Ticketmaster Settles Class Action Lawsuit

If you bought a ticket from Ticketmaster between Oct ’99 and May ’10, get ready for some bucks/ticket discounts coming your way. Ticketmaster has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit brought against it in 2003 that alleged the ticket giant’s processing fees were just a “profit component” and didn’t recoup any actual costs of doing business.

Another part of the claim averred that Ticketmaster’s fee for USPS was a substantial markup over their actual USPS mailing costs.

In settling the case, Ticketmaster admitted no wrongdoing.

In Feb 2010,Ticketmaster settled with the FTC over charges that it had told fans that Bruce Springsteen were sold out and redirected them to a secondary site that charged multiple times the face value of the tickets, even though Ticketmaster still had tickets for The Boss still available.

Live Nation, Ticketmaster settle suit [Variety]

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  1. FireJayPa says:

    Without reading the article – does this apply for people that buy sporting event season tickets. For example I think the Eagles do their season tickets through ticket master…..

  2. dragonfire81 says:

    Awesome, now why can’t we go after the banks for similar activities?

    • Mike says:

      Because that would make you a socialist, that’s why. From what I understand the proper way to deal with banks is less regulation and tax breaks for their CEOs. That’s what Fox Business tells me.

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Awesome. I might get money out of this!

    • nbs2 says:

      Maybe a couple of nickels. I’ve certainly bought tickets from them, but I can’t remember which tickets were from them or when exactly.

    • wackydan says:

      The lawyers will get it all.

    • Griking says:

      This really does nothing.

      “In settling the case, Ticketmaster admitted no wrongdoing.”

      I’d be very surprised if anything substantial changes with the way Ticketmaster sells tickets to events. As a consumer I’d be much more interested in seeing new regulations on how much they can mark up ticket prices over the face value instead of getting a couple of bucks back because of what they did in the past.

      • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

        How about an antitrust suit? Do venues even have the option to use another ticket vendor if they use ticket master?

    • haggis for the soul says:

      You might get $5 or some discounts on future purchases which they will likely charge you even more egregious service charges on to cover this. I swear I will never give Ticketbastards another dime of my money.

  4. danmac says:

    I will be collecting on this lawsuit…I would like my payment broken down as follows:

    Class Action Amount: $15.00
    Fee to File for Compensation: $17.00
    Mailbox Opening Fee: $7.00
    Miscellaneous Fees: $14.00

    Total: $53.00

    Thanks!

    Oh, and if they would like to directly deposit settlement into my account, there’s a $16.00 convenience fee for that as well.

    • Rachacha says:

      You forgot Postage and handling (First class mail) $14.99

    • DeepHurting says:

      Bravo to you, good Sir or Madam, as the case may be.

      But in reality, enjoy your vouchers for 10% off your next TicketMaster purchase of 10 or more
      tickets (not valid for all events, add 20% Ticket voucher use fee per ticket)!

    • haggis for the soul says:

      Mailbox Opening Fee cracked me right up.

      Don’t forget Fee For Reviewing Documents with Left Eye: $750
      Fee for Reviewing Documents with Right Eye (dominant Eye): $900

  5. Jevia says:

    Wow, is there someone who hasn’t bought tickets through Ticketmaster? I hope we don’t have to dig up old receipts or credit card statements. I know I bought at least one pair tickets a year through them.

    • dadelus says:

      No, you just have to sign up to be part of the class so you can get your $0.05 check in the mail in 4-6 weeks

    • RandomHookup says:

      I haven’t bought tickets to anything in a while, so I assume I would qualify.

      • midniteslayr says:

        Pay careful attention to the dates. In the 11 year time frame that this covers, I know I have personally purchased tickets to something like 10 shows from ticketmaster. While that might not be too many, it may qualify me to get a free ticket or something.

    • chaelyc says:

      Usually they make these sorts of settlements really easy by saying “you don’t have to send us anything to collect!” because they track their sales records that well, but the result is that most people end up with less than the amount of money that it costs to issue the checks so in the end they get nothing.

  6. oooooops says:

    Read closely in the Variety article it says “cash and/or discounts on one or more future purchases”

  7. zeeba says:

    Wait, but does this mean they are going to STOP charging all these fees from now on…?

  8. galm666 says:

    Hahaha, awesome. Ticketbastard has it coming.

