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TicketMeister

Posted on Monday, April 20th, 2009

Dave!I've made plans to spend Independence Day at my sister's house, which is all kinds of awesome because there's no place I'd rather be on a holiday weekend. J├Ągermeister is sure to be involved.

And, as if that's not good enough, a group of us have decided to go see Duran Duran on the 5th. I am a long-time fan of the band and love both their old and new music, so this is like taking an already awesome weekend and wrapping it in greatness. The tickets are way-expensive... $50 for general admission with no seating... but you do what you gotta do. Duran Duran is one of the few great 80's bands I haven't seen live, so I'll bite the bullet and pay the price. And be happy to do it.

At least I was happy to do it before I go to the TicketMaster website and find out that they are adding a "convenience fee" of $9.85 PER TICKET to the already expensive $49.50 cost.

Now, don't get me wrong. If TicketMaster needs to add some money to cover the cost of their labor and expenses (like web site development and such), I'm all for that. BUT $9.85 PER TICKET?!? That is not a "fee" at all... it's fucking robbery. There is no reason on earth that they should need to charge this kind of money. Unless they are greedy assholes, which would explain everything.

But that's not the best part. After all that, they tack on an ADDITIONAL $2.50 for the privilege of DOWNLOADING your tickets. Never mind that you just got fucking gouged for $9.85 PER TICKET in bullshit fees, but now in order to get those tickets you have to pay even more money.

Googling "I Hate TicketMaster" gives you about 137,000 results.

If you Google "Fuck TicketMaster" you get about 342,000 results.

Googling "TicketMaster Assholes" returns about 98,500 results.

And Googling "TicketMaster Sucks" has about 190,000 results.

Which begs the question... why in the hell do bands continue to use these scammer dickwads to sell their concert tickets? Surely they have a choice? Don't they give a shit about their fans? Why in the hell hasn't some other company who believes in fairness in ticketing fees stepped up to offer an alternative?

Because Googling even something as relatively obscure as "TicketMaster Can Suck My Dick" results in about 16,200 results.

Which is ironic considering that this would actually be fair compensation for their outrageous charges.


Categories: Music 2009Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Robin says:

    Totally Jealous. Seriously.

    I saw Duran Duran when I was in high school when their Wedding Album came out – I think it was at Radio City Music Hall. Totally didn’t appreciate it then, but looking back it was an awesome show.

    And I totally agree with you on the Ticketmaster thing – I go to A LOT of shows (as I am a concert freak!)…if I didn’t have to use Ticketmaster, my life would be much easier. Remember when REM went on tour about 10-12 years ago and they refused to use Ticketmaster? More artists should do that nowadays.

    OK…now I am rambling. See you this weekend!

  2. THANK YOU for this! I’ve been buying tickets to some events lately, and I am taking it up the ass on fees.

  3. tom says:

    I know Ticketmaster are thieves……. I just saw Tina Turner and hey ripped me off with all sorts of stupid service fees on top of the ticket price…… How they get away with it I don’t know…..

  4. Rachel says:

    They put on a good show. First concert I ever saw was D2. I was 13. I have seen them 4x since have fun

  5. kapgar says:

    Because TicketMaster has exclusive contracts with the artists. They offer the artists a one-stop shop for merchandising, distribution, tour planning and all that. How many others can do that at the pricepoint that TM can? Not very many. And, even if the artists don’t sign up, they wind up limited in where they can play because of TM’s exclusive deals with venues. Only TM can sell tickets to shows at many of the major venues. It would nearly be a monopoly if not for LiveNation being there, too. And now LN is becoming just as bad if you were to take Rolling Stone’s recent article at face value.

  6. Andy says:

    good job you are not a u2 fan then! Their prices were $250 and a $10 fee which I think was for a venue fee or something. That’s even more obscure and sucky than the amount of extra taxes and fee’s the phone company charges!

  7. Hilly says:

    Jesus and I love you, cupcake.

  8. PocketCT says:

    I work at a university arts center and was involved with analyzing ticketing software. Every time I come across ticket master I am thankful we don’t use them. I have changed my mind about going to a show because the company used ticket master. We charge between 50 cents and 4 dollars per ticket. We use the money to maintain our servers and manage the online accounts. Better?

