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Coronavirus concerns prompt San Diego event cancellations, consumers unclear about rights

Posted at 4:00 PM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 21:19:05-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - In light of the governor's directive on limiting large gatherings out of coronavirus concerns, the San Diego Half Marathon announced on Thursday that this Sunday's event will be "virtual" only.

While many runners support the decision to cancel the San Diego Half Marathon, they're upset that it doesn't appear there will be any refunds.

Organizers sent 10News a statement that reads in part, "By their very nature, the cost of events like ours are front loaded and [non-recoupable], which is why we do not have a refund or deferral policy. This policy is clearly stated in our registration process and is agreed to by runners when they sign up for the event."

RELATED: What's been canceled, postponed in San Diego, nationally due to coronavirus

Major changes are also happening to other local events. This weekend’s 5K Leprechaun run in Pacific Beach is canceled. The upcoming Pearl Jam concert at Viejas Arena is now postponed. WonderCon Anaheim is also being postponed.

Fears continue to loom over July’s Comic-Com convention but organizers report that it’s still scheduled to take place. “Rip” Rippetoe is the President of the San Diego Convention Center. He tells 10News, “I think it's too soon to speculate on any events that would happen in May, June or July.”

“Events of a certain size have been canceled and we're seeing that's to prevent the spread of illness,” says Skylar Crowley with the Better Business Bureau in San Diego. She says consumers need to be reading the fine print on all tickets sale transactions, adding, “If there are cancellations and the tickets were purchased through an original seller- an official site- they should automatically issue a refund to that consumer.”

RELATED: Disneyland, California Adventure to close through March due to coronavirus

However, Crowley says that if the event is postponed and the consumer can't go, he or she might have to submit a formal request through the purchasing platform.

A spokesperson for StubHub writes to 10News, "Our policy is to provide a full refund with fees if an event is canceled. In addition, given the current environment, if an event is canceled, customers can opt to receive a StubHub coupon valued at 120 percent of the original purchase."

“We do advise that consumers ensure that they are submitting payment with a credit card so in the event that something is indisputable, they can take that to the credit card company and see about getting a refund that way,” adds Crowley.

RELATED: San Diego County announces five new coronavirus cases, bans large gatherings

She says that if consumers are struggling to get access to any refunds that they’re entitled to, they can file a formal complaint with the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission.