Moms buy Taylor Swift tickets through StubHub, but company doesn't really have them

ByRenee Koury KGO logo
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
StubHub sells Taylor Swift tickets it doesn't have. Can they do that?
Two South Bay moms also bought Taylor Swift tickets on StubHub six months ago to take their daughters -- then had them canceled.

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KGO) -- The quest to find tickets for Taylor Swift's New Eras tour gets more difficult every day. Two moms bought tickets six months ago off StubHub, only to find out just recently, the tickets aren't really there. Now, it's happened to another mom, who had to tell her daughter they weren't going to the superstar's concert after all.

The ticket fiasco, and popularity of Taylor Swift, have highlighted what many say are flaws in our way of selling tickets. In this case, tickets sold out before the general public could try to buy one -- now resellers are driving up prices. And in some cases, the tickets aren't really there.

"We're like, we have to go to the Taylor Swift concert, like now," said 13-year-old Olivia Schuman.

Schuman and her best friend Sasha are both lifelong Taylor Swift fans.

"Every day, we'd say get the tickets, like we wanted them so bad," said Schuman.

VIDEO: StubHub seller won't give girls Taylor Swift tickets purchased 6 months ago. See what happens next

Two Bay Area moms bought Taylor Swift concert tickets on StubHub for their 13-year-old daughters, but StubHub told them it didn't have the tickets.

Their moms decided to take the girls to see the superstar on her new tour, but it had sold out instantly. Schuman's mom Isabelle went on the StubHub secondary market six months ago, and scored four tickets to the Los Angeles show.

"They're already talking about what outfit they wanted to wear, and what we should wear, and how we're gonna do... their hair," said Isabelle.

Now, six months later, a huge letdown.

"StubHub came back to us and said... we don't have tickets for you," said Isabelle.

Out of the blue, StubHub emailed her saying, "Unfortunately, your seller is not able to provide the tickets you purchased."

No explanation and suddenly, no tickets.

StubHub offered a refund, or they could buy new tickets -- but at the current prices. Thousands of dollars more.

MORE: Ticketmaster cancels public sale for Taylor Swift's Eras Tour due to insufficient ticket inventory

"They were disappointed. Sad. We had a whole trip planned," said Isabelle. "Why did I buy my ticket six months ago? There's no guarantee."

"We got on StubHub and we found really great seats in section 103 or 104, which are kind of down in the lower part of the bowl of Levi's near the floor. And we were like, these are awesome," said Bonnie Lieberman.

The same thing happened to Bonnie Lieberman and her friend. They also bought tickets on StubHub six months ago to take their daughters to the show at Levi Stadium.

"The girls were psyched. We're like, 'Yes! We're going to see Taylor Swift. This is great. She's ecstatic,'" said Lieberman.

Now, six months later, the same shock.

"We know you bought these tickets, but we're sorry, they don't have them. And so too bad. And we were like, 'What?'" said Lieberman.

StubHub offered new seats, but prices skyrocketed and they'd be sitting behind the stage.

RELATED: After concert is postponed three times, ticket refund gets lost between seller and bank

"And we were like, 'We're gonna pay $5,000 to look at the back of her head and not see anything.' So we said, 'This is all you got, was it?' And they were like, 'Yeah, that's it,'" said Lieberman.

Both Lieberman and Isabelle Schuman never thought they could pay for tickets that StubHub didn't really have.

"They really had no explanation for why this was allowed to happen. And I was like, 'But we paid for them.' Meaning to me, once you take my money, the transaction is complete," said Lieberman.

"It ends up breaking the hearts of teenagers who want to do this, and there are parents that are trying to make it happen for them. And, you know, not everyone can spend thousands of dollars on concert tickets. And it's, it's really unfortunate that it's come to this because, you know, a lot of kids miss out on the experiences," said Lieberman.

Lieberman saw our story about Olivia Schuman, Sasha and their moms. After our story, StubHub gave them four similar tickets at no extra cost.

RELATED: Taylor Swift tickets listed for over $21K on StubHub after millions flood Ticketmaster presale

After our inquiries, StubHub doubled refunded Lieberman's $5,300 and gave $5,300 more for new tickets -- though, it only covered part of the cost.

"I just wanted to take my kid to see Taylor Swift. You know, I'm not trying to make money. I'm not gonna try to sell them. I just want to take my kid to see the show," said Lieberman.

Through this debacle, the parents are wondering, is it legal for marketers to sell tickets they don't really have? Well, new legislation in Sacramento would make that illegal. 7 On Your Side will report back on that proposal in the coming days.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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