Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pearl Jam Had it Right the First Time...

From Wired:

Ticketmaster faces a Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday about its plan to merge with Live Nation, but at least the company managed to resolve its conflict with the state of New Jersey just before the hearing takes place.

Bruce Springsteen's home state settled with the ticketing giant after fans filed thousands of complaints that Ticketmaster gouged them and others by directing them to its secondary ticketing market, TicketsNow, which offered tickets marked-up hundreds or even thousands of dollars above their asking price on the first day in which they were available.

As penance, the company paid New Jersey $350,000 and promised to compensate approximately 2,200 people who were overcharged as part of the flap, according to the Wall Street Journal (whose article can't be read without a subscription). Their means of compensation is a bit odd; out of those 2,200 disgruntled Springsteen fans, 1,000 will be entered in a random drawing to receive permission to purchase two tickets to another show on the tour without having to pay Ticketmaster's notoriously onerous convenience fees (so that's how you avoid those fees: by winning a lottery?).

In addition, Ticketmaster must erect a better wall between its primary and secondary ticketing businesses and must prove that it is selling its tickets first to the primary market, as opposed to injecting them directly into TicketsNow, whose auction style bidding generally results in higher prices.

This kind of crap really pisses me off. It kills me to have to pay a service fee to "Ticketscalper" and I always attempt to buy at the box office whenever possible to avoid them. What are the artist's responsibility in all this? Should they be concerned that their fans are getting ripped off and not getting a fair chance to purchase tickets? Guess I'll just stick with smaller venues.

9 comments:

Steve Simels said...

Ask me about the markup on the Jeff Beck tickets we just got online.

Irksome isn't the word....

Sal Nunziato said...

Just like there is a place for pornography, there is a place for Ticket Scalpers. BUT...when the cost of a General Admission, standing room only ticket to see Jeff Beck nears $100 with fees, or even more ludicrous, the face value of good seats for Van Morrison is $350, Leonard Cohen & Paul Simon is $250, and the Allman Brothers is $150, scum like Ticketmaster is not completely to blame. The artists have just as much say.

Steve Simels said...

For what it's worth, I'm only paying 35 bucks with fees to see the Hold Steady at Irving Plaza.

TMink said...

Ticketmaster reminds me of the acronym B.O.H.I.C.A.

Bend over, here it comes again.

Trey

dcBill said...

FoW was only $25 last week at the Birchmere, low enough to take the whole family, so I did. Clearly, that's the way to go.

However, I wanted to take the kids to see Bruce in DC, and over an hour of clicking didn't get me any tickets and I saw the same Tickets Now ad on the right side of the screen. Where's my bailout? Do those settlement tickets come with airfare?

the ghost of tor johnson said...

FoW are playing Joe's Pub in NYC tomorrow for 25 bucks.

Just saying.
:-)

Brooklyn Girl said...

Yeah, Jeff Beck ... ticket was $66 face value, plus a $15 "service fee", when I did all the work and printed the damn thing myself. Shouldn't they be paying me a "service fee"?

But I really don't understand how TicketsNow can even be legal. There are anti-scalping laws in NY, yet these bastards are basically scalping their own tickets.

Brooklyn Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kid Charlemagne said...

But I really don't understand how TicketsNow can even be legal. There are anti-scalping laws in NY, yet these bastards are basically scalping their own tickets

Exactly. Paging Andrew Cuomo. Please go to the courtesy phone.