Yet Another Reason Why TicketMaster Sucks

Anyone who has read this article knows I am no fan of TicketBastard. (Who is?) And now, another reason to hate them. It’s this:

-In 2003 (thirteen years to wend its way through our legal system), the Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster class action lawsuit was filed alleging that “Ticketmaster failed to fully disclose to consumers all aspects of its UPS and Order Processing Fees.

While vigorously defending the lawsuit, Ticketmaster settled the case in 2013, with the court granting final approval of the settlement in February 2015. The settlement class includes all consumers who transacted on Ticketmaster.com from 1999-2013.”

Suffice it to say that TicketRipoff was charging “fees” that were actually profits. And so, goody I thought. In those fourteen years, I bet I’ve spent more than the gross national product of some small countries on buying tickets. So I must be getting something out of this.

Well yes, sort of. What they did is that they gave each person with a TicketMaster account (who met the criteria) certain things free. So I got 17 $2.25 USD discount vouchers or just enough, say, to pay for one beer at any venue. {sarcasm}

But the real prize (or so I thought) is that I got 17 vouchers for 2 free General Admission (i.e. lousy tickets) to be used by May 2017. So I could go to 17 free concerts! Or maybe between my two millennial kids and I we could use all or most of them. This will be great thought I! Except..

…there was a pre-selected list of eligible shows (uh-oh), mostly at a local ampitheatre or the House of Blues. So, nobody at the Springsteen level. In fact, he’s touring but no, his name didn’t make the list.

Now the list has been widely derided as having a bunch of crappy artists, e.g., tribute bands of bands you actually want to see. To some extent that’s true, but not entirely. There were shows I didn’t want to see (Brad Paisley, e.g.) but that doesn’t mean somebody didn’t want to see them.

Steely Dan was on the list as were ZZ Top with Gregg Allman! But a two-hour drive away. On a weeknight. 😦 So Ticketmaster in at least some cases wasn’t quite as evil as it might have been.

Now I had first heard about the Ticketmaster settlement on June 21st. After checking the list of eligible shows and not finding any good ones to see, I checked again the next day. The previous day’s shows were gone, all snapped up. (For the record, I saw nothing in the settlement language that would prevent legal scalpers from getting vouchers. And these guys use very sophisticated software to snatch tickets up.)

And I did this every day until July 3rd, watching shows I mostly didn’t care about come and go, vouchers snapped up. (It did occur to me I might be able to grab some and re-sell them. But it wasn’t clear to me what the aftermarket might be for $40 tickets to mediocre shows. Plus I really wanted to go to a few, not make a quick buck.)

Plus I figured, no big deal. There’ll be more shows. These vouchers were good till May 2017. But then on July 3rd I got this message:

“To date, class members have redeemed nearly $15M worth of ticket vouchers, almost three times the amount required by the settlement this year. At this time, the eligible event list has closed. We will periodically notify class members who have signed up for the e-mail subscription service when additional inventory becomes available.”

Ha! So it was really May 2017 OR whenever they hit $5M. Must have missed that in the fine print.  So the class action settlement turned out to be a two-week lottery, tickets to the quickest, just like when you buy them.

“Winners” in the settlement were effectively forced to compete with each other, just as if TM had thrown a bunch of tickets in the air and said, “Scramble for them.” Does anybody think that now that TM has discharged its obligation they will altruistically release more tickets? So, screwed again. Easy come, easy go.

A friend of mine, on hearing about the voucher thing, said, “Wouldn’t you rather just have equivalent cash?” I told him, nah, that’s a lot of good shows I’ll get to see. He was right, I was wrong.

Another friend bought tickets to a show through Ticketmaster the other day. Price: $150 USD, fees, about twenty bucks. For what again? Business as usual. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Score – TicketBastard (effective monopoly) 1000, Consumer 0. As always.

4 thoughts on “Yet Another Reason Why TicketMaster Sucks

  1. Right on the Money….yes, with a capital M to amplify TM’s greed and minimalist compliancy regarding the settlement. I had similar experience, so I’m glad you posted on it. I shared the post on FB. I will need to combine several of my cash equivalent credits to buy that beer at my next show!

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  2. I made $459 buying tickets all over the country and immediately putting them up for sale in Live Nation / Ticketmaster’s reseller store (linked right on the purchase confirmation screen). I used all 12 voucher pairs for tickets and only 2 pairs did not sell. You can’t sell them for less than face value, but $1 over was a good enough deal to have them sell quickly when the lawn seats sold out.

    I’m posting this b/c I think this is the real way to benefit from the settlement. You get paid and people still get to use the tickets. Hopefully they will add more concerts in the future. I think they are obligated to put up $10 million worth of tickets each year until 2020.

    No, I’m not arguing that this means Ticketbastard is good… I’m just sharing a way to feel better about the compensation we got for them sucking. 🙂

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    1. See, I was wondering about resale. I should of just done it but it wasn’t clear to me what the terms and conditions were. So, duh! If in fact they have to put tix out for a few more years, good news. I am on their list to be emailed when and if they release more. If I can recoup a few bucks due to their suckiness, I’d consider that a good day’s work. 😀 And maybe, just maybe I get to see someone who is not Miley Cyrus. Thanks.

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