Some Orioles fans who purchased playoff tickets for games that never occurred have complained about the lack of refunds for a $6-per-order service charge from Ticketmaster.
Receipts for the orders stated that processing, shipping and handling charges would be non-refundable, but that didn’t stop one fan from calling it a “travesty” in an e-mail to The Sun. The Orioles have also heard a handful of complaints.
The Orioles have corrected earlier information that they were not responsible for the playoff refund policy. Club spokesman Greg Bader said the policy was set by the Orioles in conjunction with Ticketmaster and MLB Advanced Media.
“There are fees associated with this process that Ticketmaster, MLB Advanced Media and the Orioles do not refund as outlined in the original refund policy which is stated clearly online, was shown during the original purchase process, and is found on the back of each ticket,” Bader said in an e-mail. “There are significant costs that these entities encounter in processing ticket orders even for games that are unplayed, including the printing and mailing of tickets themselves, that this non-refundable fee helps cover.”
The Orioles will keep some of the revenue from the service charge to defray costs, Bader said. Policies vary from club to club, with the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals joining the Orioles in not offering refunds for processing and shipping charges. Other clubs such as the New York Yankees offer full refunds for the purchase price of the tickets.
Such refund policies have been at the center of past disputes. After the 2002 playoffs, for example, the New York Office of the Attorney General pressed the Yankees to refund 90 percent of the revenue from service charges on tickets for games that were never played. The Yankees initially declined to refund the service charges.