Ticketmaster is now set to pay for its five-year Entertainment Rewards biff, after customers complained that they signed up for the program without realizing it’d cost $9 a month, and never actually got any rewards for doing so. A U.S. District Court judge has approved up to $23 million in payouts as part of settlement over a lawsuit that said not only did customers come up empty-handed, they didn’t even know there were fees associated with enrolling in the program.
About 1.2 million people who signed up for the program between September 2004 and June 2009 are eligible to file a claim and could receive up to $30, reports the Associated Press. The average rewards member lost out on about $72, however, as it generally took about 8 months for people to catch on and cancel the membership they didn’t even know they had.
Those customers claimed that after buying a ticket online, they’d sign up for the rewards program, some on purpose and others claiming they had no idea they’d done so. Only thing is, that program cost $9 a month, and was simply charged to the same credit cards customers used to buy their tickets.
The plaintiffs claimed there weren’t any benefits to doing so, either. Which makes the program more like a Give Ticketmaster Money Every Month For No Good Reason program. We don’t know anyone who wants to give Ticketmaster more money than it already gobbles up in fees.
The attorney for the plaintiffs points out that this kind of aggressive marketing was all the rage on the Internet back then, before consumers were aware of such schemes. About 93% of customers who enrolled in the program never redeemed online coupons.
“People have gotten more savvy about these things,” he said. “This was early on. That’s why so many people were duped.”
Ticketmaster and its defendants (including its old parent IAC/InteraActiveCorp. and Entertainment Publications Inc.) aren’t admitting any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, and claimed that the program disclosed all the terms and conditions, including that monthly fee.
“We are looking forward to putting this case — that stems from several years ago, prior to Ticketmaster’s merger with Live Nation — behind us so we can resume our focus on delivering the best possible ticket buying experience for fans,” it said.
Ticketmaster settles rewards lawsuit for $23M [Associated Press]