ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Office of the Attorney General confirms it is investigating claims made against an online ticket seller after receiving complaints from Florida residents.
Tom Satterlee, of Ormond Beach, said he used the website TicketsOnSale.com to purchase six tickets to a Dead and Company concert in Tampa.
“I’m a Deadhead,” he said. “But not an over-the-edge Deadhead, you know?”
Satterlee said the band later canceled its Florida tour dates.
“Once the show canceled, I should have gotten a refund,” he said.
According to one of the cancelation policies listed Tickets On Sale’s website, “When an event has officially been cancelled, you will then receive compensation.”
According to the website’s COVID-19 cancellation policy, “Beginning in November of 2020, our terms of sale were modified to give Ticketsonsale.com the option, in its sole discretion, to refund your purchase price for cancelled shows or to provide a 120% credit, subject to local law.”
“You can’t talk to anyone online. You can’t text with them. You’re guaranteed at least a two-hour wait. You can get somebody to pick up the phone if you wait for two-and-a-half hours, and they will tell you, ‘Sorry, we’re not issuing refunds,’” he said. “They’re pretty adamant about it.”
News 6 investigated and found out Satterlee is not alone.
The Florida Attorney General’s Office said it’s investigating nine complaints against Tickets On Sale that they have received since January.
In April, the Office of the Attorney General in Virginia agreed to a six-figure settlement with Tickets On Sale’s parent company Ryadd, Inc.
The state had claimed “the company refused to provide refunds to affected consumers.”
In 2014, the Federal Trade Commission and the State of Connecticut settled with Ryadd over claims of “deceptive conduct” on another ticketing website it owned.
Ryadd denied any wrongdoing in both of those cases.
According to Ryadd’s website, its corporate address is listed on Edgewater Drive in Orlando.
In an effort to help Satterlee get his money back, News 6 found another business at that address – one that provides a physical street address for virtual businesses.
The staff inside said no one from Ryadd was located there, and they could not confirm if the company was a client.
News 6 attempted to contact Ryadd company officer Ryan J. Bagley at his Winter Park home, but no one answered the door.
Bagley’s attorney, Gregory Habeeb, later told News 6 there were systems now in place that would help handle potential refunds on Tickets On Sale’s website.
“At the time of (Satterlee’s) purchase, the Terms and Conditions of purchase provided for a credit upon event cancellation. Accordingly, he is not entitled to a refund under the terms of his purchase. He also requested a chargeback which was denied because of the terms of his purchase. Nonetheless, his money has been refunded,” he wrote in an email to News 6.
He had no comment on the Florida attorney general’s investigation.
- Purchase from the venue whenever possible. Many official ticket sales agents also offer secondary sales options.
- Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling scam tickets.
- Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on BBB.org to learn what other customers have experienced. Check to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. NATB members offer a 200% purchase guarantee on tickets. Look up the seller on VerifiedTicketSource.com to confirm you are buying from an NATB-member resale company.
- Buy only from trusted vendors. Buy online only from vendors you know and trust. Look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Don’t click through from emails or online ads; a common ticket scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
- Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose to the purchaser, prior to purchase, the location of the seats represented by the tickets, either orally or by reference to a seating chart; and, if the tickets are not available for immediate access to the purchaser, disclose when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up.
- Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky. If the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.
- Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment. Some of these ads are going to be ticket scams, especially if the prices are low.
- If you’re unsure, verify your tickets. Pay a visit to the arena where the event will be held. Present your ticket to “Will Call” (customer service) and they can verify if your ticket is legitimate and show you how to tell if a ticket is fake.