Q. I don’t believe baseball is coming back this season so why doesn’t MLB TV give us refunds. I paid last February and I could use that money now with the Coronavirus shutdown. — Roger, St. Louis.
Roger, Major League Baseball is still committed to holding a 2020 season, albeit a shortened one. In fact, the league and players are now negotiating both the health and financial changes that would be required to play a 82-game campaign with no fans.
Because MLB executives believe there will be a season, the league has not issued an official refund for MLB.TV, its online package for out-of-market games. (The plan’s cost is $121.99 and the league took orders in early February until mid-March when the season was suspended due to the Coronavirus outbreak.)
See an update on this story.
I can understand why the league is balking on refunding everyone’s money. If a 82-game season can begin in July, the league could then issue a partial refund, likely half of the $121.99. But if it can’t reach an agreement with the players, it would refund the entire payment.
In other words, MLB doesn’t want to return the cost of the entire plan to everyone until it absolutely has to. It’s still possible that it can retain a portion of the revenue. (Note: MLB.TV’s official refund policy says you can not get a refund five days after your purchase; it doesn’t matter if the season hasn’t started yet.)
If you’re sitting at home without a job due to the Coronavirus shutdown, that’s an unacceptable position. But it’s how the league is thinking.
However, if you need a refund, there may be a way to get one.
Many MLB.TV subscribers have posted messages on social media boards that they have received refunds after demanding them via e-mails and other online messages.
“I emailed them and got a response within 10 minutes and a refund within a week,” writes one Reddit user.
“I used the contact us/help page on their website. Filled out the form. Requested a refund and said I would reconsider activating my account again once there was a clearer picture if if/when there will be baseball to watch. Within 20-30 minutes I got an email back that they cancelled my subscription and I should see a refund on my debit card in 5-7 days. If anyone at MLB had any human decency whatsoever, they would be doing this automatically. But they are slimy and greedy, so you gotta ask,” writes another Reddit user.
MLB.TV will not confirm it will refund your money if you ask. When the league’s Twitter customer service page is asked about a refund, it requests that you send a ‘direct message’ so the conversation can be held in private. That’s a strong signal that the league doesn’t want to broadcast that it’s offering refunds if asked.
.@MLBTV since I paid for the service and not seen a single live game because of the shutdown, when are you going to the right thing and refund the subscription for MLB TV?
You should be proactively getting people their money back if you cared for your fans.
— 🍷 Vino Dev #BlackLivesMatter 🚀 (@DarrenOdden) May 23, 2020
However, Twitter users have later posted messages saying they have received refunds.
PSA: If you have an MLB TV subscription (which you may not need this year) they will give you a refund but you need to request it!
— yobroski || BLM (@yooobroski) May 19, 2020
I can’t guarantee that you will receive one. But judging from what other subscribers are saying, the odds are good.
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— Phillip Swann