.

  16. I presume the 45 day limit is in the famous(or is that infamous?) PayPal terms of agreement. How do they then intend to get moneys beyond that 45 day period?
    Its a very basic point. Does it mean that every time there is a highly public event that effects Ebay’s reputation,they will be looking for sellers to give refunds going back an indefinite period? It would make Any future relationship with PayPal extremely worrying.

  17. All buyers should be entitled to a full refund from the sellers under these unprecedented circumstances. Buyers should also be sent the tickets they paid over the odds for as souvenirs. Any sellers refusing to refund should be struck off E-Bay for good.

  18. In pratical terms I dont think this will cost ebay all that much.

    The vast majority of sellers will refund leaving ebay with only a very small number of “complimentary” refunds to do.

    How ebay goes about getting the money back from the sellers that do not refund is another question.

    IMO I dont think they can force the money out of the sellers as they have no grounds.

  19. I’m happy to give a refund but what about my £150 listing fees? I hope I am getting them back too otherwise I’m not going to be best pleased!!

  20. It won’t be that hard for ebay to do the refunds as paypal had placed holds on loads of the Michael Jackson transactions. They didn’t publicise this but it was done.

    They said to a lot of sellers that they were going to hold the funds until after the concerts or else the sellers could refund there and then.

    This event was always going to be a high risk event for paypal as MJ wasn’t reliable.
    Not many people expected him to do the full run in the first place.

  21. I sold some tickets on e bay and made a £600 profit, do you know if i will be forced to pay all this back? The money is long gone now and im skint so i dont really know how they can force me to pay as i dont have it anymore. Can they go into my bank account and try to remove the money?

  22. They might let you pay it back in instalments, or you could give them the profit from your next ticket sale. However, in any business it is always advisable to have sufficient funds in reserve in case of emergencies.I think this has been a learning curve for us all !

  23. I am a seller.
    Here is my position.
    I sold tickets on ebay, a made a decent profit on 4 of them and lost money on another 2, after taking into account ebay listing fees, final value fees and pay pal charges i just about broke even.

    Ebay say they will refund all sellers their listing fees and charges after the seller has made a refund to the buyer.

    Another thing is everybodey seems to be taking about the 45 day time limit. “Ebay have extended this to cover all michael jackson ticket purchases.”

    I think that is unfair. It is to save the ebay reputation and is a PR move.

    Why do I think its unfair? After recieving payment from my buyers I had to wait 28 days for the funds to clear in my pay pal, and on top of this I waited until the 45 days were over so I knew I was in the clear for spending my money.

    In my opinion I have kept my end of the bargain, anything beyond the 45 days is ebays responsibility if they want still to refund buyers in unusual circumstances.

    If I cannot be sure that I am in the clear to spend my own money after waiting the specified period of time, when can I be sure that my money is ever going to be mine to spend? Is it up to ebay to decide that they want to dip into my bank and take some money back?

    I think this is wrong and ebay will make many enimies this way.

    I have gone into my ebay settings, changed my name, my address, my user name, removed automatic paypal payments, and closed my acount. I also went into paypal, sent my funds to my bank, altered my details and also closed this account. Just to be on the safe side.

  24. Jimbo, What exactly have you sold? I assume you are talking about Michael Jackson tickets. In which case you haven’t sold anything because, so far as we know the concert isn’t going ahead.

    If I was a games seller, and sold an upcoming release. But the games developer changed their mind and didn’t release the game then I would clearly have to refund everyone as I haven’t sold anything.

    Forget about eBay rules or Paypal rules. If you don’t refund those ticket purchases then in my book (I’m sure I’m not alone) you are a thief and should be pursued through the legal system.

    Sorry but people are too hung up on eBay rules etc. What about the law, never mind just being an honest person.

    In fact if you have done what you say you have done at the end of your message, then eBay is a better place for it.

  25. pete,
    i have kept intouch with my buyers by personal email.
    i think there are a few problems with the system and i dont want ebay just taking the money back beyond the specified dates without my consent.

    i have the option to reopen my account with ebay within 180 days.

    i do intend to refund my buyers.

  26. Does anyone think that it might be time for eBay UK to call it a day on un-authorized ticket sales (or create a satellite site)?

  27. I sold micheal jackson ticets and according to ticketmaster i can still provide the tickets (ticket or refund) legally then I HAVNT BROKEN MY END OF THE CONTRACT BECAUSE I CAN STILL PROVIDE THE TICKET.

    what now then as its either ticket or refund according to ticketmaster. on my listing i said micheal jackson ticket NOT micheal jackson PERFORMANCE!

  28. The FT had a very interesting article about this dilemma in their weekend magazine today. They argued that the best financial outcome for someone who was neutral would be to take the refund, as there was no guarantee that the souvenir ticket will offer more financial reward or satisfaction.

    I think it is pretty poor ethics from AEG not to be offering these tickets for free in addition to the refund, but from a economic point of view it is pure genius. They give out a souvenir that will cost 10p to print, instead of paying back £75. Of course they probably won’t recoup all the money they have spent already, but it will help them to avoid bankruptcy.

