While Ticketmaster is battling with multiple lawsuits and restructuring their refund options for ticket holders looking to get their money back amid the coronavirus pandemic, they’re reportedly furloughing hundreds of employees in a $500 million cost-cutting plan.
According to a report from Billboard, this marks the first major cut of employees from the company amid growing economic pressures due to the virus.
The report says hundreds of employees across multiple offices in North America are being furloughed.
They’re allegedly considering other cost-saving measures too as they face the possibility of zero revenue coming in this year over entertainment shutdowns.
The furloughs apparently came as a surprise after numerous calls promising employees would still have their jobs. Live Nation officials are reportedly saying these moves are temporary though. Employees are still reportedly receiving health benefits along with a one to three week payout.
“These are critical employees and we plan to bring everyone back,” one company official told Billboard.
This all comes as part of an April 13 SEC filing outlining a plan to save $500 million in 2020 with “the reduction in the use of contractors, rent re-negotiations, furloughs, and reduction or elimination of other discretionary spending.”
Ticketmaster and their parent company Live Nation are currently facing numerous lawsuits over retroactively changing their refund policies.
“While many businesses across this country have acted lawfully and ethically by providing consumers with refunds for events that will never occur during this pandemic, sometimes at the risk of bankruptcy, it remains notable that America’s pastime — baseball — is refusing to do right by its fans,” attorney David Azar writes in the complaint.
The full MLB complaint can be read here. This happened prior to the refund policy updates Live Nation ended up outlining over the weekend.
Now, Live Nation revealed an updated refund policy as people want their money back for events that may never happen. Rumors of a plan began circulating but were later confirmed. It’s following a similar path as AEG‘s plan outlined earlier this month after they received backlash. They’re now offering a 30-day ticket refund window for all rescheduled shows.
Their Ticket Relief Plan is allowing ticket holders for postponed and rescheduled shows to request a refund “within 30 days of the new show date being announced.” Otherwise, tickets are valid for the rescheduled date.
— Live Nation (@LiveNation) April 24, 2020
If a new date isn’t set, they’re giving customers a chance to still get their money back starting May 1. “If 60 days has passed since a show was postponed and no rescheduled dates have been announced, the 30-day window for refunds will open at that time.”
Cancelled events are being refunded in full but the company is offering an alternative.
The option of a 150 percent credit for shows that ended up cancelling can apply to any future event.
“If you have tickets to a show at a Live Nation venue that gets cancelled, you can choose to receive a credit for 150% of your purchase (including fees). So if you spent $200 on tickets, you will receive $300 in credit!“
The company is also revealing they have plans to gift free tickets to frontline workers with details to come.
You can read the entire breakdown of their refund policies here.
What do you think of Ticketmaster furloughing employees? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.