With the clock ticking down until we open the floor up to Worst Company In America nominations, perennial Final Four contender Ticketmaster is here to remind everyone why they belong in the tournament.
An L.A. Lakers fan says the problems all began when she went to buy tickets for a game between her favorite basketball team and the Dallas Mavericks.
She tells the L.A. Times’ David Lazarus that she first checked the NBA-sanctioned, Ticketmaster-operated TicketExchange site that lets season ticket owners unload their seats on the secondary market. She says that no one was selling when she first looked, so it was over to the regular Ticketmaster site to see what was available.
There she ponied up a fee-laden total of $440 for two tickets. She was able to use some of her American Express rewards points to chip $68 off the price tag, which helped a bit.
Out of curiosity, she later went back to look at TicketExchange and found seats in the same row for $86 less (each!) had been posted in the time since she’d first checked.
So she contacted Ticketmaster, where a rep said they could do her “a favor” and refund her the face value — but none of the fees — for her initial purchase. But as for those AmEx rewards points she’d used, the rep said there was naught that could be done.
When the Lakers fan said she would contact AmEx about this, she claims that the Ticketmaster rep told her, “I don’t want to upset you, but I will warn you that if you complain to American Express, you could be blacklisted from using Ticketmaster.”
After that threat, she says she asked to speak to a supervisor.
“The supervisor then said they wouldn’t offer the refund,” the woman tells Lazarus. “He said that they were doing me a favor. If I was going to call American Express, they wouldn’t help me.”
In spite of the blacklist threat, she went ahead and called AmEx, who not only refunded her the points but an extra $25.
When Lazarus heard the woman’s story, he contacted Ticketmaster, where a company rep said she would listen to a tape of the call, but — shock horror — “Most calls are recorded… This one wasn’t.”
The rep said, “We don’t have a blacklist… That term isn’t part of our vernacular,” and that the CSR probably told the customer that a disputed charge can result in further ticket purchases being suspended until the dispute is resolved.
But the customer sticks by her version of the story. “‘Blacklist’ is absolutely the word they used… It’s exactly what they said.”
Hey, at least the Lakers won the game.