Consumer Advocate

Sign up for newsletters and other news
Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > August 2020 > COVID-19 General Purchasing Questions

Consumer Advocate RSS feeds

COVID-19 General Purchasing Questions

As consumers get used to the gradual reopening of the economy and rescheduling of events that have been postponed or cancelled, it’s a good time to review policies and procedures for COVID-19 related openings and closings, ticketed events, deposits for venues and gift cards.

Having a few resources to navigate current business practices can be helpful. For general health-related information you can go to: Refunds of Event Tickets as a Result of COVID-19
As Ohioans adjust to the new reality of social distancing, many consumers are questioning when events they have purchased tickets for will be rescheduled or how to receive a refund for those tickets.

Most venues with canceled events are either rescheduling the events, providing refunds or are offering credits toward future events.

For canceled events that have tickets sold by major ticket distributors (i.e.: Ticketmaster, StubHub, etc.):
  • Distributors will refund the full cost of the ticket and fees or provide credit for future ticket purchases.
For rescheduled events that have tickets sold by major ticket distributors:
  • Original tickets will be honored at the rescheduled event.
For canceled or rescheduled event tickets sold by the venue (for example, at the box office):
  • Visit the venue’s website. Most major venues’ websites have notices regarding cancellations or rescheduling due to COVID-19.
  • Contact the customer service number located on the back of your ticket or listed on the website.
If you are unable to reach a solution with the ticket seller, you may file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section. In order to file a complaint, please fill out an online form or call 800-282-0515.

Return of Deposits for Canceled Events
The ability to recover deposits paid for events canceled due to COVID-19 depends largely on the type of event and whether the business where the event was scheduled is still in operation. Here are a few examples of different industries and how they are generally handling the return of deposits:
  • Airline flights: Most airlines are offering credit for future flights. Customers who do not want to reschedule their flight or get credit for a future trip may request a refund.
  • Cruises: Many cruise lines are offering a 100% cash refund, or the option to put the value paid toward a future cruise, with added incentives in the form of on-board credits. If a refund is preferred, you may have to wait to receive your initial deposit. Check the company website as polices on refunds continue to be updated.
  • Wedding-related expenses: The ability to receive a refund may depend upon the type of expense and how much work has been done or supplies ordered for that portion of the event. Customers with event-cancellation insurance have the best chance of receiving a full refund. Be sure to read and evaluate contracts carefully when seeking a refund or when entering into a new contract.
Gift Cards
If you purchased gift cards in recent months to support local businesses, be sure to check the policies on redemption, including:
  • Time period to use the gift card
  • Operational status of the business
If you are unsure about the stability of a business, it may be best to use the gift card as soon as possible.
If you suspect a scam or an unfair business practice, report it to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.