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Seattle-Based Ticketing Company Ordered To Mass Refund Customers

Patch logo Patch 3/8/2021 Charles Woodman
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SEATTLE, WA — Seattle-based ticketing company Brown Paper Tickets has been ordered to issue full refunds to thousands of ticket holders across the country, after numerous complaints that the company had not refunded tickets to events that had been cancelled by the pandemic.

Between March 19, 2020 and Feb. 23, 2021, the Washington State Attorney General's Office received 1,200 individual complaints about Brown Paper Tickets. Now, as the result of a lawsuit from the AG's Office, the ticketing company has agreed to pay back $9 million to refund 45,000 event organizers and ticket holders. It will also be paying $70,000 to the state for attorney's costs and other fees.

Most ticket holders are owed $50 or less — the bigger refunds are for event organizers, who lost between $1,000 and $10,000 per event. The Attorney General's Office says many of those victims were small, non-profit events.

"Small theaters and arts organizations — like your local children’s theater, community center, church or music school — have been hit hard by COVID," said Attorney General Bob Ferguson. "Today’s resolution ensures Brown Paper Tickets will uphold its promises to these essential community spaces by returning the millions of dollars it owes them, and puts money back into the pockets of thousands of individuals across the country."

Ferguson's office lists several examples, including:

  • A Bellingham youth arts organization, which is owed $3,000 in ticket sales.
  • A Renton café owed $2,000 for tickets to a “dinner and a show” fundraiser.
  • A Seattle resident who paid $300 for a child's summer camp, but couldn't get a refund when the camp was canceled.

Everyone who is entitled to a refund should receive an email or a letter from the Attorney General's Office in the coming few weeks. Brown Paper Tickets has also been instructed to directly reach out to ticket holders and event organizers about their refund. The company has been ordered to prioritize refunds for Washington residents.

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