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Eventim accused of profiteering from fees during crisis

CTS Eventim has been accused of withholding millions in refunds from cancelled events amid the COVID-19 live events shutdown.

Eventim is holding onto between 12-14 per cent of the price paid by fans despite 155,000 events being cancelled or postponed, according to a review of several refunds by MarketWatch.

Consumers are being left out of pocket as the Berlin-based company, which earned €481m in revenue from ticket sales last year, claims its processing and service fees are non-refundable.

Ticket holders have taken to social media to complain about the company and accuse it of profiteering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One fan said on Twitter: “Surely I should get the full ticket price refunded for Kesha’s cancelled event? Absolutely disgusting that you’re profiting during these times…”

A spokesman for Eventim said: “If the respective organiser has cancelled the event and has commissioned us to reverse the ticket costs, we will immediately refund the ticket costs to the customer. The fees are for services already provided, such as shipping, packing, administration.”

The German government now allows refunds to be made as vouchers and an Eventim spokesman told Market Watch that the full amount paid for the ticket, including service fees, would be reflected in the voucher. Ticket holders will have until the end of 2021 to use the Eventim voucher, at which point they would be entitled to a full refund.

Jonathan Brown, chief executive of Society of Ticket Agent and Retailers (STAR), told TheTicketingBusiness in a debate piece on the refund of fees last week: “Booking fees help cover the marketing of shows as well as the costs of processing credit card payments and contributing to usual business costs, customer services and the research and development that brings new technology and processes to the industry.

“In some cases, there may be other commercial calls on a percentage of that booking fee and, though the business can of course be profitable, the margin is not as much as outsiders may think.”

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