How to get your money back if your NYE event is cancelled

Alfie Powell
December 22, 2021

New Year's Eve is fast approaching - even though we have Christmas first - and for most, that means extensive boozing and probably going out dressed to the nines. It's an exciting night out and while it can turn out to be an anticlimax from time to time, for the most part it's fun.

After the couple of years we've had and NYE essentially being cancelled last time, we're mostly all looking forward to going out properly to beckon in 2022. Sadly though, we have a treacherous liar in charge of the country and that might end up getting in the way of the festivities. Say what you like about whether or not New Year's Eve parties should actually go ahead, but since we've been told that there won't be any lockdowns, that most likely means there will be.

London: New Years' Eve fireworks cancelled for second year in a row | Metro  News

So, in the unfortunate event that a lockdown is imposed or venues decide to call off their events, that will most likely be announced long after you paid in full for the tickets to wherever you're going. So then what? God knows I spent a silly amount on the place I've booked and I really can't afford to lose that cash. We all want our money back when it gets chucked into the void, so here's how to do that... when possible.

As a little precursor to all of this, it's worth bearing in mind that for every event you book that isn't definitely going to happen, try to pay with your Credit Card or Paypal where possible. Credit Card companies and Paypal have buyer protection contingencies, which allow you to claim your money back through them if it's been unfairly lost.

If there's a new lockdown or the venue cancels

The one we're all dreading. If there's a new lockdown then we're all buggered. Not all hope is lost though. Oftentimes the event organisers will nominate primary ticket sellers, and these include the likes of TicketMaster and See Tickets. These companies are governed by the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR), which ensure many consumer protections. You can check whether the company you booked through is a member of STAR by clicking this link right here. Unfortunately DesignMyNight isn't there, and that's who I booked through. Shit.

If the event you booked through one of those companies is cancelled, they are obligated to provide a full refund (although it's unlikely that admin fees and the like will be included).

As for the companies that aren't governed by STAR, like Viagogo or StubHub, they will have their own terms and conditions that you will have check yourself. Some companies offer their own guarantees, but some don't. In all cases, you should first get in touch with the company you booked through first if they haven't already offered a refund. If you booked through StubHub to go to, let's say, VENUE A, then contact StubHub before you try your luck with VENUE A. It may be that the booking company refers you to the venue anyway, but it's always best to check.

If they fail, then it's time you get onto your credit card provider or Paypal, presuming you paid through them. If not, you may be fresh out of luck. Sorry.

What if you simply decide you don't want to go/risk it

Put quite simply, no company is obligated to provide you with a refund in this circumstance. Some may allow for returns up to a certain point, but that's something you will have to check on the terms and conditions from each individual provider. It's not uncommon for ticket providers to demand a booking deposit as a contingency if you want your money back, meaning you won't get to have it all back.

If a company doesn't say anything about giving your money back if you're unable to attend, then they likely don't offer refunds for that reason. Nonetheless, it doesn't hurt to check and you may be pleasantly surprised at how understanding some people are. These are corporations we're talking about here, though. Don't hold your breath...

If all else fails, you might get lucky selling your ticket on to some other chump... if that's legal?

What if the event is moved to a new date?

Hardly an NYE party then, is it? Still, it's not impossible. If the event is moved to a new date that you can't or won't make, then - unless stated otherwise in the T&Cs - your plan of action should be the same as in the first point.

Other variables worth knowing.

Part of the Consumer Credit Act in the UK makes it so your Credit Card Provider is partly responsible for any breach in contract after a purchase. This includes event cancellation, so going to them as a last resort will most likely work if you spent anywhere between £100 and £30,000.

While you can ask your Debit Card Provider for a "Chargeback" - where the transaction is reversed - there is no such law that means they are obliged to be so forthcoming. You can ask though, and if the transaction was under £100, that certainly works in your favour.

So that's more or less all you need to know. I sincerely hope you found this useful, but I hope even more that you didn't need it. We could all do with a fun time out and if you've booked something, I genuinely hope you have a wonderful and safe time. Be careful out there, but have fun. You've earned it!

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