When the Games were postponed last year, CoSport offered refunds to its customers — but only for the face value of the seats, not the 20 percent handling fee the company had tacked on to every ticket. The theory then was that fans were opting not to attend an event that still might happen.
Now that ticket buyers no longer have the option of attending, fans who took a wait-and-see approach last year are wondering if CoSport will again withhold those surcharges — which, for some fans, total hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars — from their refunds, and when those refunds, full or partial, will drop back into their accounts. Some buyers who requested refunds last summer said they did not receive their money back until January.
“You put your money out there and have it tied up for a long time — a lot of people just can’t do that,” said Priscilla Metcalf, an ophthalmologist from Wharton, Texas, who spent more than $5,000 on tickets and was not optimistic about getting her money back in a timely manner. “It’s a real concern, especially in these economic times, when money for a lot of people might be tight.”
Treese spent close to $10,000 on tickets for herself and her daughter, having arranged a whirlwind schedule of 27 Olympic events in nine days. Like other CoSport customers, she received an email from the company over the weekend — shortly after the decision to bar foreign fans became official — but was unhappy that it was light on details.
“CoSport holds a lot of responsibility right now, and I hope they do right by their customers,” Treese said. “Doing right would be refunding us 100 percent of what we spent.”
Alan Dizdarevic, a co-chief executive of CoSport and the son of its founder, Sead Dizdarevic, said on Saturday that the company was waiting for the International Olympic Committee and organizers in Tokyo to finalize their refund policies. He said CoSport was waiting for details on how much money Tokyo organizers would be returning to his company, and a timeline for when that would happen, before the company could return the money to its customers.
“That is their decision,” Alan Dizdarevic said of Olympic organizers. “We have no say in how they set the policy.”