Former commercial director Arnaud Averseng has been elevated to the top job at Fnac Darty's market-leading France Billet
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French industry orgs urge fans to demand immediate refunds for cancelled shows, criticising ticketer France Billet for “weakening” public trust in promoters
By IQ on 03 Jul 2020
French industry associations Prodiss and SMA (Syndicat de la filière des musiques actuelles) have issued public criticisms of France’s largest ticketing platform, France Billet, over its handling of coronavirus-related refunds.
The pair, which between them represent 450 live industry companies, state that France Billet and majority owner Fnac Darty “unilaterally took decisions that weakened the relationship of trust between event organisers and the public” following the cancellation of concerts due to Covid-19.
While commending the actions of other ticketing platforms for “quickly start[ing] to issue refunds”, Prodiss and SMA say that France Billet, in which CTS Eventim took a 48% stake last year, eluded to “technical and operational difficulties” and attempted to “get rid” of customers by giving them promoters’ contact details.
Prodiss and SMA believe that the ticketing platform intended to start issuing refunds after shops began to reopen in France in mid-May. Before this time, they claim the ticketer “voluntarily” decided not to respond to questions or complaints from ticketholders.
“Prodiss, SMA and their members therefore intend to shed light on the behaviour of Fnac/France Billet over the coming months”
The industry associations also claim “misleading” information was presented on the cancellations page of the France Billet website, informing fans that the ticketer was awaiting further word from promoters and that delays were beyond its control.
The first refunds, say Prodiss and SMA, were made in the second week of June for cancelled events and have yet to start “in earnest” for postponed events.
“Prodiss, SMA and their members therefore intend to shed light on the behaviour of Fnac/France Billet over the coming months,” reads a statement from the associations. “Fnac/France Billet are, above all, endangering the continuity of the entertainment industry, by treating ticketholders – the fans of the future – in this anomalous way.”
IQ has contacted Fnac/France Billet for comment.
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