It seems like the folks at Ticketmaster are a little confused about fair play and consumer rights. Case and point – the new “paperless tickets” Ticketmaster is requiring for the upcoming Miley Cyrus tour.
This new feature requires concertgoers to buy tickets from Ticketmaster.com and Ticketmaster.ca with a credit card, then use the credit card along with photo id at the gate to get in. You got that right, you and 18,000+ fans will have to wait in line while each and every credit card is scanned at the door. If you get sick or have a change of plans you cannot transfer your ticket, and for all you soccer moms, you will have to pay for parking and walk your teenage daughter all the way to the entrance for her and her friends to get in (who will be embarrassed to be standing next to you at the hottest event of the year).
Now the funny part in this sad mess is the alleged reason for implementing the paperless ticket policy. Here is the direct quote from the Miley Cyrus tour page on Ticketmaster.
“Why? To ensure fans get fair access to seats at face value-the only way to get into the event is with the credit card used to purchase the tickets.”
Well I hope the CEO of Ticketmaster Irving Azoff doesn’t have a daughter and if he does I hope she’s not a Miley Cyrus fan because Ticketmaster has been selling tickets for over face value for years!
Ticketmaster has been retailing tickets through “high bid win” type auctions on Ticketmaster.com and Ticketmaster.ca since 2003. Coincidentally enough Ticketmaster actually offered these auctions for the Hannah Montana Miley Cyrus “Best of Both Worlds Tour” in 2007 with seats for the Oracle Arena show on Nov 1st selling for over $2,000! Wow talk about ensuring “fair access to seats at face value”!
It gets even better… Currently you can buy a Miley Cyrus “VIP package” at iloveallaccess.com (owned by Ticketmaster of course) for $295 per ticket (face value is $79.50). Now there are amazing amenities included in this package such as a tour laminate (which doesn’t include backstage access) a pre-show party (which Miley Cyrus will not attend) and “hassle free” shopping (so you can more conveniently spend $75 on a t-shirt). And get this, these wonderful features are subject to change without notice. Since I can go to Kinkos and make a laminate for $5 and I’d rather wait in the paperless ticketing line outside the venue than attend a preshow party with no appearance from Miley Cyrus. I think I can pretty confidently say I would be paying $295 for the guaranteed first 25 row ticket to the show. An honest person might call this paying above face value for a premium seat.
The icing on the cake is Ticketmaster spent $250 million to acquire TicketsNow, a leading secondary ticketing site that sells tickets for over face value! We won’t even get into recent litigation that alleges Ticketmaster redirected potential Bruce Springsteen ticket buyers to TicketsNow and confused them into paying over face value for tickets.
To make things worse Ticketmaster has built TicketExchange, a marketplace that allows fans in the U.S. and Canada to buy and sell tickets directly on Ticketmaster.com and Ticketmaster.ca. Well wouldn’t you know that a vast majority of these tickets are being offered by Ticketmaster for… what do you know… over face value! They now call them “official platinum seats” and proclaim
“the goal is to give the most passionate fans fair and safe access to the best tickets, while enabling artists and other people involved in staging live events to price tickets closer to their true value.”
Seems to contradict their paperless ticket policy quote, cited earlier…
For over a year now Ticketmaster has been selling tickets on TicketExchange for over face value for some of the biggest artists in the biz. Elton John & Billy Joel, Neil Diamond, Van Halen, Tina Turner, Celine Dion, New Kids on the Block, Steely Dan, The Eagles (just to name a few).
I know the world in 2009 is a confusing place. But I mean, c’mon Ticketmaster… Are you going to restrict consumer rights with a “paperless tickets” policy that attempts to ensure tickets are available for face value, OR are you going to sell tickets over face value on your TicketExchange and TicketsNow subsidiaries? Just pick a side and stick with it!
Too Bad Ticketmaster Makes it such a Hassle to see Miley…
Miley Cyrus Concert Photo by Vicky Sedgwick
No Access Badge Photo by landacollectible
Screenshot of TicketMaster TicketExchange page source
Hannah Montana, TicketMaster, TicketsNow, and TicketExchange are trademarks of their respective owners.