Round 3: Ticketmaster vs Wachovia


This is round 3 in our Worst Company In America contest, Ticketmaster vs. Wachovia. Their crimes?

Ticketmaster’s inability to fix their system allows scalpers to buy up all the tickets for a concert within minutes, depriving fans of their chance to get a ticket for a fair price. On top of that, Ticketmaster routinely obtains sole vendor relationships with venues, so that even the initial ticket prices are inflated.

For their part, Wachovia profited in millions by allowing scammers to use stolen identities to drain money from customers’ accounts with unsigned checks, despite receiving thousands of warnings about the fraud.

Choose the greater of two evils.

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. Keep track of all the goings on at consumerist.com/tag/worst-company-in-america/
STILL OPEN FOR VOTING: Facebook vs The American Arbitration Association, Comcast vs Menu Foods

Comments

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  1. FilthyHarry says:

    Come on, the inability to get Hannah Montana tickets is worse than a bank that doesn’t protect your financial interests? lol

  2. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Stolen identity thieves? Sounds bad!

    Seriously, I had to vote for Ticketmaster as I have had nothing but great service from Wachivia.

  3. MikeB says:

    Ticketmaster has people over a barrel, and can charge whatever they want. I bought 2 tickets for Rush and they tacked on a $9.45 Convenience Charge and a $6.00 Building Facility fee per ticket. Then their recommended delivery, email, costs an extra $2.50. And the convenience charge scales with the price of a ticket. So, my $82 for 2 tickets went to 118 with fees.

  4. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    *Wachovia

  5. sleze69 says:

    Ouuu…it looks like we may have our first upset of the opening rounds!

  6. axiomatic says:

    Ticketmaster is basically a monopoly, so they are defiantly the most evil. I have hated them for years.

    Wachovia is just incompetent more than outright evil.

  7. Starfury says:

    Ticketmaster. Too many “fees” added to tickets. They even charge for you to print your own at home.

    Which is why I don’t go to concerts.

  8. Buran says:

    @FilthyHarry: I’m gonna vote for a company that’s directly affected me and that operates in my area over one that doesn’t.

  9. MikeB says:

    @Buran: I think that is how many people will vote.

  10. FilthyHarry says:

    @Buran: Granted if you want to vote based on personal experience sure, that makes sense (though I don’t know who you voted for) But I don’t used either service so I just went with the one that sounds a worse and as I said, a bank that lets scammers rip you off sounds a lot worse than a ticketing agent that overcharges you. IMO

  11. starrion says:

    Nobody is over a barrel with ticketmaster. You don’t HAVE to go to a concert.

    Wachovia on the other hand, knowingly profitted from scammers who were looting people’s bank accounts. Ticketmaster = bad, Wachovia = EVIL.

  12. Cisslepants says:

    Ticketbastard FTW!
    I voted for them b/c in a number of instances you don’t have a choice if you want to see a particular band/show. I can avoid Wachovia the rest of my life, but if I want to see certain acts, they’re the devil I have to deal with.

  13. rmz says:

    @mbouchard: Which is why Ticketmaster will definitely win this one.

    I can understand the logic — people are more likely to vote for a company that they have directly interacted with, so banks and the like (aside from perhaps the public punching bag that is BoA) may get smaller vote counts than they otherwise would if everybody were subjected to their crap.

  14. Moosehawk says:

    Wachovia is pretty bad, but ticketmaster definitely affects me more because I don’t go anywhere near Wachovia.

    The $10 conveinence charged tacked on tickets isn’t very convenient. It’s ridiculous that a ticket marked for $35 ends up costing $55. And to buy a floor ticket to any half-decent band you have to be online at the time when they go on sale or they sell out in 5 minutes because of scalpers.

  15. OminousG says:

    I voted TicketMaster.
    Only company I know of thats legally allowed to charge $24 for tickets they advertise as $15.

    i hate them, so very very much.

  16. friendlynerd says:

    @Cisslepants:

    Exactly. I can choose where I bank, I can’t choose where I buy concert tickets. Therein lies the problem.

    It especially irks me that even if I go to the venue’s box office I have to deal with Ticketmaster and their bullshit fees. Granted, fees are less if you go this route, but it should be nothing.

