Ticketmaster has settled with the FTC over charges that it used “deceptive bait-and-switch” tactics when selling concert tickets, reports the Los Angeles Times. As usual for this kind of settlement, Ticketmaster admits no wrongdoing. For instance, the FTC noted that in one case “the same set of 38 tickets for the Springsteen concert in Washington were sold and resold 1,600 times,” and Ticketmaster waited as long as three months to let affected customers know, which is a clear example of not doing anything wrong.
Ticketmaster will pay a $50,000 fine and shutter more than 100 deceptive brokerage sites as part of a wide-reaching agreement with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Madigan’s office accused Ticketmaster’s always shady subsidy, TicketsNow, of creating sites that masqueraded as local venues selling tickets at face value. The settlement also requires TicketsNow to wait until after Ticketmaster puts non-sporting events on sale before hawking tickets at outrageously inflated prices.
Thousands of disappointed Phish fans are crying right now because Ticketmaster accidentally sold “a significant number” of 4-day passes to the upcoming show at Red Rocks — then canceled them. Phish fan and Consumerist reader Trevor has the scoop:
TicketsNow has a pretty explicit guarantee that if the tickets you buy aren’t good, they’ll refund the money. In Sean’s case, they seem to have found a way to avoid delivering on that promise: they just disconnect whenever he mentions the word “refund.”
The Wall Street Journal reported today that for many big name concert events, the people behind a good deal of the really expensive secondary market tickets are the artists themselves, along with their agents and promoters. Recent concerts where the artists and promoters resold tickets on the secondary market and split the profits with Ticketmaster include Neil Diamond, Bon Jovi, Celine Dion, Van Halen, Billy Joel, Elton John, and possibly Britney Spears.
When the recent Bruce Springsteen ticket sales event blew up in Ticketmaster’s stupid face, it brought down the wrath of New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram. Now Ticketmaster and New Jersey have reached a settlement that will change how the company conducts business across the U.S. Here’s what will change:
Will the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger be good for customers? Why of course it will! Just take a look at this awesome purchasing experience Ticketmaster managed to provide recently:
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]
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D) of New Jersey has asked the FTC and the Justice Department to investigate the relationship between Ticketmaster and its reseller website, TicketsNow, after consumers who tried to buy Bruce Springsteen tickets encountered technical problems that prevented purchase, and were then redirected to TicketsNow where prices were “hundreds of dollars above face value” (actually, more like “thousands of dollars,” based on our check just a few minutes ago).
Reader Santiago CC’d us on a letter to Ticketmaster’s parent company, IAC. As we’ve mentioned before, Radiohead fans are upset with Ticketmaster for linking to and promoting a “partner” ticket reseller that is charging exorbitant amounts of money for hard-to-get Radiohead tickets.