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Reviewed on 18 August 2021

Coronavirus: Refunds for cancelled events

Your questions answered.

If you’ve bought tickets to an event that’s now cancelled due to Covid-19, we explain what you can expect.

What happens if the show is cancelled?

If a show is cancelled, you should get a refund from the ticket agent. Check with the agent about what’s happening.

Refunds will normally be made to the credit or debit card you used to purchase the tickets. If your card details have changed, you’ll need to provide the ticket agent with your updated details. You may be able to do this via its website.

I also booked flights and accommodation to attend the event. What should I do?

Ticket agents aren’t required to compensate you for other costs, such as airline tickets or accommodation. You'll need to contact the airline or hotel about a refund or credit.

If you bought a package deal – say, a travel-and-ticket combo – contact the seller of that package.

What if the show is just postponed?

Some shows may be postponed rather than cancelled. If the new date doesn't suit, you should get a refund of the ticket price.

What if the ticket seller isn’t doing anything?

If you haven’t heard from the ticket agent, it may be because it’s dealing with a large number of inquiries.

However, if the agent has refused to do anything, and you paid by credit or debit card, you may be able to get a chargeback (a refund to your card). Contact your bank or card issuer about this.

Are events run by charities treated differently?

No. Restrictions on public gatherings apply to all events regardless of whether an event is run by a charity or a commercial company.

If it’s a charity fundraiser or an event run by a small community group, and you want to support the organisation, you could consider donating the money to it rather than seeking a refund.

I bought a ticket from a private seller. Will I still be able to get a refund?

If you’ve bought your ticket from a private seller, rather than the official ticket agent, getting a refund might be trickier.

Ticket agents may have terms and conditions stating that if they’re aware a ticket has been resold, they won’t honour it.

Where an event is cancelled, the ticket agent would only be obliged to provide a refund to the original purchaser. You could ask this person for a refund, provided you’re able to contact them.

I purchased the ticket from a ticket resale site. What should I do?

Ask the resale site for a refund.

If the site doesn’t provide a refund, and you paid by credit or debit card, you may be able to get a chargeback (a refund to your card). Contact your bank or card issuer about this.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Read our latest articles on the Covid-19 pandemic. Got a consumer-related question about coronavirus? Email us at info@consumer.org.nz and we'll do our best to help.

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