  17. ARP says:

    @starrion: I understand your point. We don’t have to have a lot of things in this world, credit cards, phones, TV’s, Cable, gas service, etc. to SURVIVE. But I tend to think about in terms of what a regular person usually has and does. One of those things is ocassionaly attending a concert of some sort. In addition, whole point of capitalism is that there should be meaningful choice/ competition. My view is if there is not or if industries collude to make identical rules, there should be appropriate regulation to make things “fair.”

    I voted for ticketmaster because of their monopoly status, their unfair business practices of “allowing” scalpers to buy all the ticket, and the fact that I just spent $15 in convenience fees for a $20 Flogging Molly show.

    Perhaps I’d be more sympathetic if they made full disclosure that, “our system is not fair, we allow scalpers to buy all the tickets, we charge whatever we want, and we force exclusivity agreements on venues.” then I mighthave a different opinion.

  18. milty45654 says:

    No clue how the hell ticketmaster is winning this one…i can only assume ticket prices are more important to the readers than the protection of their money and identity….with which without you would not be able to buy your tickets with….can there be another version of the bracket…something like “worst company contest for 8th graders”?

  19. OminousG says:

    @milty45654:
    or you could be completely off the mark, missing a major theme this site and the users here have made very clear.

    You get what you deserve, and have no right to bitch, when you use a bank.

  20. bonzombiekitty says:

    @ARP:

    I just spent $15 in convenience fees for a $20 Flogging Molly show.

    Yep. There was a flogging molly / Dropkick Murphies concert around here last year, tickets were $40 to start off with, you could ONLY get them through ticketmaster, and once you added fees, it cost something like $65.

  21. failurate says:

    Again, our entertainment needs trump our need to be decent caring humans.

  22. DeafChick says:

    Are you serious? Why is ticketmaster winning?

  23. plustax says:

    I work down the street from IAC otherwise known as Ticketmaster. I always curse their name as I walk by their stainless stell facade on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood on my way to the office. I kid, it’s great they are in my neighborhood we can use all that extra tax revenue they generate on those inflated ticket prices.

    Seriously though, Ticketmaster is only one of the factors that makes it a pain in the ass to go to a show. You can blame the big talent agencies (ICM, William Morris, CAA etc) working toghether with the promoters like Clearchannel & Live Nation signing exclusive deals with artists to lock up revenues in one nice package which jacks up prices due to the lack of competition.

  24. ARP says:

    @milty45654: I don’t think its simply our infantile thought process at work.

    With banks, we do have some choice. Granted, the choices suck, but we have it. So we could switch to a more secure bank/credit union if there was a problem. With TM, we have no choice. That’s the source of frustration with so many here.

  25. Thorkel says:

    I actually had an almost-positive exeprience with Ticketmaster. I bought some tickets to a show and at the same time, I bought a parking pass to the venue. Normally when I buy tickets online, I take the option to pick up the tickets at the will-call office. But, the parking pass could not be left for pickup. I would need to have it in hand before I got to the gate, so it had to be physically delivered. Ticketmaster’s web site offers several delivery options, and I made the mistake of electing the cheapest: have the tickets and pass delivered free by regular mail.

    The tickets are supposed to arrive no later than 48 hours before the show; they didn’t. The confirmation email I received when I bought the tickets stated they would send me a notice email when the tickets were ready to be mailed out; I received no such notice. 30 hours before the show and I was still ticketless.

    I called the Ticketmaster contact number given on their web site, and according to my cell phone it took 31 minutes and 48 seconds to complete my business with them. The vast majority of that time was spent on hold, wondering if my battery would last. Once I finally got to speak with someone they handled my problem quickly and well. I got a voucher to have my tickets reprinted at the venue box office, and invalidated the original tickets so if they had been stolen, the thief couldn’t use them. The parking pass could not be reprinted, so I got a full refund of the amount for that. But of course without it I did still have a parking problem.

  26. erratapage says:

    This poll reminds me of Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil on Comedy Central. Personally, I think Ticketmaster is winning, because most of us have learned to steer away from Wachovia (Wachovia doesn’t even serve my area), while Ticketmaster has a near monopoly.

