StubHub and PayPal: Two Companies to Avoid

When the 2016 baseball season started, the New York Yankees were promoting the use of NYY Ticket Exchange for licensees to resell the tickets they couldn't use. Ticket Exchange was managed through TicketMaster, which handles the ticket sales and the licensee payments for the Yankees.

I posted a number of tickets on Ticket Exchange, but often met with no success partly because the Yankees didn't promote the service very well and partly because the licensees were competing with the Yankees to sell the tickets (the Yankees offer quite a few special deals that have made it difficult to sell my tickets for what I paid for them).

But the nice thing about the Ticket Exchange was that if I by happy chance happened to sell a ticket, I got paid into my checking account fairly rapidly. I felt Ticket Exchange was pretty secure, so I had given my checking account information.

On June 27, I received this release from the Yankees:

"New York Yankees Announce Multi-Year Sponsorship Agreement with StubHub
"Sponsorship Agreement Names StubHub the Official Fan-to-Fan Ticket Resale Marketplace of the New York Yankees
"First Ticket Availability Will Be For July 15 Game.
"The New York Yankees today announced a landmark, multi-year sponsorship agreement with StubHub, designating the company as the official fan-to-fan ticket resale marketplace of the New York Yankees."

I was not happy with the switch, because StubHub takes a larger percentage of the sales price (10 percent, versus 5 percent on NYY Ticket Exchange). But I was informed that for the current year, StubHub would take only 5 percent. So, maybe I would have better luck selling the tickets for games I couldn't attend.

I complained to my Yankees sales rep about the change, because I felt that all the benefits went to the Yankees and none to the licensees. My rep basically said he didn't know what he could do about this.

I listed tickets on StubHub, and was able to sell one Boston ticket. A week later I received a check in the mail.

After the Yankees traded Andrew Miller, I put almost all my tickets on StubHub as a protest. On August 7, when Alex Rodriguez announced his last game would be August 12, I was about to pull my ticket from StubHub so I could go to the game when I received notification that that ticket had sold, and that I would get a check for the $38.

I had requested check payments for all my listings. Here's the fun part: At that time, I had NO active PayPal account, which was the only other option StubHub gave for payment. (I had an inactive PayPal account connected to a different e-mail account, not the same e-mail account as my StubHub account.)

On August 8, I wanted to buy a ticket for a premiere of a favorite director's film. That ticket seller required a PayPal payment, and rather than try to figure out what the heck my dormant account was, I opened a new account with a different e-mail address (the e-mail address for my StubHub account, by the way).

On August 9, I received an e-mail from PayPal saying that the $38 for my sold Yankees ticket had gone into my PayPal account.

Let me repeat: I didn't open the PayPal account until August 8 — a day AFTER I sold my ticket. I went to my StubHub account. All of my payment preferences had been changed to "PayPal" from "check."

Please note: This was done without my knowledge and definitely without my knowing permission. (I say this because of the small print in the agreement I may or may not have clicked on to open the account — but I can't imagine that there is a clause that says they can change my preferences at their whim.)

I contacted StubHub through its consumer relations chat service, and was told that they were very sorry this happened, and that the $38 would be returned from PayPal but that would not hold up my check payment. I should get a check. When I got another e-mail from PayPal, I contacted StubHub again through the chat, and once again was told I would get a check. I also contacted PayPal to complain about the switch of my preferences.

PayPal insisted they didn't change preferences on StubHub. StubHub won't tell me how this happened.

I contacted StubHub yet again on August 28, and this time was told that I had to get the money from PayPal, that StubHub wouldn't send me a check, even though that is how I had asked to be paid. Michael H, the representative, said they would not send me my money in the manner I requested. StubHub never let me know this in the weeks since I first complained.

I now know that StubHub is owned by eBay. PayPal is also owned by eBay. I didn't read the small print when I signed up for my accounts, but I can't imagine that I agreed for PayPal to give my account information to StubHub, and I definitely did not agree for my StubHub preferences to be changed without my knowledge or permission.

PayPal wants my checking account information in order to give me access to my money. I do not want that company to have that information, since apparently it will share it with whomever it pleases without my knowledge or consent. And so I don't know how I will get PayPal to give me my $38. I have filed a complaint with the New York State Consumer Affairs department.

I have canceled my StubHub account. I will cancel my PayPal account after I get my money. 

I have a page on my site dedicated to Our Favorite Things. Perhaps I should add a page for the companies and people and actions that I hate. If I do, PayPal and StubHub will be pretty high on the list. Higher, even, than gum poppers!

So, let this posting be a warning to all who might use these two consumer-unfriendly companies. I know some freelancers have to use PayPal to get paid, but be aware how the service shares your information. You could find yourself waiting for payment that never comes.

And to the New York Yankees I say: Thanks for yet another reason NOT to renew my season tickets. You insist on using FedEx to send the tickets because of your agreement with that company, and I don't want to use that company (it is, like the wave, an abomination). You hired a pitcher who was a known domestic abuser. You traded Andrew Miller, one of the best players to ever wear the Yankees uniform. And you now make it impossible for me to resell my tickets, since I can't use StubHub because it refuses to pay me in the way I request. 

And yes, I like Gary Sanchez and the Baby Bombers. And yes, I suspect Mr. Cashman will trade them. It is his pattern. But I don't have to like it. Or pay for it. Or use companies that abuse their customers.