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Ticketmaster claims 'pricing error' in listing of $25 Kenny Chesney tickets
In what the company is calling a "pricing error," Ticketmaster is cancelling $25 tickets it mistakenly sold for Kenny Chesney's June 18, 2011, concert in Philadelphia, because Ticketmaster said the tickets were supposed to be priced at $99.50 each.
How many erroneous tickets the company sold to the Lincoln Financial Field show is unknown, but considering the singer-songwriter's immense popularity, and the size of the stadium, the number could be in the thousands. The stadium, which is best known as the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, holds close to 70,000 spectators, and the seats in question were in the upper deck Club Level sections.
Tickets for the concert went on sale on Saturday, November 13, and fans who ordered the $25 tickets were notified of the mistake in an e-mail sent out this past weekend. Ticketmaster apologized for the mistake and gave fans the choice between receiving a full refund or re-purchasing the tickets at the new price, which is three-times more expensive.
The text of the e-mail is below:
Dear Kenny Chesney Fan,
On behalf of Lincoln Financial Field, we regretfully inform you that there was a pricing error on your tickets for:
Lincoln Financial Field
June 18th, at 4:30PM
Unfortunately, the wrong price was placed onto the system due to an inadvertent error by the venue's box office. The ticket price you paid was $25.00, plus applicable service charges, however the correct price for your seats is $99.50, plus applicable service charges.
What do I need to do?
If you'd like to keep these seats for the show, please reply to this email by December 3rd at 7:00PM EST with authorization to charge your credit card the correct price (an additional $74.50 per ticket purchased), and please include the following account number x-xxxxx. Your current tickets will still be valid for use on the day of the show.
Prefer a refund? You don't have to do anything – if we don't hear from you by December 3rd at 7:00PM EST, we'll refund your card the full amount automatically. If you prefer a refund, please discard the tickets we sent you – they will be canceled and won't get you in.
Please accept our sincere apologies for this error.
Ticketmaster Fan Support
The mistake has Gary Adler, legal counsel for the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB), scratching his head.
"It's a long-standing general rule of law that a party to a contract can't get out of its deal by claiming a clerical error," he said. "So, I'm baffled as to how Ticketmaster can enforce its own unilateral mistake."
Adler has been contacted by several brokers who bought the $25 tickets, and the NATB is discussing whether to file some sort of complaint.
"Can you imagine if our guys [brokers] did that? They'd be out of business," Adler said. The NATB has taken great pains to bolster the image of the ticket broker community, and NATB members agree to strict codes of conduct before they are admitted to the organization.
In its Purchase Policy, Ticketmaster, which is a division of Live Nation Entertainment, states that it has the right to cancel tickets when such errors arise. But as one broker told TicketNews, the move calls into question the company's trustworthiness: "What this essentially means is any ticket you 'buy' from Ticketmaster is subject to pricing changes for whatever reason they determine."
Ticketmaster's Purchase Policy states, in part:
Pricing and Other Errors
If the amount you pay for a ticket is incorrect regardless of whether because of an error in a price posted on this website or otherwise communicated to you, or you are able to order a ticket before its scheduled on-sale or presale date or you are able to order a ticket that was not supposed to have been released for sale, then Ticketmaster will have the right to cancel that ticket (or the order for that ticket) and refund to you the amount that you paid. This will apply regardless of whether because of human error or a transactional malfunction of this website or other Ticketmaster operated system.