  27. starrion says:

    BTW it is not a matter of “avoiding” Wachovia. They process fraud transactions that take money from your bank account whether you bank with them or your friendly neighborhood credit union.

    If your CU then corrects it, and tells Wachovia “Hey, that’s fraud!”, Wachovia ignores them, bills the fraudster for the chargeback, AND STILL PROCESSES THE NEXT TRANSACTION!!!onez.

    You cannot avoid them which is why Wachovia, Comcast, AAA, and Halliburton should be contending for the finals.

  28. Trai_Dep says:

    @milty45654: Well, to be fair, I think part of the argument is, which is worse, a de-facto monopoly that egregiously, maliciously abuses their position or an innately evil company whose business model – until caught – was based on raping its customers while profiting off the crooks. But a company with lots of competition.
    Inescapably evil vs Avoidably, yet more innately evil.
    It’s a toughie, for sure. I’m still mulling it over…

  29. milty45654 says:

    @ARP:

    You also have the choice to NOT go to a show…boycott them all and force ticketmaster to comply….if they can’t sell ANY tickets, they will have to change their ways…but people don’t unite anymore in this country and take a stand; instead just paying the fees and letting them continue to rip you off..

  30. plustax says:

    Why did I vote for Ticketmaster? I look out of my office window here on the Sunset Strip and I see seven different banks (Wells Fargo is downstairs, BofA and Citibank is across the street, City National is down a block and etc) and only one corporate headquarters of ticketmaster. I hate the lack of competition Ticketmaster enjoys unlike local banks.

  31. bustit22 says:

    I never saw the problem with scalpers. It’s no different than buying a Nintendo Wii and selling it for more later. Obviously there wouldn’t be a market for scalped tickets unless people were willing to pay.

  32. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Don’t like Wachovia? Bank somewhere else. Don’t like Ticketmaster? Can’t go to the show. Lack of market choices here makes this round quite easy.

  33. Someone explain to me how Ticketmaster is winning this… time to redo my chart…

  34. DrGirlfriend says:

    I think Ticketmaster is winning simply because more people have been pissed at them for longer. I know I hate their guts.

  35. The Porkchop Express says:

    @starrion: you don’t HAVE to use wachovia either. People WANT to go to concerts, either music or comedy or some other and then they HAVE to use ticketmaster.

  36. mopar_man says:

    I had to vote for Ticketmaster. I have a ton of different options for banks but if I want to go to a concert, I have to deal with getting the shaft from Ticketmaster.

  37. RandoX says:

    Is there going to be a continuously updated graphic of the playoff bracket somewhere?

  38. c00ler_dood says:

    wow buying tickets to a Britney Spears concert is more important than stopping fraud?

    what’s wrong with you people?

  39. What in the heck is that graphic? With the red outline? Is it 2 knights fighting? Seriously, somebody help me…

  40. RandoX says:

    @alphafemale: That’s what it looks like to me.

  41. johnva says:

    @Papa Midnight: The monopoly factor makes it so that people are basically forced to do business with Ticketmaster if they want to see a particular show (or pay even more from a reseller). That makes people more resentful because they feel they don’t have a choice but to pay the egregious fees. Ticketmaster is also notorious for scammy practices like charging MORE money for Internet ticket delivery despite the fact that this probably costs them LESS money than having people talk to a customer service agent or use the mail. They’re a company that rips you off just because they can.

    If you’re a Wachovia customer, that’s pretty much entirely your choice. There is zero reason you can’t switch to another bank.

  42. huadpe says:

    Also, the thing to note with Ticketmaster v. Wachovia is that only a very small percentage of Wachovia’s business is skeevy (really). Pretty much every Ticketmaster transaction is full of scammy fees.

  43. AceKicker says:

    I went with Wachovia, for:
    A) The sheer amount of money involved compared to Ticketmaster, and
    B) I’m convinced that even if Ticketmaster went away tomorrow, someone else would jump into its place and do the same thing, so I don’t see Ticketmaster as being in an exclusive group.

