Press releases

Consumers have legal rights to claim money back for Michael Jackson concerts - and in some cases for travel and accommodation too, says TSI

As the scheduled date of the first Michael Jackson concert looms, the legal rights ticket holders have to get their money back not only for the concert tickets, but in some cases travel and accommodation too, are highlighted by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI).

750,000 tickets were sold for the 50 concerts lined up at London's O2 Arena - the first was due to take place on 13 July.

Paul Miloseski-Reid, principal trading standards officer in Richmond - home authority for eBay and PayPal - has been working with both companies to clarify and confirm the legal rights for consumers who bought their tickets from eBay.

Mr Miloseski-Reid said: ‘Consumers who have purchased tickets from eBay or any other secondary ticket re-seller are legally entitled to obtain a refund from the seller.

‘Michael Jackson was the crux of the contract and obviously cannot simply be replaced by any other performer therefore the contract is known in legal terms to be 'frustrated'.

‘Any payments made before or after the purchase of the ticket are refundable by the seller.’

The same legal principle may also apply to any travel and accommodation that fans have booked for the event.

Mr Miloseski-Reid said: ‘Consumers can claim a refund based on this principle if the transport company or hotel knew of an inseparable link between the booking and the Michael Jackson concerts.

‘A special offer specifically for the named event could provide such a link - for example a half price train ticket to see Michael Jackson.  It is important to note that the link must have been understood by all parties to be part of the contract.’

Tony Northcott, spokesman for TSI , confirmed that consumers are advised to request a refund in the first instance from the seller, but said to turn to their credit card company should this prove tricky.

He said: ‘Where a refund is not forthcoming from the seller, and the product cost over £100, you should request the refund from your credit card provider under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. 

‘If you have difficulties claiming from your credit card provider you should contact the Financial Ombudsman Service.’

Consumers who used their debit card or paid less than £100 with their credit card may be able to make a Chargeback claim with the card provider - this process allows a transaction to be reversed if there is a breach of contract.  Chargeback is not enshrined in law, but is part of the Visa Scheme Rules which participating banks subscribe to.

Mr Northcott added: ‘You may also be able to make a claim through a 3rd party buyer protection scheme operating on the website you purchased from. For example this would include PayPal Buyer Protection on the eBay site.’

For further advice ticket holders are advised to contact Consumer Direct on 0845 40 40 506.

Notes to editors:

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact the Trading Standards Institute press office by phone on 08456 089 430 or by e-mail on

The financial ombudsman can be contacted on 0845 080 1800 or at

Trading Standards Institute
Trading Standards Institute has represented the interests of Trading Standards professionals for 120 years. We have a long and proud history of ensuring that the views of our members are well represented at the highest level of government, both nationally and internationally.
Our aim is to promote excellence and enhance the professionalism of our members in support of empowering and informing consumers, encouraging and working with honest businesses, targeting rogue traders and rogue trading practices and contributing to the health, welfare and wellbeing of citizens and communities.
TSI members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities in response to 2 million consumer and business complaints and enquiries each year. They also support the delivery of new initiatives such as Consumer Direct, providing first point of contact practical consumer advice.
They also work in the business, consumer and central government sectors in promoting and influencing the safety, prosperity and enhancement of individuals and markets with a dependency on effective and professional trading standards contributions and interventions.

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Consumer Direct is a Government-backed telephone and online consumer advice service which works in partnership with Local Authority Trading Standards.  It provides clear, practical and impartial advice and information to help consumers resolve problems and disagreements with suppliers of goods and services.  Consumer Direct is available from 0800-1830 Monday to Friday, and 0900-1300 Saturday, excluding bank and public holidays.
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Our telephone advisors provide clear and practical advice on a wide range of consumer issues. Where appropriate details of complaints will be forwarded to the Trading Standards Service for investigation.