Are you a New Jersey resident who was screwed out of Springsteen tickets by the Ticketmaster/TicketsNow “technical glitch”? The state’s Division of Consumer Affairs would like to hear from you. There’s a small box on the lower right corner of the home page that will take you to a complaint form. [NJ Consumer Affairs via MetsPolice]

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  1. Irashtar says:

    Hopefully the investigations will actually find enough information to let other states get in on it, and since I’m being really optimistic, take down the entire cartel.

  2. Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

    NJ Consumer Affairs would like to hear if you got the FREEZE-OUT, Tenth Avenue-style or otherwise….

  3. Philthadelphian says:

    It’s not a cartel, they’re just selling tickets at a fair-market value that the artists are too blind to realize! Haven’t you been paying attention?? Do you want Atlas to Shrug or something?

    • Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

      @Philthadelphian: While I normally agree with unfettered free markets, it seems like the current system is the way the artists themselves prefer it–to take a nice profit while still offering reasonably priced tickets to their fans of different economic means.

      It’s all about rationing, and ticket sales are usually rationed to those who plan ahead–not just to the highest bidders, which seems to be what’s happening here.

  4. CaptainConsumer says:

    I was doing some reading and some research on this very issue last night and found a New Jersey blogger who WENT OFF on TicketMaster. It brought a tear to my eye.

    [jerseycitydesk.blogspot.com]

  5. Anonymous says:

    I really don’t understand how the ticket market is supposed to work…

    Who sets the “face value” of the tickets, and why is it obviously so far under what people are willing to pay?

    Why does anyone feel they have a right to pay this arbitrarily low price anyway?

  6. ARP says:

    There are a number of evils here:

    1) TM for artificially reducing supply by pretending that the tickets were ligitmately sold, when they were simply held for Tickets Now.
    2) Us for still buying the tickets even though we know its a scam
    3) Venues and artists for entering into agreements with TM to be the exclusive ticket supplier.

    The problem is that you need to address all 3 before anything real can be done.

  7. ViperBorg says:

    People got screwed out of Springsteen tickets? Sounds like TicketMaster was doing them a favor.

  8. bubbaprog says:

    I fail to see how anyone was “screwed” here. I love The Boss as much as anyone else, but there is no inherent right to purchase any good for less than its equilibrium price.

    If demand is high enough that the equilibrium price is far higher than the one set by the artist, the artist is in the wrong for setting too low a price. Concert tickets are a scarce good, but not an essential one. This isn’t milk or gasoline, folks.

    Ticket resellers exist to fix major flaws in the economics of ticket sales, and I’m sorry that you don’t have enough money to purchase a ticket at its equilibrium price (given scarcity of supply and high demand) — I’d love to go too, but I’m poor — but that’s no reason to waste tax dollars on this issue.

    • ARP says:

      @bubbaprog: The flaw in your market approach is that is that it assumes that everyone has equal access/chance to get those tickets and then turn around and resell them. They don’t. TM gets to keep as many as they want.

      • bubbaprog says:

        @ARP: TM doesn’t “keep” them. They resell them. As long as the tickets are making their way to the marketplace, the supply curve is static.

        Again, this is much simpler than people are making it. TM would not be doing this if they could not sell all the tickets they possess. If all the tickets are being sold, even at a much-inflated price, then the market is working the way it is supposed to.

        If TM was keeping all the tickets to give to their employees, then you would have a point. But if people are willing to pay the inflated prices for the tickets, then THAT IS THE EQUILIBRIUM PRICE.

        • IT-Chick says:

          @bubbaprog:

          “TM doesn’t “keep” them. They resell them. As long as the tickets are making their way to the marketplace, the supply curve is static”

          No, they “keep” them. TicketMaster owns TicketsNow and they make money off the sales from that site.

          Your point that all the tickets are being sold is not correct. TM does this with all events. I don’t go to concerts anymore, but I do go to many Children’s Live Events, and it’s interesting how the best seats are usually empty. People move down and in essence, get those better seats for free.
          A show I bought tickets for, is still over 3 months away, still in presale, and only TicketsNow has the great seats, and are selling them for 6x face value. I know because TicketMaster was nice enough to redirect me there when my search came up with no results. So I bought the next best tickets, on the floor, to the right, and when we get there, there will be plenty of open seats in the middle for us to move into.

          Who does this hurt? Unsold seats because TicketMaster would rather try to scalp them to their “sister company” than sell them at face value to a family who really wants them. They’re screwing the venue and performers.

        • Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

          So in the future, Springsteen concerts will be filled with deep-pocketed Wall Street douchebags and their plasticky girlfriends who, between the two of them, have heard 3 Bruce Springsteen songs in their lives.

          Concerts are unique in that they shouldn’t be rationed solely on price, like so many other goods in the free market. If I’m wrong, then why does just about every band offer pre-sale tickets to their fan clubs? Because they realize that it’s not about instant money, it’s about maintaining a fan base and ensuring those people want to come to your concerts again and again.

