Canadian city hit by Dunedin company's ticketing chaos

The Moose Jaw City Council is offering gift cards relating to cancelled concerts and ice hockey games after Ticket Rocket went into receivership. Photo: Getty Images
The Moose Jaw City Council is offering gift cards relating to cancelled concerts and ice hockey games after Ticket Rocket went into receivership. Photo: Getty Images
A Dunedin ticketing firm's troubles have stretched to Canada and a council there is offering out-of-pocket customers compensation.

The Moose Jaw City Council is offering gift cards relating to cancelled concerts and Moose Jaw Warriors ice hockey games because the city feels it has a "moral obligation" to ticket purchasers who have not been provided refunds by Ticket Rocket.

Ticket Rocket and associated companies were run by Matt Davey before they went into receivership at the end of last month.

In Canada, Ticket Rocket failed to make promised refunds for two concerts and three Warriors' games cancelled because of restrictions imposed to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The MJ Independent reported the amount of money not refunded by the company could total CAN$200,000 (NZ$227,642).

Ticket Rocket had agreed to issue refunds by August 22 for all the cancelled events, including a ZZ Top concert, but no refunds were issued, the newspaper reported.

A branded Ticket Rocket car left in a central Dunedin car park. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
A branded Ticket Rocket car left in a central Dunedin car park. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
The city council reached a settlement with Ticket Rocket on May 29 and the council said this limited its exposure but prevented it taking legal action.

“The city adamantly condemns Ticket Rocket’s current failure to refund amounts lawfully owed to ticket holders of cancelled events. However, the city is of the opinion that it does not have any reasonable legal claim or recourse against Ticket Rocket to force such refunds to occur,” a report to the council said.

“At this time, we do not believe that Ticket Rocket intends to issue the refunds . . .  in this circumstance, it is believed that there is a moral obligation owed by the city to the ticket holders.”

City manager Jim Puffalt said the council had no legal responsibility to issue refunds.

"This company has left lots of us in a very frustrated state and it is certainly bad public relations,” Mr Puffalt said.

"We are suggesting there is a moral obligation - trying to make this right for people.

“We can make it right to a great degree by offering gift certificates to upcoming shows and concerts.”

Ticket Rocket was the contracted ticket issuer for the multipurpose arena Mosaic Place.

Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie said Ticket Rocket was essentially working as “an agent for the city”.

“We have to take responsibility. We are responsible for the reputation of this city in the future for other concerts, so we have to think about that. We want to encourage people back."

In New Zealand, show promoters and customers have been left out of pocket amid Ticket Rocket's troubles.

Customers have joined the list of unsecured creditors in contact with the company's receiver, BDO.

The Regent Theatre Trust of Otago has also contacted police, but police have not confirmed whether they are investigating.
 

Comments

Shonky practice sullies NZ Reputation. At present, private entrepreneurs are not viable. They operate on Faith.

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