Updated March 30, 2020
Dear StubHub community -
The last few weeks have transformed all of our lives in ways we could never have imagined. I wanted to take a moment to share some of the actions we’ve taken as a company in support of our customers, our partners and employees. We’ve spent 20 years bringing the joy of live to buyers and sellers worldwide; we are now doing our best to navigate an unprecedented situation for all. Our commitment is to continue to communicate with you regularly on the actions we are taking during this very difficult period, until the live event industry can resume as normal. Thank you for the patience and trust you have shown so far.
Our updated buyer and seller policies
In the US alone, more than 23,000 events have been canceled, postponed or rescheduled in the past three weeks and we expect to see many more. Effectively overnight, the live event industry has come to a standstill – for fans, sellers, teams, leagues, artists, venues, and other supporting businesses.
We’ve worked hard to create a platform that serves both buyers and sellers as a trusted marketplace. As a convenience to buyers, acting as an intermediary, we’ve historically made the decision to refund them for canceled events before collecting money from the sellers. We’ve also historically offered sellers more convenience by paying them for ticket sales on our platform before events actually happen. Under normal circumstances, these processes are manageable.
Given the impact of the coronavirus, it is not possible to sustain this practice in the near-term. We are facing significant timing delays in recouping funds from the thousands of sellers on our platform, and expect these challenges to continue in the coming months. At the same time, buyers expect immediate refunds. As a result, we’ve enacted new policies in the US and Canada that we believe are clear and fan-first.
We understand fans are disappointed and concerned by these large-scale event cancellations. We were the first in our industry to begin offering customers 120% credit for the canceled purchases as a thank you for remaining patient in a very challenging period. In the first two weeks of offering this option, approximately 70% of customers opted to receive this additional future value. Recently, we announced this as our standard policy for canceled events, with refunds available in jurisdictions where they are required. Coupons can be applied to one or multiple StubHub orders in the same currency. If your order is less than your coupon value, you can use the remainder on another event.
Meanwhile, sellers on our platform also face challenges. Music and sports fans, season ticket holders, and business sellers are unclear if teams and primary ticketing companies are providing credits or refunds for the tickets they had previously bought and subsequently sold on StubHub. We are working with the thousands of sellers across our platform to understand options and timing for repayment to us for tickets of canceled events. We’ve also updated our seller policies going forward to manage future risk.
Beyond our customer community, we are doing our best to keep our employees safe and manage business operations. Our first priority has been to make sure our employees are in a safe environment, with work-from-home enacted early and quickly across our multiple locations. We have also moved quickly to manage our business operations and spend in response to COVID-19. Despite these changes, our teams are continuing to serve our buyers and sellers, uninterrupted, and I’m extremely proud of their dedication and resilience.
As a leader in our industry for over 20 years, StubHub is committed to helping those in our industry most affected by the Coronavirus. We are happy to be able to use our previously allocated StubHub Foundation funds to provide assistance of up to $125,000 to non-profit partners, including Sweet Relief, MusiCares, and Broadway Cares, which are helping impacted workers in our industries.
We are so grateful to our community and hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. We will continue to serve you as our customers and partners – today and in the future – and look forward to all being able to come together again and experience the joy of live entertainment when the time is right.
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy
President of StubHub