    I’ve written more about this situation and scenario at The London Insider

  29. Just in case you haven’t seen it on the announcement board…

    What to do if you sold tickets
    Please contact your buyer by 17th July if you haven’t already done so. We’ll credit all associated eBay fees once the buyer has been fully refunded. These will appear in your 30th July or 15th August invoice depending on your billing cycle.
    All sellers who have sold tickets will receive an email from us shortly explaining how to contact the buyer and when you will receive a refund of eBay fees.

    What to do if you bought tickets
    If you have not already heard from your seller we recommend that you contact them by 13th July to ask for a refund. If you have already received the ticket and you get a full refund, you should return the physical ticket to your seller. We also ask that you be patient and allow sellers time to process refund requests.
    All buyers affected by this issue will receive an email from us shortly explaining how to contact the seller and what to do if you are unable to make contact.

  30. Michelle.


    Yes, you have. Sorry.

  31. another dilemma!

    I have just requested my refund from ticketmaster. They say it could take upto 21 days to reach my account. This 21 days will run over the 17th July deadline from ebay (the deadline which allows sellers to recieve their ebay fees back in full) So now I’m expected to pay a full refund to the buyer without having the refund myself.

    I fell that the ebay situation is greatly benefitting the buyer and not the seller.

    My tickets were sold above the face value and as far as I’m concerened this price was down to the choice of the buyer to pay due to the hype and unavailability of the ticket. They cannot expect to recieve a full refund and there is no way anyone can make the sellers do this, not even the courts as ebay is not an official outlet for secondhand tickets, nor do they condone ‘touting’ which is essentially what every ticket seller on eay does.

  32. I must say I’m bewildered by any logic which states something like “I’m not refunding buyers for more than the the face value (what I paid)'”.

    We’d all be up in arms if a high street shop said “we’ll only be refunding you what we actually paid for the goods you bought and trousering the profit.”

  33. I think ebay is talking about the memorial concert. Profitting off someone’s death is morbid. Also with all the requirements to be meet like the lottery winner has to have ID and pick up tickets in person in LA, it is not going to be an easy transfer. I am sure ebay will gladly sell the memorial and tour tickets AFTER the memorial as keepsakes but not now.

  34. In reference to the high street shop statement, if you buy something that is £20.00 and the next day the shop has a sale, you bring the item back, you only get back the sale price. Same scenario.
    I too think ebay is all for the buyers and no care for the seller but that was nearly always the way with ebay.
    The ebay buyers are going to get their money back anyway, probably before the sellers get theirs back from their outlet, so I dont know what the uproar is for from buyers.

  35. The point is that the risk for these ticket purchases were with the buyers, in choosing to obtain them through a third party. For eBay to force full refunds, especially before seller’s receive refunds from their original point, grossly favours the buyers.

    Plus it should be pointed out that If the concerts had been cancelled for any other reason than Jackson’s untimely death, there probably wouldn’t be any refund arrangements in place.

    As far as I see it’s entirely right for sellers to refund the face value cost of the tickets that that were won by auction. But I can’t see how any seller can be legally responsible to refund any profit above that. The 45-day rule just obscures things further.

    All of which leaves a pretty horrible taste in the mouth. eBay should learn and ban ticket touting full stop.

  36. Anyone saying that refunding the face value should be what happens needs to be banned from selling on eBay for good.

  37. @ # 41

    I totally agree. The funny thing is that is exactly what PayPal does to you when you receive a chargeback. At least that’s what they did to me last year on money they allowed me to hold for only a few minutes.

  38. 43# cries BS, if you have a reciept you get the full cost of the item, Arcadia even offer a price protection plan with their store cards where you can claim refunds if an item you buy goes on sale (at a cost of course).

  39. No, the shop purchase analogy doesn’t work at all. We’re not dealing with an ordinary retail transaction. It’s about people buying things third party from touts, at risk, facilitated by a powerful amoral corporation.

  40. A ticket, a dvd, a pair of socks it is all the same.

    refund should always be the price paid.

    by the way if someone sells socks are they a sock tout?

    never understood why ticket sellers have a name all to themselves after all they just buy something and sell it on (hopefully) for a profit the same as a sock seller, maybe ebay should ban the sale of socks?

  41. #49 If I were to buy socks from a retail outlet and sell them on eBay for a profit (because that product was scarce) it would be called profiteering, which is also looked down upon by many. There are traditional paths that products follow to market.

    Buying tickets from un-authorized sources has risks (the same with buying any goods from un-authorized/un-regulated sources). eBay was an un-authorized source for MJ tickets and many of the sellers on eBay are un-regulated e.g. toys sellers from the far east. Unfortunately buying on eBay does involve more risk in many instances.

  42. PS luckily because of the nature/profile of the MJ case eBay will be taking the hit.

  43. but profiteering is what everyone does ie buy something and sell it for more

    where you buy it from is irrelevant to the responsibilities you have as a seller.

    only a crook wouldnt refund in full.


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