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Demon decision exorcises debt

A Masterton Crusty Demons fan has come out on top, with the Disputes Tribunal ruling on Wednesday that he is owed a full refund for his ticket to last year’s cancelled motorcycle show.

Ticket holders to the Crusty Demons “Rise of the Demons” World Tour at Masterton Motorplex were left holding the bag after the show – initially scheduled for 2020 – was twice postponed during the pandemic and then hastily cancelled last October.

Crusty Demons’ former promoter agreed to refund all ticket holders by December 20, 2022, but that date came and went with no money in sight.

One ticket holder, who paid $245.40 for a platinum family pass in September 2019, immediately [December 21] scheduled a hearing at the Disputes Tribunal, determined to get a refund.

The out-of-pocket punter – who preferred to remain anonymous – said that the former promoter had no defence as he had already agreed to pay.

“I still hold little hope of seeing any money; I can swallow a $240 loss, but I feel for those who have spent much more than us,” he said.

After the promoter failed to attend an initial hearing on February 21, the court served him documents at his overseas address, but he failed to attend the April 19 hearing or provide any defence.

The hearing went ahead without him and, on Wednesday, the referee found that the ticket holder was entitled to a full refund. The ticket holder provided evidence from a Times-Age article published on October 19, 2022, in which the former promoter was quoted as saying he would provide a full refund within 45 business days.

The former promoter also contacted the tribunal after the February hearing, saying he would pay the ticket holder his refund.

Six weeks passed, and the refund was not paid.

The referee found those promises to be admissions of liability.

“A review of the evidence available shows two occasions where [the former promoter] has agreed that a full refund would be paid.

“The Tribunal is satisfied that in the absence of any other defence, it is reasonable to say these statements act as admissions of liability,” the referee said.

The Tribunal ordered Crusty Demons’ former promoter to refund the full $245.40 on or before May 10.

The ticket holder said that despite the fact Tribunal decisions do not technically set a legal precedent, the ruling might encourage other ticket holders to use the tribunal to get their money back.

“The adjudicator told me it was a pretty black-and-white case, so I expected to win,” he said.

“When you pay for a good or service, and it’s not delivered, you should get a refund; that’s just what you expect.”

He said if the former promoter did not pay in time, he would consider options for enforcement action.

The Times-Age has contacted the Crusty Demons’ promoter for comment.

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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