StubHub — Seller Beware!

Update – My contacting the Better Business Bureau (BBB) helped us to finally get paid from StubHub.  Interestingly, as part of closing the case, the SubHub Customer Care representative told the BBB that they were refunding my $60 fee (see screenshot from the BBB web site below).  Surprise, Surprise.  I received the check from StubHub on 6/21/08 (approximately 40 days after it was promised)…

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April 28 – We still have not received payment.  It is approximately 30 days past due, and our friends at StubHub have yet to provide adequate explanation.  They most recently promised via telephone that “the check is in the mail”.

April 23 – The concept of StubHub is very appealing — use a web site as a means to sell your tickets to an event when you’re unable to attend.  Even if their 15% fees seem to be a little high, it’s tolerable since they are acting as a broker to ensure that buyer and seller have confidence in the transaction.

However… I’ve discovered that StubHub plays financial games with the funds from the buy/sell transaction.  In my case, I sold tickets to a buyer for a Columbus Blue Jackets hockey game.  The person that purchased my tickets received the tickets from me via FedEx on March 17, and had money transferred from his account on that same day.  They have a policy of waiting 7 days after the buyer receives the ticket before they process the payment:

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I don’t have a problem with that approach, since I assumed that they would cut a check and mail it after the waiting period.  When I didn’t receive a check from them by April 7 (a full 14 days after the 7 day waiting period) , I decided that I should review my on-line StubHub account to determine the status (they indicate 2 to 7 days for check to arrive — see below). 

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The on-line account indicated that the payment date was March 24, and it was paid via check.  I thought, uh-oh… the US Postal Service lost the envelope, so I sent StubHub an email inquiry to determine if they had actually mailed the check. Since they didn’t reply to my email message, on April 8 I called a StubHub customer service agent.  She proceeded to tell me that “payment is getting ready”, and it take 10 business days for the check to be sent, and “you’ll be receiving the payment any day now”.  I told her that this was not consistent with the message published on their web site. 

I subsequently went through a series of emails with their “customer service” agents where I pointed out that their website indicated that payment was sent on March 24.  They claimed to have lost my address, and then found it (without ever contacting me for the address, hmm).  Below is an excerpt from their email of April 9:  

We originally began processing your check on 3/24/08, unfortunately we did not have a default address to send the check to. As a result, we have updated your address and resubmitted your payment. We will complete processing on your reissued check within the next 5-7 days. Please allow an additional week from the date we issued your payment to receive your check.

It is April 22 and I still have not received payment after numerous contacts with their “customer service”.  I assume that there are interstate laws about doing business this way…  Do you think StubHub is trying to make additional revenue by getting a 30 day float on other people’s money?    I wonder if there is a class action lawsuit percolating? 

I will definitely be sharing the facts from my experience with others, including the appropriate business organizations.   For example, I discovered that the epinions.com website has many reviews with experiences similar to mine where users rated StubHub with 1 out of 5 check marks (their overall rating is 2 out of 5). 

I used to think that TicketMaster was an obnoxious and useless middleman, inserting fees where they add no value.  With their questionable business practices, StubHub is worse… and I know that I will never use it again.  

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