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What to expect with refunds and how to manage refund applications

As an event organiser, you are responsible for setting a refund policy and responding to any refund requests within 7 working days.

In some cases, where unforeseen circumstances arise, you may find yourself needing to refund customers. It is important to choose a refund policy that suits your events and to communicate this clearly to your attendees to manage their expectations.

Organisers have full visibility over their refund applications and can easily manage customer refunds all from your main organiser dashboard.


Before continuing with this guide, you should understand the following:

  1. Refund requests should be responded to within 7 working days of receiving them.
  2. Should this deadline pass, Citizen Ticket reserves the right to respond to the refund requests at the benefit of the customer. Unmanaged refunds will be automatically approved after 14 days.
  3. If using your own payment processor (Stripe, or Square), you should still issue refunds from your account via the Citizen Ticket platform

Setting a Refund Policy

Set a refund policy to better manage your ticket purchasers’ expectations. When setting up your event, you can choose a refund policy that best applies to your event format:

  1. No refunds
    1. Tickets are non-refundable This is the most common choice amongst event organisers and is the best way to retain revenue. However, this may be a point of friction with customers and disincentivize sales.
  1. Case by Case
    1. Refund requests can be reviewed on a case by case basisThis allows you to communicate that refunds are not guaranteed, but that you will consider each case on its own merit
  1. Up to 30 days before event start
    1. Attendees can request a refund up to 30 days before event startBy giving a time frame for a customer to change their mind, it can help incentivise the purchase decision
  1. Up to 14 days before event start
    1. Attendees can request a refund up to 14 days before event startThis gives your ticket-holders more flexibility and can give you more time to re-sell refunded tickets
  1. Up to 7 days before event start
    1. Attendees can request a refund up to 7 days before event start
  1. Up to 48 hours before event start
    1. Refundable up to 48 hours before event start
  1. Up to 24 hours before event start
    1. Refundable up to 24 hours before event startThis is the most flexible refund policy and is favourable for your ticket-holders.

After you publish your event, you cannot make your refund policy stricter. You can, however, adjust it to be more flexible. For example, you can change your refund policy from ‘No Refunds’ to ‘Up to 14 days before event start’

Your refund policy is made clear to attendees at the point of purchase, as well as in the refund application page, as per the examples below.

Consumer rights

You should be aware that regardless of your refund policy, consumers are entitled to refunds for the following reasons:

  •  The event has been cancelled
  •  The event has been rescheduled and you cannot make it
  •  The event has changed location and you cannot attend

Some examples of why a customer would not entitled to a refund by law include:

  •  You can no longer attend the event due to personal circumstances
  •  You have changed your mind about wanting to go to the event
  •  A headlining artist has changed on a festival line-up

Customer Refund Application Process

Customers can submit a refund application via their Ticket Wallet, under their Order Receipts, or from the footer of the Citizen Ticket platform.

Regardless of your refund policy, customers can still apply for a refund via the ‘Apply for a refund’ form. However, they will be reminded of your set refund policy during the application process. (Not providing a channel for a refund application can lead to undesired consequences, such as direct contact, or negative social posts.)

When a customer submits a refund application, you will receive an email alert. You will be able to review the refund application within the organiser dashboard, under the ‘Refunds’ submenu.

The refund application window closes once you have been paid your event funds for the respective event date(s). As Citizen Ticket no longer holds the funds, we are unable to process the refund. Customers will be directed to your publicly listed email address.

Refund Applications & Ticket Exchanges

If an event has multiple dates/time slots and ticket exchanges have been enabled from time slot settings, customers will be encouraged to exchange their tickets to another available date.

This should help accommodate more bookings and retain revenue within your events.

Please review your exchange settings to ensure this option is enabled and well-configured - see the ‘How exchanges work’ article as it can help reduce refunds and increase customer satisfaction.

Reviewing Refund Requests

Approve, or decline refund requests from your main organiser dashboard as and when they get submitted.

You are provided with two options; to approve or deny the refund request. You are also given the option to provide a message.

When declining a refund request, the ticket purchaser receives an email confirmation, along with your message.

It is important to clearly communicate your decision to the customer. We advise you to compose a message that will be shared with customers including the following:

  1. Explain the reason why their refund has been declined
  2. Restate your refund policy
  3. Provide a point of contact if they have further questions

Ignoring Refund Requests

As the organiser you will have to monitor your refund requests and follow the prompt as to whether or not you should approve / decline based on your policy. Failure to review your refund requests will delay payout of your funds post-event. If you do not respond to a customers’ refund request within 14 days, Citizen Ticket may approve the refund request on your behalf. Please review the Organiser Agreement, Section 11. 

Cancelling or Postponing your Event

If you cancel an event, or it does not take place for any reason, customers are eligible for a refund.

Please review the ‘Cancelling or postponing your event date’ article.

Booking Fees

Booking fees are charged to the customer for use of the platform and booking service. Typically, when issuing a refund for a ticket to an event, our booking fees are not refunded. This means that the attendee will receive a refund of the face value of the ticket price without the booking fees they paid at the time of booking.

You can choose to offer your customers partial, or full refunds in the case of an event cancellation. In the case of full refunds, you should cover the payment for use of the platform; a member of our team will be in touch. You are not obligated to refund booking fees to customers.

Related Articles

How to set your refund policy

How to approve, or decline refund requests

How do customers apply for a refund

How to cancel, or postpone your event

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