Following the cancellation of several of upcoming concerts by 88-year-old jazz great Dave Brubeck, ticket buyers for the shows are learning a tough lesson...

Following the cancellation of several of upcoming concerts by 88-year-old jazz great Dave Brubeck, ticket buyers for the shows are learning a tough lesson at the hands of Ticketmaster Entertainment.

While they await word on rescheduled shows, fans will not receive their processing fees from the ticketing giant if they request refunds.

Under the company’s long-standing policy, Ticketmaster does not refund processing or shipping fees, and the company notified Brubeck fans of this in an email this week, according to Reuters. “The $5.10 per order processing fee and any UPS delivery charges are nonrefundable,” the news service quoted Ticketmaster as saying in the e-mail to customers. Ticketmaster maintains that processing orders and refunds is labor intensive, and accordingly it believes that holding onto the fees is reasonable.

The issue of refunds has been an issue for Ticketmaster’s customers for years, as evidenced by the voluminous number of complaints posted on various Web sites and message boards. But with the company in the midst of battling to have its proposed merger with Live Nation allowed this summer by federal regulators, the matter takes on heightened significance.



Ticketmaster’s policy, however, does not sit well with one of its critics, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. of New Jersey. Pascrell testified against the proposed merger and he questions why Ticketmaster would retain the fee if tickets are not being processed at the door.

“Incidents like this remind us exactly why Ticketmaster must be more forthcoming with the ancillary charges that pile up on consumers every time they purchase a ticket,” Pascrell told Reuters.

Ticketmaster is currently cooperating with state and federal regulators by turning over additional information to aid with the investigations concerning the merger, but whether the issue of fees is part of it is unknown. The company experimented with “all-in” pricing last year when it folded in fees into the total cost of some of its tickets.