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'I almost didn't make it': Man fights desperately for concert refund after severe COVID-19

After a nasty case of COVID-1, David Tilley didn't feel safe going to a concert. But he had trouble getting his money back because it was never "canceled."

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed events like concerts and cruises back several times, but what if you just want your money back? Is it possible to get a refund or can companies hold your money indefinitely?

In some cases, yes, they can. You have to make a very convincing argument to whatever company you're dealing with as to why you should get a refund. It might just be up to the company to deviate from its policy, which if you look closely, is somewhere in the paperwork, on your ticket, or on their website.

Over the last year, WCNC Charlotte has helped refund canceled cruises, deposits on resort properties for canceled vacations, canceled airline flights, and now, we're trying to help with a postponed concert. 

RELATED: Where's my refund? How to check the status of your 2020 tax payment

The Rolling Stones were set to appear in Charlotte in 2020, but the event was postponed, not canceled. David Tilley still had his tickets for the show and got a nasty case of COVID-19. 

"Especially with what I have been through since early January, I mean back on February 6, I almost didn't make it," Tilley said. "I have had severe lung damage and been in and out of the hospital for a month."

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TIlley spent $1,500 on tickets to see the Stones and wants his money back because he doesn't feel it's safe for him to be there. Tilley contacted WCNC Charlotte because he wasn't getting any satisfaction from the ticket brokers.

RELATED: Rolling Stones to release unheard tracks from 1973 album

“We’re not going, it’s just not in our lifestyle to go to a concert with tens of thousands of people, it’s just not safe, we are in a different spot of our life” said Tilley.

In short, Tilley can't get what he wants because the policy is spelled out clearly. On the Vivid website, under terms of use, it says, "all sales final..." It says if the event is "postponed or rescheduled, the other won't qualify for a refund." Other ticket companies have a similar version of that clause, too.

“There is no time limit on how long they can postpone, not that I have ever seen when I read terms and conditions that we have looked at,” said Tom Bartholomy of the Charlotte Better Business Bureau.

No one could predict this beast of burden called COVID and a year-long pandemic with lockdowns under thumb, but it happened, and the fallout has been costly on so many human levels. After WCNC Charlotte reached out to Vivid in an email, the company decided to refund Tilley the entire amount of his tickets.

"Vivid Seats was happy to refund David. At Vivid Seats we have refunded thousands of orders totaling tens of millions of dollars since the global pandemic shut down all live events in America. As one of the few marketplaces still offering a full cash refund, Vivid Seats is communicating with each consumer once an event is canceled” said a company spokesperson.

“Also, it is our goal to make sure every ticket buyer has a safe ticket buying process. Please learn more on best ticket buying practices here,” the spokesperson added.

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