Tag: ticketmaster

How Badly Do I Want To See Van Halen?

Like everyone else I was stoked when Van Halen finally announced “A Different Kind of Truth“, their long-awaited new album with original singer David Lee Roth. But even more amazing than the first new music with Roth on vocals in 28 years was the bands plan to embark on a tour to support the new record.

I never had the opportunity to see Van Halen with either of its two singers, Roth or Sammy Hagar (I don’t count the Gary Cherone “experiment”). And even though original bassist Michael Anthony would not be taking part I still wanted to hear Eddie shred on Eruption and experience “Jamie’s Cryin”, “Ain’t Talking Bout Love” and “Hot for Teacher”. I mean, let’s face it, Eddie Van Halen is one of the few remaining Guitar Gods. I had to see him and pay homage.

All the while I was consuming myself with the thought of seeing Van Halen for the first time a little voice inside my head was telling me that I had better hurry up and order a ticket. For if the past is any indication, I’m quite certain that it’s only a matter of time before the devil they’ve been running with inevitably rears his ugly head again and breaks up the band again. So time was indeed of the essence.

I was very excited to discover that the band would be making a stop in Philadelphia on March 5th and so I immediately grabbed my credit card and proceeded to the ComCast Tix website to make my purchase.

Since I ‘d be going alone I didn’t really care where I sat. I noticed that the cheapest ticket available online was in the upper bleachers for $49.50. That sounded good enough to me so I added the ticket to my shopping cart and proceeded on to the next screen.

“Uhm… excuse me, is there something wrong here? There must be some mistake.”

I was greeted by a screen that told me that the $49.50 ticket I was about to purchase would also require me to pay a “fee” of $11 and another $5 “order charge”. What these so-called “fee” and “order” charges were wasn’t explained but suddenly my ticket cost had gone up to $65.50 (a 32% increase).

As the blood pressure started to rise I was able to calm myself by singing out loud some possible Van Halen songs I’d hear: “Might as well JUMP! JUMP!”…. “PA-NAH-MA!”…”Daaaance The Night Away!”….That seemed to work although my dogs, which were within earshot of me in the living room, made a bee line for the exits. My confidence had been restored.

I was next asked by the website if I’d like to purchase advance parking for the event ahead of time. “Yes, I guess that makes sense”, I said to myself as I clicked on the link.

My cart was immediately updated and now things were beginning to get a bit out of hand. Parking for the show would be $25 and, you guessed it, that cost did not include another additional $2.25 “fee” bringing the total for my original $49.50 cheap-seat ticket to see Van Halen to a whopping $92.75. Beg pardon Comcast, but you do realize that now I am paying almost double the cost of what my ticket is worth don’t you?

But if you thought it ended there, wait….there’s more!

I had the ticket and parking covered but now the question was: how did I want to receive my one SINGLE paper ticket? My choices ranged from an additional $2.75 just for the opportunity to print the ticket out at home up to a $19 charge for express delivery.

After adding everything together, including the mandatory toll charges to and from the event, I concluded that the cost for me to go by myself to see Van Halen in Philadelphia with a $49.50 ticket was going to be over $100. I clicked “Cancel” on the transaction screen.

The more I think about it, the angrier I become. Not at Van Halen mind you. My issue is with these outrageous parking fees and the Comcast Tix, Ticketmaster and Live Nation sites who are supposed to be doing service to the fans but instead wind up screwing them with fees. It’s frustrating to essentially have to pay double the price printed on a ticket just to see the show.

Worse still, it makes me do something else I’ve never done before besides see Van Halen. It’s made me start to second guess just how badly I want to see a concert.

And shame on these ticket outlet sites and venues for making me feel that way.

Ticketmaster Sucks

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.