Stubhub’s “FanProtect guarantee” was called into question as to the basis of a $5 million lawsuit against the company. The plaintiff, Mitch McMillan, is suing the company over two $120 tickets for a postponed NHL game. Stubhub only gave him the option of a coupon as opposed to giving him his money back. Per a letter sent to customers from the ticketing company’s president Sukhinder Singh Cassidy on March 12, these coupons distributed for canceled events would be worth 120% of the original value.
But less than two weeks after that message, the company sent an amended policy. “If the event is canceled and not rescheduled, you will get a refund or credit to use on a future purchase, as determined in StubHub’s sold discretion (unless a refund is required by law),” the amendment reads. Cassidy sent a follow up less than a week later on March 30th, expressing this change came in the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic. “We are facing significant timing delays in recouping funds from the thousands of sellers on our platform, and expect these challenges to continue in the coming months,” Cassidy wrote in the email. The new policy stated customers would be offered a 120% credit for canceled purchases as a “thank you for remaining patient in a very challenging period.”
The plaintiff’s attorney Nick Coulson told Billboard StubHub’s conduct is egregious.
“Dumping promised refunds for expiring coupons during the time of greatest financial suffering in recent history is cruel and wrong,” Coulson says. “Especially because people have no idea if they’ll even be able to use the coupons — we don’t know what the next 12 months are going to look like. To the extent that StubHub claims financial constraints have forced its hand (into its customers’ pockets), those constraints are entirely of its own making. Through this action, we hope to provide people some small bit of relief during this uncertain time.”
The NHL Playoffs were suspended on March 12 through April 15th. A longer extension based on how flat the COVID-19 curve becomes. Yesterday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman acknowledged that the season, though 85% finished, may not end traditionally.