    “$5 printable ticket fee.”

    What?

    • youbastid says:

      Except they aren’t getting what should be coming to them at all. They’re settling, and in doing so admit no wrongdoing. So they don’t have to actually change anything, they just have to pay a couple bucks. They win.

  9. travel_nut says:

    How do I sign up for the class action suit? I’ve bought several tickets from TM in the last few years. The linked article doesn’t have any info on how to get in on this.

  10. theycallmeGinger says:

    I think I just saw a pig fly past my window.

  11. Qolotlh says:

    I don’t often use the word but DUH! It’s similar to delivery fees from pizza joints.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      When you buy a pizza, you are paying a courier to deliver it to your house. When Ticketbastard bulk mails you your tickets and then charges you 10 times or more what it actually cost them, I would consider that usury.

      • GearheadGeek says:

        You should perhaps look into the definition of usury. If you’re not getting a loan from Ticketmaster, their abusive practices aren’t usury.

      • shufflemoomin says:

        I bought tickets from Ticketmaster from Europe for events in the US. I chose to pick them up at Willcall at the stadium and I was even charged a free for that, despite them saying they would mail them in the US for free. Surely mailing something costs more than having someone hand the ticket over to me at the stadium? So yes, Ticketmaster charged me for the “convenience” of walking down there on gameday to get them.

  12. Qolotlh says:

    I don’t often use the word but DUH! It’s similar to delivery fees from pizza joints.

  13. Qolotlh says:

    I don’t often use the word but DUH! It’s similar to delivery fees from pizza joints.

  14. Blueskylaw says:

    People who were harmed by Ticketmasters actions are entitled to a $25.00 award. Ticketmaster will allow consumers who were damaged to print out the reward on their own printer for “only” a $30.00 convenience fee.

  15. aidaan says:

    I think the important thing to note here is “In settling the case, Ticketmaster admitted no wrongdoing.”

    My guess is this means they can continue to charge the same processing fees. Only winners here are the lawyers.

    • cynical_reincarnation says:

      thats true.

      Sounds like someone with a little more drive needs to sue…

    • ARP says:

      This is extremely common in settlements even when it obvious they were wrong. Otherwise, it opens them to other suits where their admission can be used against them.

  16. Qolotlh says:

    Sorry for the multipost…

  17. Gman says:

    Good. Bot don’t expect more than a few pennies in cash.

    Hopfully they force changes on TM for future events too.

    Like in cases where they are the only opportunity to purchase tickets, these fees should be waved or reduced to actual cost + a reasonable profit. Not pure profit. Example: there should not be four processing and convenience charges like in the above image.

  18. Supes says:

    A quick search through my Gmail reveals 3 orders in the last 4 years, though I’m sure I had a handful of other orders if you go all the way back to ’99.

    Serves them right. Ticketmaster is right up there with the RIAA, Cash4Gold, and Scientology in the “evil” category.

    • Hirayuki says:

      Yeah, I found nine Ticketmaster orders in my saved mail dating back only to ’04. Now how do I get in on this sweet payout? (Not that we’ll get more than a handful of change, given the scale of the suit.)

  19. pop top says:

    I know that I bought tickets for four concerts through Ticketmaster, and I have them all saved somewhere (Rammstein in 2001, GWAR in 2006 and 2007 and KMFDM in 2009). I wonder if they will need proof?

    • ARP says:

      Just show up in your metal-goth gear, bring a note from Al Jourgenson (Wax Trax-FTW), and they’ll give you your money for those shows. I kid.

      PS- Money and Angst was KMFDM’s high point.

      • pop top says:

        I think most of their stuff was great up to the break up. Now their stuff if mostly hit or miss. It’s too bad really.

    • cynical_reincarnation says:

      I want to see a statement from Dave Brockie regarding this.

      • pop top says:

        It’ll probably have something in it regarding his major crack addiction and hoping to get money from this to fund it.

  20. thehungjury says:

    I complained to my state attorney general about the deception inherent in advertising a ticket for, say, $10 and then charging $20 to actually purchase it in the guise of fees and other non-optional costs, but they didn’t pursue Ticketmaster over it. It’s good to see that someone is.

  21. nybiker says:

    The article indicates that the suit alleged the “UPS delivery option…”, not the US Postal Service.

