A local Boston television program promoted an outdoor rib fest where chefs from around the country let you taste their version of barbeque ribs, chicken, etc. The price for admission to the event was $5 to $10 at the door (not including food), but discounts were offered at various locations and online.
In fact, if you bought tickets online, the price was only a dollar weekdays.
Note the absence of any fine print. However, when you go to buy the ticket, two surprises await.
*MOUSE PRINT: [click graphic for larger format]
Service fee of $3.00? Shipping fee of $2.75? A shipping fee when you print the tickets on your own printer? How could they advertise tickets for $1 when the actual price was nearly seven times that?
The CEO of the event responded to MOUSE PRINT* by saying, in part:
This is being fixed to $8 total for two online tix (everyone buys at least two). This was our arrangement per contract.
[Other places to buy tickets for less than $5 listed]
My company pays for the printing of the tickets and all costs associated with Will Call, which are significant for a 65 hour event.
My company does the best we can to give Phans as many options to get tickets as possible, especially since a lot would rather buy online for convenience and to avoid paying for gas.
While not particularly apologetic for charging a $2.75 shipping fee to print tickets on your own printer, the response Mouse Print* received subsequently from the actual ticketing service provider left no doubt that the home ticket printing charge was intentional:
Thank you for your e-mail. We can understand your concerns.
Ticket buyers who choose print at home tickets enjoy the convenience that this option offers and the easy and anytime-access to their tickets minimizing the potential loss of physical tickets by the carrier. The fee covers the technology and personnel required to make this option available at all. The fact that you use your own printer and paper is not factored in the $2.75 print at home fee.
Our fees reflect the percentage charges of the total amount we incur from the credit card company to charge/credit your account when you place the order. They also reflect the costs associated with providing online ticket sales. We cannot refund these fees if the show is cancelled or postponed as per the user agreement on the ticketing web page. — Musictoday, LLC
It appears that the ribs are not the only thing that could be burned at this event.