          When the tour promoter and artist are still only making a total of $50 or $60 off each ticket, but the scalper is making an extra several hundred dollars in the middle, it screws both sides–even if it does follow pure market economics.

          • bubbaprog says:

            @Ash78: Again, if the venue/artist is only making a small percentage of the final sales price, it’s THEIR FAULT for not properly evaluating the demand for their product. They should charge more up front — obviously, people are willing to pay that price for the product.

            I’m sorry that it sucks rich people will only go to these concerts, but it sucks that only rich people can afford mansions and BMWs too. Just because you “desire” a concert experience more than those things doesn’t mean the basic facts of economics should change for it.

        • ARP says:

          @bubbaprog: Using that logic, why not route all tickets to Tickets Now and then sell them for more? Or maybe they can release 10% of the tickets to the general public and route the rest to T-N. They know they’re doing somehting at best is shady and d-baggy, at worst anticompetitive and unlawful.

          • bubbaprog says:

            @ARP: They don’t route ALL the tickets because they are trying to avoid the public relations nightmare that is happening right now.

            This happens with EVERY event Ticketmaster sells tickets for, and until artists/venues start pricing their tickets closer to the equilibrium price, it will continue to happen. It’s also what happens when prices within any market for a scarce good are kept artificially low.

            I hate scalpers, but what makes a concert ticket different from any other item of value? Why should human beings who possess an item that is legal to own and legal to sell not be able to sell them for their MARKET PRICE? Sure, capitalism has its flaws, but this is its basic premise — and if we turn our back on that, we’re no better than Soviet Russia.

  9. Blueskylaw says:

    AN OPEN LETTER OF APOLOGY TO BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, JON LANDAU AND THE ENTIRE SPRINGSTEEN TOUR TEAM:
    While we were genuinely trying to do the right thing for fans in providing more choices when the tickets they requested from the primary on-sale were not available, we clearly missed the mark. Fans are confused and angry, which is the opposite of what we hoped to accomplish. We sincerely apologize to Bruce, his organization and, above all, his fans.

    We recognize that we need to change our course. We have committed to Bruce and state publicly here that we have taken down all links for Bruce’s shows directing fans from Ticketmaster to TicketsNow. This redirection only occurred as a choice when we could not satisfy fans’ specific search request for primary ticket inventory, but to make sure there is no misunderstanding in the future, we also publicly state that we will never again link to TicketsNow in a manner that can possibly create any confusion during a high-demand on-sale. Specifically, we will not present an option to go to TicketsNow from Ticketmaster without the consent of the artist and the venue, both of whom work together to bring the joy of live entertainment to millions of fans.

    If any fans inadvertently purchased tickets in the resale marketplace believing in error they were purchasing from the initial on-sale, we will refund the difference between the actual purchase price and the face price of the ticket. (Please don’t abuse this good faith gesture – we did not give brokers any preferential access to tickets.)

    We are committed to helping deliver the most transparent and best live entertainment experience to fans. We will do better going forward.

    Sincerely,
    Irving Azoff, CEO, Ticketmaster Entertainment

  10. TrueBlue63 says:

    If this letter is true, then I have been screwed thrice

    (1) Knowing how the system works I was assigned the best available seats at 10:04, they were behind the stage, so are they saying that every other ticket was sold by 10:03?

    LIARS

    (2) I re-tried to get tix, and was bumped off the system 3x.

    (3) I am not an ignoramus and didn’t purchase a scalped ticket for $1,000.

    I will no longer attend events in an arena served by Ticketmaster. People it is the only way to discipline these a-holes. Unite and reject the Ticketmaster Cartel, let them play before an empty arena, it only has to happen once or twice to change the whole system.

    Imagine how much money the IZOD center will lose if they can’t sell beer, soda, food etc

  11. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been trying to get tickets for a Beacon show on Feb 19 — Leonard Cohen,
    first time in US in 15 years (and perhaps last) — from the MOMENT the tickets
    went on sale, they were ONLY available through Ticketmaster’s own resale arm.
    What is their motivation to sell those tickets at their “normal” price — 60 –
    250 — rather than 400-4000? I don’t see any. Is this legal?

  12. colinjay says:

    This has been going on at least since last summer. I can’t remember if it was Radiohead, but I remember that a lot of people were complaining about being redirected to TicketsNow almost immediately.

  13. btrotta says:

    The letter from Azoff is a farce. It doesn’t apologize for taking the tickets out of the sale pool in the first place, only for redirecting the poor SOB’s to their scalping website.

    How TN’s very existence doesn’t violate every anti-scalping law in the country remains a mystery to me.

    I wouldn’t be half as mad at TN if they worked like old-fashioned scalpers, ie they got in line like the real fans and waited for tickets, at least that way everyone would have a chance at ALL of the tickets. But TM through its wholly-owned subsidiary TN, conspires to keep the tickets from ever reaching the primary market, so no one ever has a shot to get those tickets at face value.

    And everything is going to get sooooooo much better when Ticketmaster and Live Nation merge. There’s no anti-trust issues there. Nope. No warning lights or sirens going off there.