  22. Sunflower1970 says:

    Well, cool. I’ve bought a lot of tickets through them over the years. I also have all my receipts. I could get some $$$ from this.

  23. LeonardoLeonardo says:

    Some freshman Congressperson could really earn some brownie points by proposing legislation which would ban fees tacked onto purchases like these (except for taxes and whatnot). It’s even got the eye-catching nickname, “The Anti-Ticketmaster Act”, right there waiting for them!

    • ARP says:

      You don’t follow politics, do you?

      1) It will be called socialism and Anti-business because you’re regulating how much money TM can charge, redistribution fo wealth, etc. Beck will mention it during one his shows and tell people you need to stop this or they’re coming to get you- you need to shot these commies in the head (despite the disclaimer of context).

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aaxCkN4h2Y

      2) If it somehow passes despite Republicans controlling the House, then the fees will either be built into the ticket priced, called something else, or there will be the threat of no more mailing, etickets, etc. by TKTM. TKTM must maintain double digit growth to pay its executives and institutional investors, regardless of economic conditions.

      • coren says:

        It’s not stopping Ticketmaster from charging whatever they want. They just have to straight up charge whatever that amount at the get go.

      • Skyhawk says:

        Not really.

        The reason that Ticketmaster is a monopoly is because politicians have made ticket-scalping a crime…Except when a large company with tons of lawyers and lobbyists takes politicians on expensive trips to get laws conveniently passed that favor them.

        So, there is currently no free market. If there were, you could get a ticket from many different sources, which, through competition, would be competing for business.

        Ticketmaster has been given a monopoly through governemnt action. Not even a resemblance to a free market situation.

        Same with gambling. It’s only illegal unless the state does it.

    • Derigiberble says:

      I would love this so much, it would make things so much easier to comparison shop for. I don’t think it is right you can advertise something for less than it actually costs to get that something. Cable companies love to do it. Digital cable for $30 per month, plus $15 per month cable box rental fee to actually use it.

      • wrjohnston91283 says:

        I’m ok with companies breaking out fees for items that are completely optional (including baggage fees on airlines, since I’ve flown in the past without checking a bag). While against legislation requiring airlines to provide basic service, if it does happen I’d like to see this included in the cost of the ticket:

        1) a seat that you are able to select (I’m fine with certain aisle having an upcharge)
        2) one checked bag, and one carry one (none of this “one carry on and one personal bag”)
        3) one drink and small snack for each X miles flown. Southwest is pretty good about coming around multiple times. This past week I flew on United, US Air and Delta, and we got one drink. I think we got a small bag of peanuts on Delta, but US and United didn’t have any food that was free.
        4) for longer flights, one meal for each X miles flown.

        Back to various fees:

        I’d even say that the cable box charge is legit since many TV’s don’t need a box to get the channels, but its borderline since the cable companies are promoting “on demand” so much, and you can’t get that without a box or additional hardware.

        However, the various “Regulatory Cost Recovery Charges” “Telecom Relay Service Fund Fees” and “Federal Universal Service Charges” are NOT taxes, and thus should be included in the quoted price of the service.

        We got lucky with the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which means that my $36.99 a month internet access charge is actually $36.99.

  24. ITDEFX says:

    Hmm…I have a few TM receipts as well… I guess they are going to mass email everyone who has ever bought tickets from them and ask them to claim their refunds :|

  25. smbizowner says:

    so do we get MONEY

    or just a coupon for a discount towards a future purchase that will have not tickets available upon which to redeem your coupon….

    or have extra procession/transactions fees for using said coupon,

    which adds up to said ticket costing more than the normal gouged ticket…..

  26. Mike says:

    All I want are reasonable fees. Something like no more than 10% of the face value of the ticket. If they are going to be a ticket monopoly they need some regulation of some kind.

  27. psm321 says:

    As much as I hate stupid fees, why would it be illegal or lawsuit-worthy to have fees that are profit components” and don’t recoup any actual costs of doing business? (Unless they are identified as costs when they’re not…)

  28. danmac says:

    Great…now there’s going to be a “Future Class Action Lawsuit Fee” on TM’s tickets. Thanks a lot, lawyers!

  29. DaisyGatsby says:

    If you order your tickets online, you can pull up your Ticketmaster Order History. For older orders, go to the Archive on the site.

    Found 14 orders I placed online since 2005.

