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Judgment on advance booking fees Defeat for ticket dealers CTS Eventim Are ticket dealers allowed to keep advance booking fees for concerts that have been canceled due to Corona? The Munich Regional Court has declared a clause ineffective that excludes a refund. However, there is no general claim.

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Numerous empty seats can be seen in a grandstand. | dpa

Judgment on Presale Fees Defeat for ticket retailer CTS Eventim

As of: 06/09/2021 5:24 p.m.

Are ticket retailers allowed to keep advance booking fees for concerts that have been canceled due to corona? The Munich Regional Court has declared a clause ineffective that excludes a refund. However, there is no general claim. Several CTS Eventim customers are upset. You had booked a concert at the ticket dealer early on, which was then canceled due to Corona. Nevertheless, CTS Eventim withheld the advance booking fee. Now they want the fee back. The North Rhine-Westphalia consumer center therefore took it to court and sued the company. With success: the consumer advocates were partially right at the Munich I Regional Court. The judges declared ineffective a clause in which the company had excluded a reimbursement of the advance booking fee if the event was canceled or postponed. A corresponding sentence in the general terms and conditions is illegal.

It depends on the contracts

In the opinion of the court, the ticket retailer must bear the risk of an event alone and should not pass costs on to the customers if the event does not take place. After all, the dealer collects a commission if an event goes off successfully, the judges argue. In addition, the amount of the advance booking fee is often not visible in the ticket prices, the court complained. This is not transparent. However, the judgment, which is not yet final, does not mean that all customers are now entitled to a refund of the advance booking fees for the concert that has been canceled due to Corona. That depends on the respective design of the contracts. CTS Eventim would only be responsible for the reimbursement at a commercial agency. Eventim arranges event tickets either through a commercial agency or through an organizer through a commission. In the latter case, the concert promoter would be responsible for the reimbursement. “We are assuming that in a large number of cases Eventim wrongly withheld amounts of money,” said Wolfgang Schuldzinski, board member of the consumer advice center in North Rhine-Westphalia. Now those affected who are in dispute with the group could ask it to pay and refer to the judgment.

CTS Eventim suffers from the lull in concerts

The dispute over the advance booking fee shows how tense the situation in the concert event industry is. The largest German ticket retailer CTS Eventim is suffering from the unusual concerts and events. In the first quarter of this year, sales collapsed by almost 90 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. The Bremen company slipped into the red. The number of employees including temporary workers fell by almost a third. Nevertheless, CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg does not give up hope of a new start soon. He relies on the “longing of people to experience culture together”. The more people vaccinated, the greater the chance of concerts.