  9. B.E. Earl says:

    Years ago, Pearl Jam boycotted TicketMaster. I’m not sure if it was the excessive fees or if it was the practice of scalpers sending their minions to buy up all the best seats as soon as the tix were released. I forget which. And I forget how it turned out for them.

    I can understand TM charging a fee for an order, but a per ticket fee is ridiculous. It should be the same if you purchase one ticket or eight.

  10. m says:

    Actually, the choices are fairly limited..Ticketbastard has essentially been a monopoly for years.

    In other cases, the bands know EXACTLY what they are doing.

    And yet other bands are trying to find ways to get around some of this…

    You should read this recent piece by Trent Reznor regarding the whole ticket scam. This guy is really what the future of the music bidness should be.

    ———

    As we approach on-sale dates for the upcoming tour, I’ve noticed lots of you are curious / concerned / outraged at the plethora of tickets that somehow appear on all these reseller sites at inflated prices – even before the pre-sale dates. I’ll do my best to explain the situation as I see it, as well as clarify my organization’s stance in the matter.

    NIN decides to tour this summer. We arrive at the conclusion outdoor amphitheaters are the right venue for this outing, for a variety of reasons we’ve throughly considered*. In the past, NIN would sell the shows in each market to local promoters, who then “buy” the show from us to sell to you. Live Nation happens to own all the amphitheaters and bought most of the local promoters – so if you want to play those venues, you’re being promoted by Live Nation. Live Nation has had an exclusive deal with TicketMaster that has just expired, so Live Nation launched their own ticketing service. Most of the dates on this tour are through Live Nation, some are through TicketMaster – this is determined by the promoter (Live Nation), not us.
    Now we get into the issue of secondary markets for tickets, which is the hot issue here. The ticketing marketplace for rock concerts shows a real lack of sophistication, meaning this: the true market value of some tickets for some concerts is much higher than what the act wants to be perceived as charging. For example, there are some people who would be willing to pay $1,000 and up to be in the best seats for various shows, but MOST acts in the rock / pop world don’t want to come off as greedy pricks asking that much, even though the market says its value is that high. The acts know this, the venue knows this, the promoters know this, the ticketing company knows this and the scalpers really know this. So…

    The venue, the promoter, the ticketing agency and often the artist camp (artist, management and agent) take tickets from the pool of available seats and feed them directly to the re-seller (which from this point on will be referred to by their true name: SCALPER). I am not saying every one of the above entities all do this, nor am I saying they do it for all shows but this is a very common practice that happens more often than not. There is money to be made and they feel they should participate in it. There are a number of scams they employ to pull this off which is beyond the scope of this note.

    StubHub.com is an example of a re-seller / scalper. So is TicketsNow.com.

    Here’s the rub: TicketMaster has essentially been a monopoly for many years – certainly up until Live Nation’s exclusive deal ran out. They could have (and can right now) stop the secondary market dead in its tracks by doing the following: limit the amount of sales per customer, print names on the tickets and require ID / ticket matches at the venue. We know this works because we do it for our pre-sales. Why don’t THEY do it? It’s obvious – they make a lot of money fueling the secondary market. TicketMaster even bought a re-seller site and often bounces you over to that site to buy tickets (TicketsNow.com)!

    NIN gets 10% of the available seats for our own pre-sale. We won a tough (and I mean TOUGH) battle to get the best seats. We require you to sign up at our site (for free) to get tickets. We limit the amount you can buy, we print your name on the tickets and we have our own person let you in a separate entrance where we check your ID to match the ticket. We charge you a surcharge that has been less than TicketMaster’s or Live Nation’s in all cases so far to pay for the costs of doing this – it’s not a profit center for us. We have essentially stopped scalping by doing these things – because we want true fans to be able to get great seats and not get ripped off by these parasites.

    I assure you nobody in the NIN camp supplies or supports the practice of supplying tickets to these re-sellers because it’s not something we morally feel is the right thing to do. We are leaving money on the table here but it’s not always about money.
    Being completely honest, it IS something I’ve had to consider. If people are willing to pay a lot of money to sit up front AND ARE GOING TO ANYWAY thanks to the rigged system, why let that money go into the hands of the scalpers? I’m the one busting my ass up there every night. The conclusion really came down to it not feeling like the right thing to do – simple as that.

