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SOS: Ticket seller responds promptly, and with stealth, to provide refund

SOS: Ticket seller responds promptly, and with stealth, to provide refund


With a to-do list regularly numbering in the dozens, SOS strives for efficiency — but doesn’t always achieve it.

Such was the case with Norma Halvarson’s refund, which came much earlier and much more easily than anticipated.

In March 2020, Halvarson, 82, of Monona, bought two tickets for the Capital City Theatre’s April 24, 2020, production of the musical “Ain’t Misbehavin,’” to be staged at the Elks Lodge on Madison’s Near East Side.

The show was canceled for the reason that should no longer need naming — and will hopefully soon be a not-so-fond memory — and Halvarson said she’d since sent the ticket seller, Brown Paper Tickets, 14 emails asking for her $90.18 back.

“They keep replying with generic emails always giving an excuse of them having a backlog,” she wrote SOS on Jan. 18. “I think they should have been able to get caught up and give me my refund by now.”

Complaints about slow or nonexistent refunds for canceled shows and flights have been a constant at SOS headquarters for about the last 10 months, and they are typically not very easy to resolve. With mass cancellations have come economic hardship, and some ticket resellers are loathe to part with what remaining revenue they have, while airlines are sticking to policies that bar refunds if travelers cancel their flights, even if the flights are canceled later for other reasons or take off with few people.

Not so, apparently, with Brown Paper Tickets, at least in this case. Unbeknownst to SOS, the company returned Halvarson’s money to her credit card account two days after SOS contacted it.

SOS then spent the next three weeks pestering the Elks and Capital City Theatre in an attempt to track the ticket revenue back to its source. It did not, regrettably, contact Halvarson.

But Capital City Theatre board president William Patrick Barlow did, which is how SOS discovered, to its chagrin and embarrassment, that Halvarson had already gotten her money back.

She said she and her husband, fans of musicals and jazz, plan to purchase tickets for future Capital City Theatre performances once they’re announced.

SOS' long history with Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications, which mainly serves rural parts of Wisconsin, has struggled to provide consistent service.

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