CHICAGO (CBS) — The show will go on.
The coronavirus pandemic caused countless concert cancellations, and while many have secured refunds for their tickets, others are still out the cash.
CBS 2’s Lauren Victory on Thursday looked into one ticket vendor that has ignored unhappy customers – and the Better Business Bureau – for months.
When you call online ticket vendor Verified Seats, you might get a message saying, “Please callback Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.” But no matter what time you call, you’ll get a voicemail prompt and a promise that the customer service team will get back to you rather than an answer – and when Victory tried, she couldn’t even leave a voicemail.
“They never answer their phone, and they never return any emails,” said Jeff Kerensky.
We also tried emailing Verified Seats through their online submission form. That was another dead end – their website is disabled now.
“You have no proof that you did anything, and they probably like it that way,” Kerensky said.
Kerensky bought two tickets through Verified Seats back in September to see the Canadian musician Patrick Watson.
“He’s very kind of acoustic,” Kerensky said.
Fast forward to April – the concert was canceled due to COVID-19. And after weeks of trying to contact the company about a more than $200 refund – radio silence.
“None of this bodes well for me,” Kerensky said.
So he started digging into Verified Seats and found them on the Better Business Bureau.
“I discovered they have an F rating,” Kerensky said.
Verified Seats also has a one-star rating and 80 customer complaints. Many consumes also wrote they haven’t been refunded for canceled shows.
“That’s just maddening,” Kerensky said.
Add Kerensky’s unanswered complaint to the list. He also filed one with the attorney general in Nebraska, where Verified Seats is headquartered.
The Nebraska Attorney General’s office is still processing his claim, and there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to get his money back either.
In a letter, the Nebraska Attorney General’s office said it “cannot compel or force a company to participate in the mediation process.”
“I’ve pretty much assumed that I’m never going to see a penny,” Kerensky said.
So why go through all the trouble?
“My motivation is simply that I want to call attention to their business practices,” Kerensky said.