Remember when Live Nation’s own CEO admitted (in emails never intended to be made public, that is) that in some cases, the fees that Ticketmaster charges are “not defendable”? This is one of those cases.
Back in January when tickets went on sale for this summer’s leg of the ongoing “Not in This Lifetime…” tour by Guns N’ Roses, a customer local to Buffalo, New York went straight to the source to purchase tickets at the New Era Field box office for that venue’s show on August 16. Upon arrival, the customer was told by venue employees that tickets to the show could only be purchased online through Ticketmaster. Outside the box office hung a flyer for others trying to avoid TM that featured a large image of the Guns N’ Roses logo and read: “Tickets are not available through the Buffalo Bills box office”, and provided the company’s website and phone number.
However, when the fan logged on to purchase tickets through the mandatory means, they discovered a 62% service fee. The Ticketmaster total for two tickets at $35 each – totaling $70 – jumped to $113.60 at checkout…meaning $43.60 in fees. That’s enough to buy a whole third ticket and a beer at the venue.
Without even touching on how entirely absurd that percentage of service fees is, this customer reasonably contends that fans who are willing to travel to the box office of the venue where the show will take place should be allowed to purchase tickets there, preferably with “reduced/eliminated fees”.
By disallowing primary purchase by any other means, Ticketmaster rears its monopolizing head once again. Evidently, so as to collect “not defendable” service fees.
Below is the full Consumer Frauds NYC complaint submitted to NYAG Consumer Bureau by an anonymous complainant on January 24, 2017.
Ticket sales for the Guns n’ Roses concert on August 16, 2017, at New Era Field in Buffalo, New York, are only available on Ticketmaster’s website according to New Era Field employees (see attached flyer). Ticketmaster charges a 62% service fee on top of the cost of tickets (2 tickets at $35 each=$113.60 total after service fees). Consumers should have the ability to purchase tickets at the box office for this concert with reduced/eliminated fees.