Paperless Tickets: Inconvenience In The Name Of Convenience

from the up-is-down,-black-is-white dept

An interesting post from Braden Cox talks about how Ticketmaster's new "paperless ticket" initiative, which Ticketmaster claims is all about making the experience convenient for event ticket buyers, isn't at all convenient compared to traditional ticket buying methods. The so-called "convenience" is because ticketbuyers supposedly won't have to wait on a will call line to pick up tickets that were ordered. Of course, most will call lines only matter if you didn't order in time to get tickets sent to you. Furthermore, to get into the event, you now have to present both the credit card you used to make the purchase and a photo ID -- meaning that rather than just handing over a ticket, you need to hand over two separate cards, which then need to be scanned into a machine, slowing down the whole process. Also, if you bought multiple tickets everyone has to be there at the same time to get in and of course, you can no longer resell your tickets. This doesn't sound particularly convenient. Instead, as noted in the comments to Cox's post, it appears to really be about cutting out the resale market. Of course, Ticketmaster may find that this backfires on them. Part of the value of the ticket is its resale value. Remove that and you lower the value of the ticket, meaning fewer people willing to buy those tickets at existing prices.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    matt, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 4:40am

    Ugh.....ticketmaster

    Also, why is it free for them to mail you hard tickets, but it costs $2.50 for them to EMAIL you a virtual ticket?

    When buying resale I always specify hard tickets. I won't buy PrintPass tickets unless I have to. I've never had a problem using someone else's PrintPass though. If anything, if you have problems just throw the ticket scanner a ten-spot.

    And I have noticed hard tickets will sell for about 20% more than PrintPass.

    DOWN WITH TICKETMASTER. Support FrontGateTickets!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 4:41am

    Also....

    They still charge you that nifty convenience charge even though they no longer have to print and mail your ticket.

     

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      Lawman, Sep 28th, 2008 @ 1:41pm

      corporet scalping ladys and gents!!!! come on iiinnnn!!

      Ticketmaster is just one of the worlds most brazen scam company's of the century,mostly because event managers and artists get more of your cash than with a straight deal also because know one will hold them accountable they give (some)of there illgotten's back to the performers or whoever so money talks and we walk. So If you wish to go after T.M. you will loos as they have been doing this crap fore a long time. its owned by just one single man ,some Goldberg guy or something like that.may-be we should dig up some dirt on him like in Hollywood ha-ha ,that will give some due attention to the prick!.Ticket Master is a bag of sh$^t in my opinion and just to make us feel better they have half a dozen "sister sites" to go threw if you get mad at TM you can still buy from them only they will call the outlet something else to make us feel better ,its a monopoly guys and the entertainment industry is in bed with that Goldberg clown or whatever his name is to get every dollar they can out of us. To me it's way sad and I don't even consider TM or there " sister sites" at all know matter who is coming to town ,if artists and sports events had the balls to sell there own flippen tickets then I will go I mean it is the computer age people but they all want a pimp (TM)to give us the screw like we'r so stupid we cant figure out that it's the artists and there managers fault we get screwed! How do you like your favorite band or team now!!!? $$$$$$$ Now you know whats at the end of every argument regarding TicketMaster and why they get away with screwing us, they are paid to. PS save your money.

       

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    bob, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 4:47am

    I've never been asked to actually present the credit card. Your mileage may vary.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 5:10am

    Apparently, it is convenient for them.

     

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    sk3ptic, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 5:19am

    What do you expect from a monopoly?

    They don't care what you think. They don't need to care what you think becasue they have a government endorsed monopoly. If you don't like it, your only choice is to stay home.

     

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    Ima Fish, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 5:28am

    "it appears to really be about cutting out the resale market."

    And helping to facilitate identity theft.

     

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    Overcast, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 6:26am

    In my experience - bringing anymore than necessary to a concert is a bad idea - that would include any credit card..

    Maybe an ID and some cash in my front pocket... a wallet in your back pocket is a bad idea.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 6:34am

    It's funny, the same "email" tickets for the same concerts when purchased through Live Nation don't cost you a dime extra, yet they'll cost you $2.50 from Ticketmaster. Of course, if your concert isn't at a Live Nation venue, you don't have that option. Another reason to get the "hard" tickets, they're substantially better if it rains. Printed tickets turn out to be a handful of quickly smearing goo, especially if they were printed on a printer using ink refills. What I want to know is why it costs over $90 for two $26 tickets. Some "truth in advertising" law has to be able to force them to sell the tickets at the actual price, which includes all the unavoidable "fees".

     

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    Tom, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 6:39am

    So what happens when I buy tickets for my kids? Do I have to attend the show with them? Ticketmaster needs to be taken down by competition (almost as much as ebay)

     

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    James, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 7:21am

    Non-convenience charge

    I love how scalpers such as ticketmaster call it a convenience charge... there's nothing convienent about it. It might be convienent for the place holding the event since I'm not calling them... but there charges offer absolutely no value to the consumer.

     

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    Ajax 4Hire, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 7:26am

    I hate ticketmaster,

    I hate the monopoly, the convenience fee everything about ticketmaster I hate.

     

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    NM, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 7:38am

    Gifts

    I was thinking along the same lines as Tom. My grandmother buys all of my cousins tickets every year, and, as cool as she may be, I don't really intend on forcing her to accompany me to a John Legend show. I have tried my hardest not to be cynical on this one, but the reality is that there is nothing convenient about this. It's just one more way for Ticketmaster to make my events a little less enjoyable.