  44. aeebee says:

    Is it wrong that I actually like Wachovia? I’ve been with them for 10 years…never had a problem. Every other bank I’ve used (living overseas and second account) have had major problems. As far as big banks go, they’re pretty good. Granted, I’ve never had to deal with any fraud or anything like that…

    …and here comes the bitching!

  45. no.no.notorious says:

    TICKET MASTER IS SINGLE HANDEDLY RUINING THE CONCERT INDUSTRY…where most musicians make their money. 10 thumbs down.

  46. sgodun says:

    This one surprised me: I voted for Wachovia, fully expecting to be in the majority, and it turns out I’m not. And I have to wonder why.

    The problems with Ticketmaster are problems with a luxury service. You don’t lose the ability to eat or make a mortgage payment because you couldn’t get a ticket to the Britney Spears show. In the grand scheme of things these problems amount to little more than a person’s ability to wisely spend their excess income.

    Wachovia’s problems are far more dangerous. If people are defrauded of their money due to Wachovia’s problems, then they may lose their house or their car or may not be able to feed themselves or their children until the issue has been resolved. Think about that: You can’t buy a concert ticket, or you can’t make the mortgage payment on your house. Yet, Ticketmaster is worse?

    It blows my mind that people think that Ticketmaster is the greater evil. Wachovia is easily the heavier gorilla here.

  47. MissPeacock says:

    When Wachovia bought out SouthTrust several years ago, my mom and all of her fellow employees lost their jobs. Several thousand jobs were lost in the Birmingham area alone. So I can’t help but vote for them…out of pure, personal spite.

  48. AaronZ says:

    To the people asking how Ticketmaster is winning;
    Do you have any concept of the power of choice?
    Drive down any street in any neighborhood and you’ll see a dozen different banks.
    But try to buy tickets to ANY show, and you have ONE option, ticketmaster – who in turn basically rape their customers with monopolistic fees. Charge you to receive tickets via e-mail? Charge you to print them out yourself? Hell, even Comcast has competitors.
    There’s only one choice here, and it’s ticketmaster.

    @starrion:
    “Nobody is over a barrel with ticketmaster. You don’t HAVE to go to a concert.”

    Oh, shut up. You don’t HAVE to put your money in a bank either, you can put it under your mattress. If you want to offer a counter argument, try to come up with something more realistic than “you don’t have to” do anything fun.

  49. johnva says:

    @aeebee: I actually like Bank of America, based on over 10 years of experience with them. Like your view of Wachovia, I know that mine is an unpopular view here.

    I think the general problem with these polls is that it’s poorly defined what we’re voting on. Are we voting on worst overall, worst customer service, worst single horror story, etc? So people always argue over the same general principles on every one of these matchups.

  50. failurate says:

    From the comments, it appears that a lot of people just didn’t read the Wachovia story.

  51. starrion says:

    @AaronZ:

    Unfortunately, it appears that you are not paying attention. Wachovia is assisting in defrauding the customers of OTHER banks. Pick a bank. Get a checking account. Thief gets your checking account number. Thief processes transaction THROUGH WACHOVIA taking money from your checking account. Wachovia is notified – and does nothing.

    And if you think going to concerts is a priority – then you might want to consider growing up before posting on big people sites.

  52. DrGirlfriend says:

    @johnva: Agreed…that was the problem I saw with the menu Foods vs Comcast matchup. “Worst company” doesn’t mean the same to everyone. And it’s not that it’s the poll’s fault, because with most polls comes a degree of sujectivity. But you start to see that disconnect in the comments.

  53. SisterHavana says:

    I had to go with Ticketmaster here. Setting aside the fact that Wachovia has a very minimal presence in my area (we have a total of 8 locations in the state, none of them particularly near me – and I didn’t think we had any until I looked it up), if I’m not happy with my bank, I can pull my money out and go somewhere else. There’s plenty of choice. If I want to go to a concert (and don’t want to pay a scalper), I HAVE to get my tickets through Ticketmaster. I have to pay their fees. There’s no way to avoid it, other than not going to the concert at all.

  54. elf6c says:

    I agree- this gimmick is hopelessly broken. Worse, the site is popular enough that certain patterns of “interesting” votes and comments now happen. Unless the astroturfing gets better the votes/comments are going to continue to head south. Especially seeing the flag comment thing is gone now. Hmm, how did that happen.

