Ticketing platform apologises after refusing entry swap for deceased fan at Jay Chou concert in Changsha

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    Jay Chou

    29th May 2024 – (Changsha) In a deeply regrettable incident that stirred public sentiment, a man’s heartfelt attempt to honour his late sister’s dream of attending a Jay Chou concert was thwarted by the ticketing service provider, Damai. Despite presenting the necessary documents, including a death certificate, the service rigidly adhered to its policies, initially refusing to allow the ticket’s reassignment.

    The concert ticket was originally purchased for a show scheduled on 1st June in Changsha, which the deceased fan, Mr. Wang’s sister, had eagerly anticipated. Tragically, she passed away unexpectedly in May. Mr. Wang’s objective was simple: to fulfil his sister’s wish by attending the concert in her stead. However, his request was met with an unexpected response. Damai’s customer service insisted that the ticket could not be reassigned unless the original holder, Mr. Wang’s sister, personally attended – an impossible requirement given her death.

    The incident, which escalated over three days without resolution, led to public outcry after Mr. Wang shared his frustration on social media. He explained that not only had Damai failed to respond within the promised 24 hours, but their communication also lacked empathy and flexibility.

    Responding to the backlash, Damai issued a public apology on 21st May. The platform admitted to misinterpreting Mr. Wang’s request and not recognising the emotional significance of his plea. Acknowledging the insensitivity of their process, they offered Mr. Wang a full refund, which was processed the following day.

    This scenario highlights ongoing issues in the entertainment ticketing industry, particularly regarding the ‘strong real-name system’ which restricts ticket transfers. While designed to combat scalping, this system has repeatedly been criticized for its inflexibility in situations involving unforeseen personal circumstances.

    The incident has reignited debates concerning consumer rights in the entertainment sector. In September last year, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism along with the Public Security Bureau issued guidelines urging event organisers to establish fair ticket refund mechanisms. Despite these regulations, consumers like Mr. Wang continue to face challenges.

    Experts argue that while the real-name system helps prevent scalping, it also needs to be balanced with mechanisms that allow for the transfer or gifting of tickets under exceptional circumstances. Legal experts suggest that platforms could facilitate these changes while charging a nominal fee, thus protecting both the interests of event organizers and the rights of ticket buyers.