ComcastTix/New Era Tickets Gives and Takes Away

By Alfred Branch, Jr.

A New Jersey-based ticketer took it upon itself to personally call customers who had been shut out of acquiring tickets to upcoming Bruce Springsteen concerts in the Philadelphia area and offer those fans first crack at tickets it had taken away from others who purchased too many.

TFL and ATBS for ticketing professionals, which is operated by New Era Tickets, has telephoned “hundreds” of Springsteen fans who tried but could not land tickets earlier this month, and offered them a second chance. Dave Homan, vice president and chief financial officer of New Era Tickets, said people who bought more than four tickets to any of the Springsteen shows had those purchases cancelled, which freed up inventory for the shutouts.

Fans who had purchases above four tickets were also called and refunds were issued, Homan said.

Nowhere on the ComcastTix site did it say there was a four-ticket limit, but Homan said that when people tried to enter a number above four, the system told them what the limit was. In addition, people who placed multiple orders, even if they were for only four tickets, also had their extra purchases cancelled. Homan said the four-ticket limit was imposed by the artist and promoter.

“This was something we did for the Bruce shows because there was such high demand,” Homan said of the decision to give shutout fans a second chance. He added that the company had done it in the past for the Police and High School Musical shows, in part to dissuade brokers from buying lots of inventory for a hot show. “We could have put the inventory back up on the web, but we believe that this is a more personalized service, and we wanted to take care of the fans.”

Homan did not disclose how many tickets were available the second time around, but said about “90 percent” of those who had been shutout “took us up on it” and bought tickets. ComcastTix used the database of names of people who failed the first time as the master list for who they called.