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Football fan Vanessa Canniford was so excited to attend the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament that she took the day off work to nab a presale ticket package to go with her daughter.
But these ended up being in the nosebleed section, so she used FIFA’s official ticket resale platform to sell the 14 tickets worth $900 and purchase new ones with better views.
Customers were supposed to be paid within 30 working days of the resale window under FIFA’s resale policy, which lapsed on September 29.
But after months of waiting, Canniford has only received the funds for four of her tickets.
She is one of a growing number of fans who are complaining of lengthy delays in getting the money owed by FIFA.
In October, FIFA sent emails advising some customers of extended payment deadlines.
“Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, FIFA AUS/NZL has not always been able to comply with the above deadline,” the email said.
When those deadlines passed, several customers were advised the refund attempt to the card they had purchased the original tickets with had been declined – despite other ticket refunds going through.
Canniford’s two banks said there were no issues identified that would cause refund faults with the cards.
Her FIFA account states she is still owed $518.
Football fans have been having trouble getting money back from FIFA after using the ticket resale portal. Credit: Justin Setterfield
“They’ve made it extremely difficult to even contact them,” Canniford said, with FIFA emails sent from a no-reply address and no phone number listed.
“I just want my money – that’s almost $1000 I haven’t been able to spend.”
FIFA’s resale platform allowed customers to submit their unwanted tickets to the online marketplace to be resold to other fans at either 15 per cent below or 10 per cent above the purchase price, with FIFA taking a 10 per cent cut of the sale.
The system provided a one-stop shop for customers to avoid scalpers and scammers but there have been major delays in paying the amount owed.
Gemma Goldhagen has been relying on her credit card while waiting for her refund.
Gemma Goldhagen questioned why FIFA was able to sell the tickets with ease, but struggled to pass on repayments to customers. Credit: Edwina Pickles
She resold eight tickets worth $500 – including three tickets to the Spain versus England final match sold at $120 each – and is still waiting on two payments.
“It’s a billion-dollar organisation, I don’t understand what’s taking so long,” she said.
Goldhagen said she also wanted greater transparency around her ticket sale prices: “There’s no way to check the history of how much tickets were listed for … and I’m worried they could shortchange me.”
A FIFA spokesperson declined to respond to questions about how many customers had been impacted.
“FIFA has attempted to process all the ticket resale refunds for tickets sold throughout the tournament on its re-sale platform,” the spokesperson said.
“In the cases where the resale refund to their payment card of the purchase has failed, FIFA has also contacted, or will soon contact, those customers to ask for alternative bank details in order to attempt again the refund.”
The spokesperson said customers can submit a contact request via its online customer support form, though didn’t respond to questions about ticket sale invoices.
Goldhagen has lodged a complaint with NSW Fair Trading.
Representatives from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission and NSW Fair Trading said they cannot comment on complaints or potential investigations.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand was the most attended edition of the tournament in history with more than 1.5 million tickets sold.
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