Once again, Ticketmaster is at the heart of the ole bait and switch scam. You've probably read about the State of New Jersey lawsuit against Ticketmaster which accuses them of re-routing customers to ticket brokers for tickets with prices well above face value. Well now, they are perpetrating another scam with the whole notion of allowing consumers to buy 'Pre-Sale' tickets.
Almost each and every above average performer that plays at a medium to large sized venue, allows fans to buy so-called 'Pre-Sale tickets. What Ticketmaster is doing, is working out a deal with the ticket brokers to allow them access to the best seats for a fee. Ticketmaster feeds the brokers the 'Pre-Sale Password' and let's them go to work on gobbling up the best seats. If you are normal Joe Concert-goer and you have purchased the 'Pre-Sale Password' from a fan website for $25 to $50, you are still going to be up against hundreds of brokers going after the same tickets, thus making your purchase of the password of very little value to you.
Does it ever make you wonder when tickets go on sale to the general public that you get what I call 'outskirt' seats even though you logged in at 10:00am on the given sale date? This is completely due to this 'Pre-Sale Scam' that Ticketmaster has been operating for the last few years.
Now onto my latest 'Bait and Switch' tactic that happened to me last weekend. I managed to obtain the pre-sale password for a band playing at my local venue through a blog and for fun, thought I'd see how ticket prices were going one day before they went on sale to the general public. When I logged in and used the password, I was told that my best seats were going to be in the last section of the pavilion at the venue. I told myself that it was typical that the entire pavilion was likely to sell-out before any seats were going to go on sale to the general public and laughed outloud at the outrageousness of the whole ticketing process that Ticketmaster was providing.
So now I digress, since the price of the pavilion tickets were double that of the lawn, I went ahead and bought 4 general admission lawn seats because I simply wanted to take friends and see the show. Plus, sitting in the lawn is not all that bad unless it is raining. Anyway, a day goes by and I log into Ticketmaster to see how the general public ticket sales are coming along and I notice that the prices for the lawn seats are $12.30 lower per ticket than they were during the so-called 'Pre-Sale'!
Seeing as how this is a clear example of the Bait and Switch, I called Ticketmaster and asked them a simple question, 'why do my tickets cost $12.30 less today than they did yesterday and can I get a refund or credit?'
Their answer was that all ticket sales are final and that I was the one that chose to go through the pre-sale ticket process instead of waiting for the tickets to go on sale to the general public. No apology, no recognition of the fact that I've spent thousands and thousands of dollars on tickets through this monopoly over the years, no nothing! It was my fault they said, my fault that I bought the same ticket less than 24 hours earlier for $12.30 more per ticket. So for the 4 tickets that I bought, Ticketmaster scammed me out of $49.20. Think about how many others may have done the same thing?
So with that, we fans are going to have to pay the excessive venue charges, and pay the excessive 'in'-convenience charges which end up making your overall ticket price approximately 40% more than the original ticket price. We are going to have to put up with this monopoly that takes advantage of the fact that bands can only make money touring and not by CD sales. They take advantage and scam each and every one of us with these practices.
I'll end with one thing that the Ticketmaster Customer Disservice Representative said that resonated with me. He tried to use an example to me that if you bought a shirt from a store one day for $50 and it went on sale for $40 the next day, would that store give me $10 back? He said no they would not, when I know that stores follow that policy all of the time and that this man that I had on the phone was clueless about life and about what it is to earn a buck and to try to spend it wisely. I feel sorry for him and the life lesson that he will learn later when he realized what a shameful company he works for.
Ticketmaster is a monopoly, Ticketmaster is a scam, and Ticketmaster is doing a disservice to everyone that is forced to use them to support music in this Country. They are simply un-American.