Overseas Olympic ticket holders can only get a partial refund

The issue of refunds emerged weeks ago when local organizers and the Japanese government decided to ban most overseas fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

TOKYO, Japan – Many fans living outside of Japan who have purchased tickets for the Tokyo Olympics from brokers – known as authorized ticket resellers – will not be fully refunded. And they can have a long wait for a refund.

The issue of refunds arose a week ago when local organizers and Japanese government decided to ban most overseas fans because of the pandemic.

There are dozens of Authorized ticket resellers. They are usually appointed by National Olympic Committees and are allowed to charge a 20% handling fee on tickets. For $ 2,000 worth of tickets, for example, the reseller may charge $ 2,400.

CoSport, the ATR for the United States and other territories and countries, said in a letter this weekend to ticket holders that it would not reimburse processing fees. He said he would reimburse the face value of the ticket and the shipping costs.

The letter, signed by CoSport President Robert F. Long, said: “CoSport and other Olympic entities have encouraged the Japanese government and organizers to reimburse all costs incurred by international spectators.

Tokyo organizers have said they will refund face value of tickets, but are not responsible for other additional charges. They said they would not cover additional charges imposed by ATRs, or cancellation fees for hotels or flights.

New Jersey-based CoSport added that it would not receive refunds from organizers until “the third quarter of this year” and could not start paying refunds until then.

He also asked buyers to request refunds almost immediately. She set the deadline for April 9 to submit the required document.

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“Failure to meet this deadline will jeopardize your refund,” the letter said. “We realize this is a quick turnaround time, however, it is based on the time frame we must meet to request a refund on your behalf.”

In addition, by requesting a refund, customers can effectively release CoSport from any further claims. This would prevent ticket holders from pursuing further legal action.

Brandon Nagata, who lives in Honolulu, said he spent nearly $ 4,000 on tickets. He said he requested reimbursements from CoSport more than six months ago. He said he received $ 209 but is still awaiting reimbursement of $ 420.

He said he had kept about $ 3,000 in tickets, hoping to be able to attend.

“I don’t like them making us fill out a form with information they already have,” he wrote in an email to The Associated Press. “It’s another to delay the refund or prevent customers from getting the refunds. “

Records show that CoSport, which also operates as JET Set Sports, received two loans of $ 784,900 each under a coronavirus-related loan program run by the Small Business Administration. One arrived in April 2020 and the other in January, for a total of $ 1,569,800.

The future of CoSport and all resellers is in question with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba set to resume ticket sales from the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Andrew Pham, who lives in Spokane, Wash., Spent around $ 2,500 on tickets and slammed the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee for repeatedly appointing CoSport as a ticket agent. He questioned the level of customer service provided.

Cartan Tours, which is the reseller for most of the Caribbean and Latin America, did not indicate on its website how it would handle refunds, or when. He said it would work “to get all eligible and applicable refunds.”

Team GB, which handles sales in Britain, has indicated on its website that it will reimburse in full.

“If you have purchased one or more travel packages through us, they are protected by our COVID-19 guarantee, offering 100% money back,” the group said.

Tokyo organizers said around 600,000 Olympic tickets were sold to people outside of Japan. Japanese residents bought 4.45 million. Organizers said several years ago that there would be a total of 7.8 million tickets to the Olympics.

Excluding overseas fans will be a big blow to the budget of the local organizing committee. He expected to receive $ 800 million from ticket sales and any shortfall will have to be filled by Japanese government entities.

The the official cost of the Olympics is $ 15.4 billion. However, several government audits suggest it could be double, and everything but $ 6.7 billion is public money. A study from the University of Oxford indicates that these are the most expensive Olympics on record.

No ticket information has been provided by the organizers of next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics, which will open in 10 months – February 4, 2022. Fans from overseas may well are also prohibited from these games, which are called the “Genocide Games”.

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