    My guess as to what will eventually happen if / when Live Nation and TicketMaster merges is that they’ll move to an auction or market-based pricing scheme – which will simply mean it will cost a lot more to get a good seat for a hot show. They will simply BECOME the scalper, eliminating them from the mix.

    Nothing’s going to change until the ticketing entity gets serious about stopping the problem – which of course they don’t see as a problem. The ultimate way to hurt scalpers is to not support them. Leave them holding the merchandise. If this subject interests you, check out the following links. Don’t buy from scalpers, and be suspect of artists singing the praises of the Live Nation / TicketMaster merger. What’s in it for them?

  11. NYCWD says:

    There was a movement to get away from TicketMaster awhile ago… but what happened was they signed exclusive deals with venues and paid them, and therefore if a promoter wants to have a show at the venue they HAVE to use TicketMaster because it is in the initial venue contract. Then they also got promotional companies like Clear Channel to get in bed with them as well… leaving artists with the choice of either going out on tour with TicketMaster or not. Since most bands make most of their money touring… well its easy for them to look past the rape.

    So basically your paying not just for what it costs TicketMaster in labor and whatnot, but also what they had to pay to get exclusive ticketing.

    It’s a fucking monopoly.

  12. delmer says:

    Back during the River Tour, Springsteen required people to mail in for tickets and a person was allowed six (and, they were something like $15 each.) In ’85 Springsteen’s people had concert goers call in to buy tickets.

    I took Sammo to see Monster Jam. Kid’s tickets were $5.00 and I bought two adults and two kids. Additional fees had me paying almost double what face value what the event was advertised at.

  13. sue says:

    Yup. Same experience many times. I feel for ya.

  14. Avitable says:

    I just don’t understand the concept of a “convenience fee”. It’s like a bully. “I’m not going to punch you in the nuts if you pay me $10.”

  15. whall says:

    My wife would be pretty dang jealous of you right now if she knew you were going… All I can say is – it is sure to be a fantastic show!

    They really do a great job and have kept up quite well musically with their typical trend-setting ways.

  16. Oh, I’m so glad you’re going to see Duran Duran! They were my faaaaaavorite as a pre-teen. Went to every one of their concerts in the area growing up – even to see the group PowerStation.

    When I heard about this new tour on the radio, the ninja and I were in the parking lot at Disneyland on his birthday, and I had to try really hard to sound dignified and not squeal with gleee. That is, until I remembered pregnant ladies shouldn’t be found at concerts. :( Phooey!

    Have fun for me!!!

  17. here in pittsburgh, our amphitheater has gone to their own online ticket sales company. i just heard about it and i am thrilled (too bad i bought my buffett tickets before this was announced. grrr! i hate ticketbastards.)

  18. lizriz says:

    Yeah, ticket fees blow.

    But dude, Duran Duran!!! That rocks.

  19. Oh I bloody hate Ticketbastard with a passion. I love how they call it a “convenience” fee. Why yes it’s awfully convenient to be able to buy tickets online but having to bloody pay you for the privilege clubs my kneecaps. You money grabbing bastids. What’s next, Amazon charging a convenience fee for the privilege of buying a book from them?

  20. I know what you mean. I had to use Ticketmaster to buy tickets to the Atlanta Ballet (rather than drive to downtown Atlanta to buy tickets in person) and that “convenience” fee is a load of bullshit! I would think it would be easier for Ticketmaster to give out tickets via Internet downloads and that snail mail would be more work, therefore they should charge more for snail mail tickets. You would think.

    Ugh. Have you performed a Google search for “Ticketmaster Douchbags?”

  21. Enjoy the show! Duran Duran was definitely a favorite band of mine during my college days. I’ve seen them in concert a couple times and it’s always a good show. :)

    Like others, I detest TicketBastard with the heat of a thousand suns. They screw me over several times per year when I go to Angels baseball games. By the time I pay the “convenience fee” and the fee for the privilege to download and print my own damned ticket, it costs me about $13 in addition to the actual ticket price. It’s f’ing ridiculous!

