CULTURE

Ticket holders may not be refunded the full amount

This summer was preceded by the considerable publicity over the unprecedented number of concert announcements. But following a string of cancellations, among them Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and the Rolling Stones, this summer of music has not turned out to be as grand as anticipated. The cancellation of the Rolling Stones’ show in Athens, originally scheduled for June 25 at the Olympic Stadium but cut after guitarist Keith Richards incurred serious head injuries, was not only a disappointment for fans, but has led to considerable confusion over ticket refunds. Some 50,000 tickets, ranging between 78 and 297 euros each, had been purchased since going on sale in March. But fans will need to wait until August 5 for their refunds and many may not get all of their money. In comments to Kathimerini, Nikos Loris, the head of Di-Di Music, the concert promoter behind the canceled Rolling Stones show, attributed the refund delay to the wide range of spending before the show. Returns to the organizer have subsequently been delayed, he contended. Ticket purchases with credit cards over the Internet further complicated matters because of a 3 percent commission fee held by the bank handling the sale, Loris said. But a leading official of a local consumer protection group told Kathimerini that ticket buyers were being treated unfairly. «The money must be returned within a reasonable period of time, no more than a week later,» said Panayiota Kalapotharakou, deputy chief of the Greek Quality of Life Consumer Union (EKPOIZO). The group’s legal consultant, Dimitris Spyrakos, took it a step further by arguing that consumers were, by law, entitled to refunds one day after the cancellation.