    Till then, count on a cable company losing this (unless the hire the same “viral marketing/PR” firms, then watch out. . .)

  55. sydcage says:

    I’ve been too many concerts. I’ve never once used Ticketmaster. Nor have I ever used Wachovia tho starrion brings up quite a good point.

  56. Ex_EA_Slave says:

    @starrion: And if you think going to concerts is a priority – then you might want to consider growing up before posting on big people sites.

    Which part of posting on the ‘big people sites’ is belittling other posters for not being mature? AaronZ obviously cares more about going to see his favorite band, lecturer, or event more than some bank doing little to stop fraud. He, like the majority of people on this site, have probably never been affected by Wachovia. He also, like the majority of people on this site, has probably been anally ravaged by Ticketmaster for the past 25 years. Does that make AaronZ less mature than you? No,it does not. Apathy and immaturity are two completely different things, but I’m sure someone as obviously learned and worldly as you already knows that.

  57. telepheedian says:

    I noticed that although ticketmaster uses PR to “assure” people that they are trying to prevent scalping, behind the scenes, they really seem to encourage it. Take, for example, their recent purchase of Getmein.com, a sort of Ebay for ticket scalpers. The scary thing is that Getmein’s tagline is “Tickets for true fans. Guaranteed.” Let’s just hope they never bring the site to the US.

  58. CRNewsom says:

    @DrGirlfriend: I see this as the beauty of the system. If you’ve been screwed by Wachovia, or know someone who has, then you will be more inclined to vote for them. However, most people have only read about the Wachovia crap on the internet, so are less familiar.

    In general, I support the vagueness of the poll, as it lets you, the voter, decide what the poll means to you.

    /Note to everyone who is speaking about Ticketmaster in relation to Hannah Montana or Britney Spears concert tickets: Here in Louisville, Ticketmaster controls the Ballet, Opera, Musicals, Orchestra performances, (big name) comedy acts, and plays in addition to normal pop and rock concerts.

  59. forgottenpassword says:

    I’d say ticketmaster consistantly screws over more people than wachovia does….. so ticketmaster gets my vote.

  60. ARP says:

    @starrion: I think we can all agree that both are evil. I think its annoying to belittle someone for picking one company or the other. I think we can have a civilized debate here (until the PR reps start poisoning everything). I think as others have mentioned, its matter of how many, how much, how long, people are affected. Almost all of us are impacted by TM’s monopoly (at least if you go to a concert, sporting event, opera, play, etc). Wachovia’s actions have impacted fewer and so it tends to get less votes. My view is that TM is intentionally being evil while Wachovia is being negligently evil (if that makes sense)and so I voted for TM.

  61. starrion says:

    @Ex_EA_Slave:

    Losing my temper at Aaron was not cool, but having had people raid my bank account was infuriating. Moreover Wachovia wasn’t not trying to stop fraud, they noted in internal documents that allowing the scammers to operate was very profitable in fees, and they opted to effectively provide bank access to identity thieves /fraudsters.

    I’ve gone to events with tickets bought at Ticketmonster. While it’s infuriating, I was aware of the cost and opted to pay it to see the show. At least Ticketmaster didn’t try to empty my bank account.

  62. magnus150 says:

    Ticketmaster is way more horrible than Wachovia. I’ve had nothing but pleasant experiences with Wachovia but Ticketmaster screws you over no matter the show.

  63. sgodun says:

    I have to say, the reasons given by the voters for TicketMaster are pretty weak, IMO. “Screws over more people” is hardly (IMO) a useful benchmark; what’s worse, screwing a hundred people for an overpriced concert ticket, or screwing fifty people out of several thousand dollars for several months at a time? Quantity does not override quality, I think.

    Those who don’t have Wachovia near them, or who don’t bank with Wachovia, and therefore vote for TicketMaster are particularly weak. “Because it didn’t happen to me, I think they’re okay.” The US didn’t get involved in WW2 until 1941. I guess that means the Germans were pretty swell guys up until that point, eh?