  30. anime_runs_my_life says:

    The only times I’ve ordered tickets through Ticketmaster have been for Weird Al concerts, and they were hellishly expensive. I’ll be interested to see what kind of settlement they’ll be offering (since there doesn’t seem to be any sort of breakdown so far), as well as what kind of proof, seeing as I’ve never saved any receipts or the tickets themselves as souvineers.

  31. SecretAgentWoman says:

    I want the fee for PRINTING my tickets using my own paper and ink rather than having them shipped to me refunded.

    I have NEVER gotten over that.

  32. theblackdog says:

    I doubt I will see any money from this: “and class members who meet certain conditions will be entitled to receive from Ticketmaster a cash payment and/or discounts off one or more future ticket purchases.”

    So how much do you want to bet the conditions are impossible to fulfill?

  33. Chanakin says:

    I bought from Ticketmaster once, for a birthday present. After that, I wasn’t stupid enough to do it again.

    They charge you stupid, ridiculous fees for printing off your own ticket at home. Yes, no skin off their backs, but there they are, charging you some outrageous fee for no reason.

    Google your area before buying tickets for possible vendors. In some areas you will find that there is a local spot that sells them at their face value, no fees attached (unless you use a credit card, but that’s to cover the fees involved in processing the transaction and is normally a very reasonable fee).

    In Rochester, there’s a place called Aaron’s Alley that does this. They now get all my business for concert tickets. Ticketmaster will get my money no longer.

  34. akmofo says:

    I could probably find about 70-100 tickets I’ve paid for from these assholes since 1999. How do I get in on this action?

  35. Poisson Process says:

    So, am I supposed to have a receipt for every concert I went to between 1999 and 2010? I don’t even remember half of them! I’ve also moved several times. How can ticketmaster pay me what I’m owed?

  36. sweaterhogans says:

    Weird. Just the other day I got an $11 credit on my credit card from Ticketmaster. I have no idea what it’s for, but this must be it. Hundreds of dollars in “fees” and “delivery charges” for PRINTING and I get $11 back! Thanks, TM!!

  37. skitzogreg says:

    This article made me think of the class action suit scene from “The Jerk”, where Navin was forced to write out small checks to all the claimants of the Opti-Grab lawsuit. He loudly yells the names of all of the people he’s writing checks to – similar to how I imagine TicketMaster doing the same.

  38. PortlandBeavers says:

    In the example above, the building facility charge isn’t Ticketmaster’s fault. The venue gets that. It’s a flat charge on every ticket sold for any event at that venue. Still, they are adding nearly $10.

  39. johnrobinm says:

    file a complaint for a class action lawsuit.

  40. Dollie says:

    Ticketmaster made it too expensive for me to consider going to concerts, sporting events, or stage shows.

    They’ve got their nice little monopoly on the market, and they push around the arenas/locations and the talent putting on the show. Bands make little to nothing for a show. The only ones making money for people attending a show is Ticketmaster. Eddie Vedder was right that one time, I’ll admit.

    I used to go to various things all the time when the ticket price was the ticket price and nothing more. A ticket price should not be double its face value because of fees.

    In another 20 years I’ll be able to blame them for making me a recluse after I can’t afford to buy a ticket to allow me to drive on my street.

  41. shufflemoomin says:

    So, they get out of this by offering me the same discount the bastards starting spamming me with after ordering with them? How is that compensation? Not only do I likely not want to go to these events but I refuse to give another penny to Ticketmaster. If I can get anything, I’d like a little of the money they sucked out of me back.

  42. prismatist says:

    How do I file a claim? Is this US only, or do us Canadians get un-screwed too?

  43. moonunit says:

    When is someone going to sue for the “you can’t use Ticketmaster gift cards for this concert/that concert/this event/that event” fiasco?

    I won a Ticketmaster gift card in a contest a year or so before they started making gift cards redeemable only for certain events. Soon enough they’ll be “claiming no wrongdoing” and paying out for that mess as well… meanwhile I missed the concert I wanted to attend because I couldn’t stomach paying out of pocket for tickets while I had a gift card FOR TICKETMASTER in my other hand. Ugh.

  44. randomneko says:

    I paid some ridiculous amount for tickets to a NIN concert in Hawaii while I was stationed there. Since I’ve moved three times since then and no longer use the same credit card I doubt that this lawsuit will ever get me anything.