What are a consumer’s rights to refunds for cancelled performances?

The Rolling Stones announced today the cancellation of their Australian tour following the death of Stones front-man Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, L’Wren Scott.

The band confirmed the tour would not go ahead on its website, releasing the following statement: ‘‘The Rolling Stones are deeply sorry and disappointed to announce the postponement of the rest of their 14 ON FIRE tour of Australia and New Zealand following the death of L’Wren Scott.

Frontier Touring have confirmed on Facebook that ticket-holders have a right to refund if the new tour dates do not suit.

Are consumers entitled to a refund for the ticket purchase price?

Yes. Frontier Touring have confirmed consumers can receive a refund if the rescheduled dates do not suit them. And under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), consumers have an automatic right to a refund if an event to which they have purchased an authorised ticket is cancelled.

How do I get a refund?

As a first step, contact organisers of the event. In the case of the Rolling Stones concert this is Frontier Touring. You have the option to wait for the announcement of a new date and have your ticket transferred, or request a refund.

Can consumers claim a refund for other costs, like travel or accommodation?

In the first instance, consumers should seek a refund or date change with the airline and hotels they’ve booked with. While airlines and hotels aren’t obligated to provide refunds, some may show discretion in helping consumers get a positive outcome in this unpredictable situation.

If you’re unable to change your travel arrangements, you may be covered by ticket insurance or travel insurance. If you have bought a ticket with a credit card, you may have insurance automatically included, so check with your provider.

If this is not possible, CHOICE advises consumers to get in touch with Ticketek and Frontier Touring to claim back reasonable auxiliary costs associated with attending the concert. While the Ticketing Code of Practise states that consumers are not entitled to auxiliary costs if concerts are cancelled, the ACL provides for consumers to receive compensation for consequential loss, where services aren’t delivered. If Ticketek and Frontier Touring do not provide a satisfactory outcome, consumers can lodge a complaint with the department of fair trading or consumer affairs in their state.

What if you bought your tickets through a third party, online or through a scalper?

Consumers must be able to show proof of purchase of tickets in order to be eligible for a refund. If you bought your tickets through a third party, such as through eBay or a ticket scalper, this may be difficult to get.

A consumer’s first step should be to check with their seller. According to eBay policies, for example, if an event is postponed or cancelled, consumers can seek a refund or replacement ticket. If you want a refund, open a case in the eBay resolution centre.