New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram has filed suit against secondary ticket companies TicketNetwork and New Jersey-based Select-A-Ticket for allegedly selling tickets to upcoming Bruce Springsteen concerts before the tickets were available. Also named in the lawsuit is TicketNetwork ticket resale partner Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. TicketNetwork is the parent company of TicketNews.
The lawsuit claims that yesterday, May 26, undercover investigators from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs bought tickets for Springsteen’s upcoming Giants Stadium shows from Select-A-Ticket, Orbitz and TicketNetwork even though the companies did not possess the tickets, considered speculative sales. Tickets do not go on sale until Monday, June 1, and the companies could not provide the tickets at the time of purchase.
In addition, some of the tickets allegedly offered by TicketNetwork and Orbitz, through its Cheaptickets.com Web site, “do not physically exist” in the stadium, according to the lawsuit.
“Advertising and selling tickets before they are made available for initial purchase by the public is an outrageous practice. It is fraud to offer to sell a product that one does not possess, and may never possess, and I am committed to ending this deceptive practice,” Attorney General Milgram said in a statement.
For months, controversy has surrounded ticket sales for Springsteen’s current tour, which resulted in Milgram enticing Ticketmaster and its TicketsNow subsidiary to settle complaints over the way the two allegedly redirected customers from Ticketmaster’s Web site to TicketsNow where tickets sell at a premium.
Ticketmaster did not admit any wrongdoing in relation to the settlement, which has not stopped other allegedly aggrieved customers from filing suit against the two companies.
“We realize that the Attorney General’s office has been under enormous pressure because of the shortage of tickets created by demand for Bruce Springsteen’s shows at the Izod Center,” Donald Vaccaro, founder and CEO of TicketNetwork, said in a statement. “It is important that the Attorney General and the public be aware that event producers including Bruce Springsteen’s producers, have held back approximately ten thousand tickets from the public onsale and have not been forthcoming in disclosing this information to the public.”
Earlier in the month, The Star-Ledger newspaper reported that thousands of tickets were withheld by Springsteen’s camp and others for The Boss’s two shows this past weekend at the Izod Center in New Jersey.
“TicketNetwork hopes to work closely with the Attorney General’s office to ensure that industry transparency is achieved forcing promoters and producers to supply adequate information about the availability of tickets to entertainment events,” Vaccaro added.
In addition to the allegations, The Star-Ledger reports the lawsuit also seeks to suspend Select-A-Ticket’s broker license and for the company to pay restitution to customers.
Select-A-Ticket owner Tom Patania, president of the National Association of Ticket Brokers, could not be reached for comment.