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Problem Solver: Bear down, StubHub

Jon Yates

What's Your Problem?

December 2, 2012

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Chuck Lesnik didn't want to miss the Bears game last Sunday against the Vikings, but he thought he was going to be out of town.

So in September, the Naperville resident listed his two seats on StubHub. He figured if he couldn't go, he might as well make back some of the money he pays each year for season tickets.

The tickets, in Section 113, sold in October for $325 apiece. Minus StubHub's commission, Lesnik was due $552.50, which he was told he would receive in a check after he sent the tickets to the buyer in Dubuque, Iowa.

In late October Lesnik received his check from StubHub. On Nov. 1, he deposited the check at his bank.

Nine days later, he received a notice from the bank saying the $552.50 had been taken out of his account — along with a $7.50 service fee.

Confused, Lesnik called the bank and was told the check from StubHub had been rejected for insufficient funds.

"I almost fell over," he said. "I'm like, 'StubHub bounced a check?' I mean, this is an international corporation. They sell tickets to the Bolshoi Ballet."

On Nov. 12, Lesnik called StubHub to figure out what was going on. After all, he had sold tickets through StubHub before and never had any problems. How, he asked, could the check have been rejected?

A customer service agent at StubHub promised to look into the matter and call him back, he said.

When no one called back, Lesnik called StubHub again on Nov. 14, 16, and 19. Each time he was told someone would look into it and get back to him. Each time, he heard nothing.

On Nov. 20, he went back to his bank with a copy of the check. An employee there suggested he try to redeposit it, and Lesnik agreed.

Three days later, the bank again rejected the check, and charged Lesnik another $7.50 service fee.

Fed up, he emailed What's Your Problem? on Nov. 24.

"Now we have no tickets, no money, $15 in service charges and no one seems to care but us," he said. "StubHub has not returned a phone call in two weeks. The only phone calls they've answered are the ones I've initiated, and they're dead ends."

Adding insult to injury, Lesnik's travel plans were canceled and he wound up watching the game on TV at home.

The whole time, he thought about the folks who bought his tickets.

"Somebody sat in these seats and watched the game and paid StubHub, and I got nothing," he said.

The Problem Solver called StubHub spokesman Glenn Lehrman, then emailed Lesnik's documentation.

Turns out, the check had been cashed — but not at Lesnik's bank.

According to StubHub, the check was apparently intercepted and fraudulently cashed via electronic deposit Nov. 1 at a Bank of America branch in Dallas.

In an email, StubHub executive customer care specialist Alana Farley wrote that Bank of America allows check deposits by photo.

"Someone may have taken a photo of this check while it was in transit, or even at (Lesnik's) bank and deposited it in this way to their Bank of America account," Farley said.

Because the check had already been cashed by Bank of America, it was rejected by Lesnik's bank.

Farley asked Lesnik to fill out a notarized affidavit saying the check deposit had been forged. Once StubHub receives the affidavit, it will send him a new check for $552.50, along with an additional $15 to pay for the service fees.

"I probably won't get my money for two weeks, but we've got progress," Lesnik said. "I've never been a victim of anything like this before."

Farley said StubHub does not know who ended up with the original $552.50, but it will investigate.

In the meantime, Lesnik has some ideas of what he's going to do with the money once it arrives.

His tickets aren't cheap, but there's one expense he'll gladly pay.

"I've already gotten the invoice for the playoffs," he said.

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