Coronavirus: can you get a refund for cancelled events?

To stop the spread of coronavirus, the government has banned all gatherings of more than two people.

The only exception is funerals. This means many public events – including shows, sports, lives events, weddings, parties, and more – have been called off until further notice.

But what happens if you’ve already paid for tickets?

Or spent money organising a big party or a wedding?

What are your rights as a consumer when it comes to getting refunds on cancelled or postponed events?

If the event is cancelled…

If you’ve already paid for an event and it’s cancelled due to coronavirus, what should you do?

For tickets purchased directly from the retailer – Ticketmaster, for example –  you have protection as a consumer. These types of companies are required by the industry’s self-regulatory body, the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR), to refund the value price of a ticket in the event of cancellation.

However, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to claim back delivery costs or booking fees.

If you purchased from a secondary seller like Viagogo or Stubhub, you have less protection. Always check the terms and conditions and contact the company to see if you’re entitled to a refund. This will depend on the event and organiser.

If the event is postponed…

If you’ve paid for an event and it’s been postponed, keep hold of your ticket and wait for the new date to be announced. If you can’t make the new date, you might be entitled to a refund, but this depends on the event and where the ticket was purchased.

Again, you should contact the company and check the terms and conditions – and, again, it’s unlikely you’ll get the delivery fees or booking costs back.

What about travel costs? 

If an event has been cancelled or postponed and you’ve already paid for transport and hotels, what should you do?

Can you get a refund for this?

If you no longer need the transport or hotel due to event cancellation, speak to the company you booked with. They may be able to refund this or rebook for a later date – although, this isn’t guaranteed.

If the hotel or travel company has cancelled your booking, under government legislation, you are entitled to a full refund. Alternatively, you may be covered by travel insurance.

What about weddings and parties? 

Under social distancing rules, all weddings and parties are banned, as are all gatherings of more than two people.

If you’ve booked a wedding or party, always speak to the venue and suppliers first to see if you can rebook or negotiate a new date.

If they cancel your booking, you may be entitled to a refund. If this is the case, check the terms and conditions of the initial booking and speak to the suppliers directly.

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