    TicketMaster abuses a monopoly position in a non-essential, non-critical, purely-luxury-driven market. Wachovia screws a lot of people in an essential, life-affecting market whether they’re a Wachovia customer or not.

  64. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @failurate: or read the comments at this point.

    I have to go with the company that rips you off even if you don’t do business with them. Wachovia.

  65. Drowner says:

    Ticketmaster’s been screwing people for years. While identity theft is on the rise now (and Wachovia sure isn’t helping), I was shut out of many a show in the late 90s because Ticketmaster strangely only had obscured seating as soon as the tickets were on sale. -high school sadness-

  66. BugMeNot2 says:

    At least with Wachovia you can go to another bank. Monopolies are bad, mmmkay

  67. AaronZ says:

    @sgodun: “Those who don’t have Wachovia near them, or who don’t bank with Wachovia, and therefore vote for TicketMaster are particularly weak.”

    I think a failure to institute policy is slightly less bad than *intentionally* muscling your monopoly power to rake your customers over the coals.
    Also, the scope and duration of the issue at hand: Wachovia has only been failing for a short time, and will fix the issue (probably?). Ticketmaster has been an awful monopoly since I was 10 and bought tickets to Steve Miller – and there’s no indication they’re going to get any better (if anything, they’ll keep tacking more/higher fees until some legal official takes them to task.)

    @ starrion
    Pot/kettle, kettle/pot.
    There’s nothing else I can say to you that other’s haven’t already said better.

  68. Angryrider says:

    Hmm… I chose Wachovia, being scammed by people in faraway countries is worse than my inability to see a Broadway show.

  69. loueloui says:

    Wow, so far I’m 3 for 3 as far as the majority votes. We should have a contest to see who guesses the most winners. The prize could be a bag of discount coupons, and the executive e-mail addresses of a company of your choice.

  70. UpsetPanda says:

    I say Ticketmaster, because you can choose your bank and credit card…Ticketmaster has the ticket market practically cornered, so it’s hard to avoid them in lieu of another vendor. The last concert I went to, I was so disappointed that I had to get tickets through Ticketmaster. It wasn’t feasible to get tickets from the venue because it was several hours away, so I had to get them online. Two $25 tickets ended up costing $72 after all the stupid service and delivery fees. But what could I do really? That’s who the venue worked with – and it’s the case for the majority of different venues.

    I don’t like Wachovia, I have heard a lot of bad stories. But I also don’t bank with Wachovia because I know how bad they can be ….but generally, you can choose to bank somewhere else.

  71. failurate says:

    Getting screwed by ticketmaster equals out to not getting to see a show or having to fork out an extra $20-$100.

    The scam that Wachovia is running with equals out to people losing their entire banking accounts, getting crushed by bounce fees, having their credit scores ruined and just generally being raped and pillaged while Wachovia collects money from obviously fraudulent accounts.

    Ticketmaster’s opperation is pretty up front… you want this? you pay this!

    Wachovia is back-dooring folks by profitting from fraud.

    “the bank, in fact, solicited business from companies it knew had been accused of telemarketing crimes.”

  72. JeffCarr says:

    I voted Ticketmaster because of it’s monopoly status, and ridiculous overcharging of tickets. You can always choose another bank. There are a number of banks that I refuse to do business with, but even more that are perfectly acceptable.

    Does that make Wachovia’s crime lesser? I don’t believe so, but it did perform the greater crime on a lesser scale than Ticketmaster, who continues it’s bad practices today with no intention of stopping.

  73. Trai_Dep says:

    Sigh. Hate monopolies, and BofA (editors, don’t forget to mention their buying MBNA then trying to stealthily change every damned condition of millions of cardholders, one blank-return-addressed-envelope, the key sentence defining the term change buried in 4pp of 9pt legalese text; I’ve caught four (4!!) letters from this, so far) will get my Evil Bank vote later.

    And to those that are sneering at those of us that like live music – you’re sad, lonely and artless people. Don’t hate those of us that aren’t.

  74. luz says:

    @starrion: You don’t HAVE to bank with Wachovia either. You don’t HAVE to bank at all. I HAVE to see the Mars Volta, and I effectively HAD to pay more than $90 for two thirty-dollar tickets! Ticketmaster must die.

