Tokyo dreams turn into ticket nightmare for Hawaii family fighting for refund


HONOLULU (KHON) — Brandon Nagata and his family were looking forward to the Tokyo Olympic games and were planning on making the trip to Japan to witness the best athletes in the world compete. The Oahu family got their tickets back in 2019.

“I was going to go with my wife, her sister, my brother, my cousins, so there was a big group of us going,” said Brandon Nagata. “Also, it’s Japan, what’s there not to like about Japan?”

Things did not go according to plan, however. COVID-19 quickly put the world on pause, including Tokyo 2020. Then the announcement came down of no fans allowed. Nagata spent over $4,000 dollars on tickets, only to be promised a partial refund.

“I can’t do anything. I’m just really worried that this company is going to declare bankruptcy and shut down and keep that credit. I can’t use it for anything,” said Nagata.

Nagata said he is looking at only getting about $2,500 dollars back with the partial refund, but he wants the full amount. When he bought the tickets, a non-refundable service fee was added into the cost.

The Better Business Bureau said service fees can catch consumers by surprise, but they are not illegal and uncommon.

“When things are uncertain like they currently are you may have to be just a little more cautious before purchasing,” said Roseann Freitas, Better Business Bureau marketplace manager.

Freitas said that is why it is important to spend time reading the fine print before buying anything.

“So you’ll want to contact them say, ‘hey, this is what I’m looking at’ and really verify and make sure that wording is in the document, because if it’s not in writing, it’s not going to count,” said Freitas.

Nagata said it has been a learning process, to say the least, after a nearly year and a half long journey.

“I took a chance. This was something, a once-in-a-lifetime event and I took a chance and you know, it could have been great, but it just didn’t work out. So just have a backup plan,” Nagata said.

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