Aussies won’t receive full refunds for Tokyo Olympics tickets

Tokyo, Japan - Nov.29 2017: 2020 Olympic concept - looking up view of Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building with Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games logo, skyscrapers reflect dramatic blue sky

Sports fans around the world will lose at least 20 per cent of their money when they receive a refund from cancelled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ticket packages.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, which were set to run in 2020, will go ahead without international spectators due to COVID-19.

Despite such a directive banning spectators from around the world attending the event coming from the Japanese government, would-be Australian spectators will not receive full refunds on their ticket packages, the games’ authorised ticket reseller, CoSport, said in a statement.

The US-based company said that it will not refund a 20 per cent handling fee, which for some fans means hundreds or even thousands of dollars down the drain.

CoSport, which holds a monopoly over ticket sales that is reportedly encouraged by the International Olympic Committee, attributed its decision to the organisers of the Tokyo Olympics refusing to cover this portion of the refund.

A subsidiary of CoSport, JetSetSports has been responsible for reselling tickets and hotel packages for Australians at the Tokyo Olympics. Like its parent, it will not refund the full cost of packages.

Refunds will also be delayed “up to the third quarter of this year”, CoSport said, adding that organisers will only refund face value plus shipping costs.

Ticket costs, however, only make up a fraction of the cost of packages, with refunds for other expensive components of the Olympic ticket packages, like hotel accommodation, tours and hospitality, still to be determined.

But CoSport’s heavy-handedness over its process for ticket refunding has come under scrutiny (and not for the first time), with its statement detailing that it will only give customers under two weeks to request a refund.

This comes despite the company telling its customers that they won’t receive their refund until Tokyo Olympics organisers return funds, which “will take up to the third quarter of this year.”

The Australian Olympic Committee is a contractual partner with CoSport in Olympics ticket resales, but reportedly has no say in the terms the company enforces on its customers.

In a statement to The Australian, the AOC said it is working with Co­Sport to effect a refund for Australian ticket buyers who purchased tickets for the Games.

“The AOC acknowledges there will be an administrative charge for these tickets, reflective of costs incurred due to the impact of the pandemic,” it said.

The news comes after the Tokyo Olympics were postponed on 24 March last year, amid the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

Originally billed as the ‘recovery games’, the Tokyo Olympics would have aimed to show Japan’s recovery following the devastating 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, a message that took a back seat after the arrival of COVID-19.

The event, without the world to witness it in-person, will now be tinged with the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It’s a different story now,” Satoko Suzuki, a professor at Hitotsubashi University’s School of International Corporate Strategy in Tokyo, told Bloomberg last year.

“They originally wanted to show Japan is back on track.”

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