Primary ticketing company Veritix, in stark contrast with its rival Ticketmaster, supports current legislative efforts at the state and federal level to make sure paperless tickets are transferable, the company’s president told TicketNews this week.
Jeff Kline said that unlike the restrictive version of paperless tickets that Ticketmaster employs, Veritix’s Flash Seats version can be transferred or resold to anyone who signs up for a free online account on the company’s site. If a person wants to transfer a ticket to someone who does not have an account on Flash Seats, the recipient will receive an email that someone is transferring tickets to them and prompt them to sign up for the free account in order to receive the tickets.
“We have many ticket brokers who buy Flash Seats that they then resell to customers,” Kline said. “In fact, we can save brokers a ton of money because there are no shipping costs, tickets are transferred online through their accounts and via email.”
Whether such a ticketing solution, where all transactions have to occur on Veritix’s proprietary system, will run afoul of legislative proposals in Connecticut, Minnesota, North Carolina or federally remains to be seen, but Kline said he would be happy to speak to legislators to explain their system. Company CEO Sam Gerace testified during a public hearing when the matter was discussed in New York, legislation that was ultimately passed making the state the first to have a paperless ticketing law on its books.
The specific language of the various bills differs slightly, but all contain similar provisions that allow for the use of paperless tickets so long as they are transferable, or a traditional paper ticket is offered as an option at check out. The Ticketmaster paperless offering is a closed-loop system that does not allow for the transfer of tickets, instead locking purchases to specific buyer information.
“Our system is a free, open marketplace that is fair to consumers,” Kline said. Flash Seats also requires people to enter credit card information or other identification in their system so that transferred paperless tickets end up in the proper hands. “What’s driving this legislation are bad experiences some fans have had with certain paperless tickets, but with our system, we have between 95 percent and 97 percent favorability ratings from fans. If you talk to our customers in Cleveland, Denver and Houston, they will tell you that they have no problem with our system.”
Another issue surrounding paperless tickets is the implementation of price floors or ceilings on resold tickets. Kline said that Veritix does not set minimum or maximum prices that someone can resell a ticket, but a team or a ticket issuer can do so in their system. The Cleveland Cavaliers, which are owned by Dan Gilbert who bankrolled Veritix, does not allow people to list resale prices below face values, but people can resell their tickets for whatever price they choose.
“We have spent a lot of money and time developing a state-of-the-art system, and transferability is the cornerstone of that effort,” Kline said. “Our research shows that people who use paperless tickets attend 8 percent to 9 percent more events annually, and that translates to more hot dogs and other merchandise being sold and more parking revenues for our clients.”