Yankee Fans Eligible For Refund Of Service Charges On Playoff Tickets

Attorney General Spitzer today announced an agreement with the New York Yankees whereby the team will refund service charges that were imposed on tickets to unplayed 2002 post-season games.

"I am pleased that the Yankees moved quickly to address questions that were raised about service charges on playoff tickets and reached an agreement that provides refunds to fans and free tickets to youth groups," Spitzer said.

After the Yankees clinched a playoff berth last year, the team sold tickets for all 11 possible post-season home games. However, the Yanks lost in the opening round of the American League division series, after playing just two of the 11 home games. Purchasers of tickets to these unplayed home games were offered refunds of the face value of the tickets, but not for service charges of up to $5 per ticket. This omission prompted a number of consumer complaints.

The Attorney General's office began discussions with the Yankees and, pursuant to the agreement, the team will now offer ticket purchasers a refund of 90 percent of the service charges that were imposed on tickets to those unplayed games. The Yankees will retain 10 percent of the service charges to administer the refund program, and will provide an equivalent value of complimentary regular season tickets to underprivileged youth.

For someone who purchased a ticket to each of the scheduled playoff home games, the agreement means a refund of at least $32.40.

A total of $1.3 million in refunds will be provided. The refunds will be handled in the following manner:

A. Individuals who had full or partial season ticket plans with the Yankees may obtain a credit towards the purchase of tickets to Yankee games during the 2003 season, or a credit on the credit card used for the original ticket purchase, or a refund check by mail.

B. Individuals who purchased tickets through Ticketmaster shall receive an automatic credit to the credit card used for the original purchase.

C. Individuals who purchased tickets through the box office and who have returned their tickets shall receive an automatic refund of the service charge in the same manner they received the refund for the face value of the tickets. (Through a credit on their credit card or refund check.)

The Attorney General's office is responsible for enforcing the state's ticket pricing laws, which place certain restrictions on the ability of venues to impose surcharges on tickets.

The matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Block of the Investment Protection Bureau under the direction of Bureau Chief Eric Dinallo.

 


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