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Refund no COVID cert

  • 18-11-2021 3:24am
    Registered Users Posts: 974 ✭✭✭

    What is entitlement if a ticket was bought pre pandemic for an event and someone doesn't have a cert

    Can they apply for a refund ?

    I know certain outlets (not aware that all are ) will grant you a refund if you are unable to attend if you are feeling ill. Obviously this is a new thing due to pandemic


  • Registered Users Posts: 81,988 ✭✭✭✭Atlantic Dawn

    Would depend on what was law at the time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,331 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    You're talking here about frustration of contract.

    The contract (for admission to an event) was formed pre-pandemic. Since the contract was formed, the pandemic has occurred and, in response to that , the law has changed so that only vaccinated people may be admitted to the event. The person concerned is unvaccinated.

    Performance of the contract is impossible (because illegal). This is the result of developments which were not foreseen, and could not reasonably have been foreseen, by the parties at the time they formed the contract. That's pretty much the definition of "frustration of contract".

    The terms and conditions of the contract may say explicitly what happens if the contract is frustrated and, if they do, those terms will apply. But it's pretty unusual in a consumer contract for the T&Cs to deal with frustration. So let's assume they don't.

    If the contract terms say nothing about this, and if the nature of the frustration means that a customer gets nothing at all under the contract (which is the case here), then in general the customer is entitled to his money back, on the grounds that it would be unjust to allow the provider to retain the money despite no longer having to provide any goods or services to the customer.

    (The position might be different if this was a post-pandemic contract, formed at a time when it was known that things like vaccination requirements for attending events were under consideration. In that case performance has not been rendered impossible by developments that weren't and couldn't reasonably have been foreseen, so the principles of frustration of contract don't apply.)

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,475 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cabaal

    I don't believe the contract would have to say anything about the covid cert, the covid cert requirement is from the government. The event provider must comply with the law.

    There's lots of other things the provider must provide with inline with the law which would not be in the T&C's.

    Depending on when the event was and how long the person's age group was being vaccinated the provider could very easily argue that the persons decision not to get vaccinated meant they were not complying with a goverment requirment for attendence. Accordingly the event provider is not at fault.

    Need more info from op really

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,331 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    You're quite right that the contract says nothing about the Covid cert. If it did, we wouldn't have the problem. But it doesn't because it's a pre-pandemic contract; when it was formed the possibility of Covid certs wasn't on anyone's horizon. So why would the parties include anything about Covid certs in the contract? They wouldn't.

    As for the provider not being at fault, the whole point about frustration of contract is that neither party is at fault. Performance is rendered impossible by something that, at the time they formed the contract, the parties did not foresee and could not reasonably have foreseen. So they're not at fault for not foreseeing it.

    The doctrine of frustration isn't about identifying someone who is "at fault"; it's about how to manage the consequences of this unforeseen problematic development which is not the fault of either party but which affects them both anyway.

    The principle underlying the refund of the purchase price is unjust enrichment; as the provider is now relieved from any obligation to provide anything at all to the customer, it would be unjust to allow him to keep the purchase price. It's unfortunate for him that he has to refund, but he doesn't have to honour the contract. Plus, of course, he has the opportunity to resell the ticket to a vaccinated person.

    It would be different if the provider had already part-performed the contract - e.g. if it was a season ticket for a concert series, and the vaccination requirement was only introduced half-way through - or if he can still meaningfully part-perform the contract. In that case the issue would be whether the customer could claim a partial refund and, depending on the precise facts, that could be quite a complex dispute. But where there can be zero performance on the party of the provider, there are plenty of cases that support the view that the customer can recover the purchase price.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,817 ✭✭✭Darc19

    What is stopping the person getting a Covid Cert - Nothing!

    Hence as it is not an onerous request and freely available and there to protect others, I can't see how you are entitled to a refund.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,300 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

  • Posts: 864 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    I don't see why there should be a refund. It's the customer's choice not to get vaccinated, a choice they are entitled to make even though it's highly idiotic. Ergo, it's the customer's choice why they do not have the required valid Digital COVID Certificate.

  • Registered Users Posts: 353 ✭✭ExoPolitic

    Acquiring a COVID cert is not the same as just filling out some forms to get some piece of paper, it is a medical procedure, and as such, can not be forced on to somebody as a part of any contract against their will. That's a very dangerous rabbit hole to fall down.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,300 ✭✭✭✭Dav010

    I don’t know if the op bought off Ticketmaster, but t&cs outline that contract is subject to conditions of entry at the venue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 353 ✭✭ExoPolitic

    And if the conditions changed since they purchased the tickets i.e they require a COVID cert, they should be able to get a full refund instead due to the change in contractual agreement.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,331 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    It would be illegal for the promoter to admit an unvaccinated patron. Therefore, performance of the contract is now illegal. And, when it comes to asserting rights under a contract, "illegal" is the same thing as "impossible". The promoter can't admit the patron, and the patron can't compel the promoter to admit him.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,331 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    We're not told in the OP why the customer is unvaccinated - at least some customers will have medical reasons for not being vaccinated.

    But that's not really the issue. Even if the customer is acting unwisely or irrationally in not being vaccinated, he's under no legal obligation to be vaccinated. And you can't imply a term into the contract that says patrons will be vaccinated - that wasn't contemplated by either party at the time the contract was formed and, if such a term had been suggested, the customer would presumably have declined to enter into the contract. You can't take the customer's money and then impose a vaccination obligation to which they never agreed, and presumably never would have agreed.