  75. psyop63b says:

    Ticketmaster is an illegal MONOPOLY! It’s a smack in the face that they are the ONLY way to get a ticket in many cases, and to have to pay $10 (more? less?) worth of bullshit “convenience” charges for the privilege.

  76. JustaConsumer says:

    Ticketmaster is pure evil. They engage in all sorts of unethical monopolistic behavior.

  77. PeteyNice says:

    Ticketmaster’s entire business model is evil. I have been nothing but happy with the retail banking aspects of Wachovia. While Wachovia overall may have some scummy bits there are good parts too. Ticketmaster is 100% scummy bits.

  78. sgodun says:

    @AaronZ: I think a failure to institute policy is slightly less bad than *intentionally* muscling your monopoly power to rake your customers over the coals.

    I’m not arguing that TicketMaster is abusing a monopoly power. My point is, how much damage is it REALLY doing. The product that TM offers is a 100% non-essential luxury product. In the grand scheme of things, literally 0% of the population NEEDS a TicketMaster or comparable company. That, if nothing else, makes it a non-necessity.

    Wachovia, like all banks, are pretty much a life necessity, and people do trust their lives to banks like Wachovia. So when Wachovia abuses their position or otherwise screws up, it impacts the lifeblood of a large number of people. That, IMO, makes it FAR worse than anything that TM could possibly do.

    Also, the scope and duration of the issue at hand: Wachovia has only been failing for a short time, and will fix the issue (probably?). Ticketmaster has been an awful monopoly since I was 10 and bought tickets to Steve Miller – and there’s no indication they’re going to get any better (if anything, they’ll keep tacking more/higher fees until some legal official takes them to task.)

    Again: It’s a NON-ESSENTIAL LUXURY. If you don’t like the way TM does business, don’t buy from them. It won’t affect your ability to live, have a home, feed your children, etc if TM charges a small fortune for a concert ticket that you don’t purchase. But if Wachovia screws up (as they did) then it DOES affect those things. You want to talk about scope, then talk about the real-world impact that these two companies have on people. TM fleeces people with disposable income. Wachova screwed over the working class for a huge amount of money (and privacy).

    I fail to see how TM could even vaguely be considered the worse company here. It reminds me of when rich people get all pissed off because their favorite five star restaurant doesn’t have their favorite brand of caviar, while at the same time some homeless guy across the street is rummaging through a trash can looking for a pizza crust.

  79. sgodun says:

    BTW: For all the people saying “go to another bank”, you forgot something important.

    Wachovia’s screw-ups also affected people who ARE NOT Wachovia customers. So, choosing a bank that ISN’T Wachovia is not automatic safety against Wachovia.

  80. deadlizard says:

    Ticketmaster is a cancer. It represents everything that’s wrong in the music industry. I’m appalled the Federal Trade Commission had let these crooks screw fans and artists for so long. Wachovia screws people too, but you can choose to take your business elsewhere.

  81. lovelygirl says:

    PPL, WTF IS WRONG W/YOU??? The idea of banks being so lenient with identity theft is less harmful then expensive tickets? WTFFFFFFFFF? That’s insane. Vote for Ticketmaster as worst and you’re just showing Chase, Bank of America, Commerce, etc. that they don’t need to pay attention to identity theft and scammers, just have a field day!

  82. lovelygirl says:

    And whats the big effing deal with ticket scalpers?? I paid just over a hundred bucks last month to see the Spice Girls. I really really wanted to see it and the price I got was amazing for where I was sitting. Fees are something you can’t avoid, like death and taxes. Learn to factor fees into the price. If you really want the ticket, you’ll pay the money and you won’t complain like a little baby. And those of ya’ll who are voting for Ticketmaster are the ones who are gonna raise such a stink when your bank has an identity theft scare.

  83. luz says:

    @lovelygirl: Not really; my indifference to Wachovia thing is based more on the fact that it really shouldn’t be surprising. All banks screw people, all the time. Wachovia got caught at it and is being investigated and prosecuted; Ticketmaster is one of the last great robber-baron monopolies and grossly responsible for the commodification of art (though when it comes to the Spice Girls that might have been a foregone conclusion, too.)