    I was looking at some India.Arie tickets a couple of weeks ago and they were actually basing the amount of the convenience fee on the ticket cost. The closer to the stage you wanted to sit, the more expensive the convenience fee. Bastards! This only confirmed my opinion of them being money-grubbing assholes even more.

  22. claire says:

    Agreed. Ticketbastard blows.

  23. Christie says:

    Thank you, Thank you! This is exactly why I haven’t purchased my ticket yet. I was one click away when I realized they were about to make 20% profit off of me! Are you fucking kidding me? I’m still trying to figure out if I can get the tickets directly from the venue to screw Ticketmaster.
    BTW, Duran Duran puts on an AWESOME show. Fulfilled my teenage dream by seeing them for the first time about 4 years ago. Saw them again last year in Seattle at the beginning of this tour. Again Awesome. They look and sound exactly like you remember them, but perform like they still LOVE what they do.

  24. DutchBitch says:

    Oh, we have something similar called “TicketBox” different name, same type of bastards…

    But um… is it really necessary to curse that much on your blog? Really! Please *GRIN*

  25. Stacey says:

    Well, for awhile the venues who hated Ticketmaster went to Paciolan, but then Ticketmaster bought Paciolan. I guess you’d think the artists and promoters would look elsewhere, but wait, Ticketmaster bought big time promoter Irving Azoff’s artist management company and now Azoff is CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment. I wonder who sells his artists’ tickets. And then, like kapgar said, there’s Live Nation, but Ticketmaster is trying to merge with Live Nation.

    So . . . yeah, there’s no place else to go.

  26. Jeff says:

    They’re called Ticket “Master” because they’ve mastered the art of blackmail. As soon as online ticket sales became an option, people started buying up all the good “first come, first served” seats – so you essentially had no choice but to order from them if you wanted a decent view. Now you also have to deal with the scalpers who have upped the ante even higher.

    I agree with you 100%… when is someone else going to come in and provide a competitive option?

  27. stef says:

    i hate hate HATE ticketbastard. i recently purchased three tickets for me and friends to go see the New Kids on the Block. (yes i’m going. the thought of seeing a crowd of 30-40 year old women screaming after 40-year old men sounds like quality entertainment to me!) anyway, the lawn seats were $14.50 each, totaling $43.50. after all of the ridiculous charges, the total for 3 tickets was $78 and change, almost TWICE the actual cost of the tickets.

    compare that to the yann tiersen concert i went to last night; tix through ticketweb were $15, and i paid a small service fee, making a grand total of $18 for the ticket. AND i got my tickets emailed to me, so i wouldn’t be completely screwed if i lost them. of course, i’d rather not pay any fees at ALL, but as far as i’m concerned, ticketweb is definitely the lesser of two evils.

  28. My last job was doing promotions and events, so I have some insight into this.

    Two things here: a band chooses what size venue they wish to play at – and it’s the venue that either uses TM or not. The band really doesn’t have a choice in that matter.

    As for the fee, if they don’t charge one – then how would they run their business? Pay for their website or employees or phone service? AND often that “fee” is also split with the event(we did that with a lot of our events) – so it’s not just TM making the money. The fee also varies depending on the size of the venue and the price of the ticket.

    TM actually provides a lot of service that fee. I could tell you stories about all the work that TM did for us on our events. If you’re not in that world, it’s harder to understand the justification for it. I would never want to be an account rep for TM- it’s just not worth the hassle for the amount they get paid and the hours they have to work.

  29. Dave2 says:

    If you read my entry, I specifically say I don’t mind them coveriing their costs and making money. But what they’re charging is fucking insane given the thousands upon thousands of tickets they sell each year. There is no way they need to charge $10 a ticket. THEN charge ADDITIONAL money on top of that to get your tickets. And that money ain’t going to the phone reps, it’s going to the people who run TicketMaster.

    And bands DO have a choice… they can refuse to play venues that use TicketMaster… if everybody stopped, venues would switch to somebody with reasonable fees or set up their own web-site for Internet-only sales. Most everybody has computer access, so phone sales expenses aren’t a neccessity.

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