I’ve been screwed before. I’ve ordered products through the mail that didn’t deliver what they claimed. Had some with pieces missing and I had to spend countless hours talking to someone from India who had no idea what I was talking about. I even complained about the high cost of shipping something that weighs half a pound.
But the next time you want to see how business screws customers just go online and attempt to purchase a ticket through Ticketmaster’s website. Any show, it doesn’t matter.
I’ll admit, I’m a metal-head. Tried and true. I’m also a bit of a cheap skate. So $30 to see Whitesnake at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe was just about as much as I would spend. I’ve been to the venue before and shows there sound great. Since I’ve never seen these guys before I decided I wanted to go.
I enter “1” for how many $30 tickets I want and proceed to the next page. There, I am greeted with a message that tells me my subtotal contains an extra $8.75 in “facility” and “convenience” fees. So the cost of the ticket is $38.75. Sure, it ruffled my feathers but damn it, I’m “metal-head” Jimbo and I want to see these guys. So I proceed. When I get to the next page my blood starts to boil.
I find myself now needing to choose how I would want my tickets delivered. The obvious choice would be for me to simply print them out myself at home. Free you would think right? Nope. $1.75 “Delivery Fee” for that one. So now my $30 ticket is now at $40.50. For shits and giggles I decided to see what’s next so I proceeded and sure enough was not “disappointed”.
Already at $40.50, I now see that I am also going to be charged an “Order Processing Fee” of $3.50 on top of all that. So in addition to paying the thirty dollar cost of a ticket to the show I must also may $14 just to have the honor of actually getting that ticket into my posession.
I know businesses need to make money and I have no problem paying reasonable charges. But how Ticketmaster gets away with this is beyond me. How can anyone justify charging what equates to 46% tax on a piece of paper? But I guess this is what happens when you’re the only game in town for the most part.
A few weeks ago I puchased a ticket to see Journey, Foreigner and Night Ranger at the Allentown Fairgrounds. This one even came with a backstage pass (I told you I was a metal-head). Anyway, I purchased it through a company contracted out by the band for pre-sale (one that was NOT Ticketmaster).
In addition to the ticket price there was a flat $10 service fee. No facility, delivery or convenience fees at all. I decided to do a side by side comparison of what i paid to what Ticketmaster charged.
The result: Ticketmaster would have charged me $23 in “fees” as compared to the $10 from the other outlet. (But give them credit, they did waive the $1.75 charge for me to print out the ticket..Thanks guys!).
Unfortunately, not every show allows you this opportunity. The cheapest way still is to physically drive to the venue and get the ticket. But I think it’s unfair to have to price shop for tickets to see a show. Why bands aren’t outraged at how Ticketmaster is screwing their fans is beyond me.