     

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    JackS, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 8:08am

    After purchasing tickets to a concert from Ticketmaster, several screens appear about a rewards program. If you do not uncheck the box, they use your information and sign you up for a 'rewards program'. You will be billed $9/Month unless you cancel it. There is no receipt for this online purchase. Most people probably don't even remember 'signing up' and just click things to make the pop up go away. Ticketmaster seems to have conveniently forgotten the customer in their quest for profits...

     

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    Don, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 9:09am

    A BIG part of the problem with Ticketmaster is the fact that it is too easy for opportunistic scalpers to resell tickets at huge markups.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 10:16am

    Also, why is it free for them to mail you hard tickets, but it costs $2.50 for them to EMAIL you a virtual ticket?

    Self-serve bank tellers (ATMs) and self-serve DMV booths also cost more than getting service through a person (or at least used to), yet I'm sure the later cost a lot more.

    Money grabbing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 10:27am

    Anything to stop every one of those bastard scalping companies from buying every ticket within 5 minutes of the start of the sale and forcing me to pay triple because my internet is too slow to get one in that time frame

     

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    eze, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 10:42am

    doesnt make sense

    " ...Part of the value of the ticket is its resale value. Remove that and you lower the value of the ticket, meaning fewer people willing to buy those tickets at existing prices..."
    doesnt make sense!!! , if some one is ready to pay YOUR overpriced price on the resale market, gladly will be if you didnt buy it and is ready to be sold, at the REAL retail price.

     

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      snowburn14, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 11:34am

      Re: doesnt make sense

      Yeah, he lost me on that... OK, so they lose the re-sale market (ie scalpers). But the people that would've bought them from the scalpers would still be looking to buy from the original source. No real effect on the value there. How many people who actually intend to go to a show buy tickets and wind up selling them to someone else? If anything, they should be able to get a little more money in their own pockets by selling directly to the market that is willing to pay inflated prices. That doesn't change the fact that it's still an inconvenience overall, of course.

      What really bothers me, though, is that companies like ticketmaster are legally allowed to buy mass quantities of tickets they have no intention of using, and sell them at a profit. Anyone else who does that is breaking the law. You can call it a convenience fee all you want, but if it weren't for them, I could've just bought the ticket from the venue without paying an additional fee. I've missed a number of shows I wanted to see because ticketmaster was the only way to get a ticket, and I absolutely refuse to give them any of my money. I will likely continue to miss shows for that reason in the future. If they weren't able to buy tickets until someone actually placed an order through them, it could be called a convenience fee; but when they buy tickets by the thousands before anyone has so much as picked up a phone, it's scalping pure and simple.
      Mind you, I don't really have a problem with scalping in and of itself, but either everyone should be allowed to do it, or nobody should.

       

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    Pixelpusher, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 10:44am

    Print your own tickets

    The last time I used Ticketmaster I had the ability to print out my ticket myself, so I don't have to wait for it to be delivered, don't have to hope and pray they don't lose it before the show is a benefit to me.

    Now, charging me $2.50 for the 'priviledge' of this is ridiculous. But I do see value in being able to print my own 'e-ticket'.

     

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    matt, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 11:47am

    Cut out Ticketmaster from your transactions!

    Going to the House of Blues? Go to will call and buy them directly from the venue, and cut out Ticketmaster from the process.

    Your favorite band's going to a Ticketmaster-only venue? Skip the show and send the band a short note about why they should use a competing company.

    And lastly, support bands/venues who use Frontgate Tickets! There is a fee-free world out there, folks -- time to put your money where your mouth is and boycott Ticketmaster.

    BTW, the scalpers do serve a purpose- they buy all the tickets to all the shows, so bands don't need to sell out venues to get gigs. For every ticket scalpers sell for double face value there's a few they sold for no profit or didn't sell at all.

     

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    Michael_S, Jun 24th, 2008 @ 12:24pm

    As bad as usury

    Is there an equivalent of "usury" for "convenience" charges?

    Last month, I bought two $32.50 tickets ($65) for a concert here in town, but the end cost was over $90 dollars! I was charged $9.25 PER TICKET "Convenience" Charge. This is nothing more than a blatant cash grab and is so high relative to the cost of the product sold (almost 30%) that it must border on being illegal.

    I'd like to know what $9.25 could possibly be the cost of when the entire transaction is digital without any human interaction other than my own. It is certainly far more than the credit card transaction fee. If anything, Ticketmaster should be *discounting* my purchase for saving them the cost of not employing a ticket sales person. Also, how does the charge to send me the tickets by regular mail ($0.50?) come to $4.35? I know it "includes Order Processing Fee" – but was that really $3.85?

     

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    Biff, Jun 24th, 2009 @ 7:00am

    Paperless tickets

    The real problem is that real fans can't get good seats at face value. The real solution is a federal law making secondary market ticket brokers illegal.

     

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    SM, Oct 20th, 2010 @ 9:41am

    Ticketmaster is AWFUL

    STUCK!!! my 73 yr old mother bought tickets for my daughter and I as a gift in June. She had to have knee surgery and is now in a wheel chair, not to mention she lives 2 hrs away. They won’t let me get her cc to swipe it for entry. They said she has to be there with an ID that matches the cc and matching the face of the person holding it (otherwise, I can’t get her ID & cc to get in). $175 for tickets & now we can’t go? Ticketmaster- tell that to my 9 yr old who thinks she is the #1 fan! Ticketmaster is NOT customer service oriented & doesn’t care about their customers! I talked to the box ofc manager & Ticketmaster and they won’t give any option besides her finding a way to get there (in the wheelchair)…seriously?
    it says to provide the cc used to purchase...but only a valid ID, not that the 2 have to match- just sayin'

     

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