Many vouchers for canceled events don't follow agreements: Market Authority

Many companies that offer their customers vouchers for events canceled due to the coronavirus do not follow all the applicable agreements, the authority on consumer and markets ACM said after checking 180 voucher regulations for canceled concerts, festivals, sports matches and other events. 

A voucher is a reasonable alternative, but only if it is a fully-fledged replacement and consumers know what to expect, Edwin van Houten of ACM said to NOS. "Consumers are entitled to their money back if a company does not provide a service. But if al companies now have to repay all their customers in one go, many companies could go bankrupt. Then you can not claim anything as a consumer," he said.

In addition to events, ACM also looked at vouchers and arrangements offered for payments that had already been made to gyms, training, and courses. A common problem was that vouchers do not cover all the costs paid by the consumer. For, example, reservation and administration costs were not added to the voucher. The residual value of the voucher is also not always paid to the customer at the end of the voucher term. And consumers who do not want a voucher do not receive information about how they can get their money back.

ACM also noticed that companies sometimes wrongly invoke force majeure in the conditions for ticket sales, so that they do not have to pay refunds.

The Authority will continue these checks in the coming weeks, and extend them to vouchers offered by airlines and other travel companies.