Groupon customers frustrated when site won’t give refunds for concerts canceled by COVID-19

Problem Solvers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An website known for hot deals is raising the ire of music fans who bought tickets for now canceled concerts, but can’t get a cash refund. 

“I want the money back,” said Andrea Moreno who spent $180 last winter buying tickets to Nickleback and Foreigner concerts — both of which have now been canceled.

But, so far, Groupon has said no. 

“Any other place would give you a refund,” said Moreno, a medical coder, who described herself as a fan of classic rock.

Groupon sent Moreno an emailed explaining how it was “disappointed too” that the concerts were canceled. Groupon went on to write that it wanted to make sure she got her “money back as soon as possible.” 

But there was a catch. The Groupon refund wasn’t money. It was Groupon Bucks.

“I don’t want Groupon Bucks because I don’t want to buy anything else,” Moreno said.

She said the only way she could talk to anyone at Groupon to complain was via live chat online. So she did.

She was told cash refunds were only available within “the cancellation window,” which is within 24 hours of the purchase. Of course that window expired long before COVID-19 forced most concerts to cancel.

Groupon then ended the live chat by telling Moreno  “have a great day.” That’s something Moreno definitely wasn’t having.

That’s when Moreno decided to call FOX4 Problem Solvers. We understood her frustration.

We examined Groupon’s website and noticed that even it’s own “extraordinary event policy” appeared to state that if a concert is canceled, the ticket will be automatically refunded the amount paid.

Plus, if Moreno had purchased her tickets via Ticketmaster or Live Nation or at the venue, she would have been entitled to her money back. Even a ticket broker, who resells tickets, said tickets to canceled concerts are always refunded in full.

So what’s up with Groupon?

Groupon sent us this statement: “In light of the unprecedented number of cancellations … caused by COVID-19 (Groupon is doing its best) to resolve any issues as quickly as we can.”

In fact, according to Groupon, that’s the whole reason behind offering people Groupon Bucks “so customers don’t have to wait.” 

Groupon insisted that if people would prefer a cash refund, all they have to do is contact customer support.

Of course, Moreno did that twice and was denied both times.

Here’s the good news, Groupon told us it “understands Andrea’s frustration” and has therefore issued her a cash refund for both purchases.

Moreno now has her money back and this problem is solved for her — but not for the dozens of other equally frustrated Groupon customers.

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