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June 27, 2016

Ticketmaster Settlement Fine Print Trips Up Many

Filed under: Business,Uncategorized — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:06 am

TicketmasterLast week, Ticketmaster began issuing $386 million in vouchers to some 50 million previous ticket buyers as part of a class action settlement. The company had allegedly failed to disclose all the details of the order processing and UPS fees they charged at Ticketmaster.com between 1999 and 2013.

Everyone who bought tickets during this period is being given a $2.25 credit per ticket (for up to 17 tickets) that can be used toward a future show. They are also being given a $5 UPS voucher for each time they used UPS for ticket delivery. The big thing that caught everyone’s attention, however, was receiving a voucher good for two free general admission tickets (up to 17 such vouchers) for certain Live Nation concert events “subject to availability.”

Beneficiaries of the settlement soon began complaining loudly that all the concerts that were being offered where they could redeem their vouchers for free tickets were sold out quickly. And the concerts being offered free were often second-rate, and with none available in 24 states.

How could this happen? Ticketmaster initially only made available $5 million worth of tickets available. Assuming each one had a normal selling price of a mere $25 (a very conservative price), that means only 200,000 tickets were available. And since each person could get a minimum of two free tickets, only 100,000 of the 50 million class members could be satisfied. Ticketmaster quickly added another $5 million worth of tickets to the pool (200,000 free tickets in our example), but those have been all but snapped already too. Now they are promising a new infusion of free tickets.

*MOUSE PRINT:

In fact, according to the actual settlement agreement, after the initial $5 million in free tickets, Ticketmaster only has to provide comparatively few tickets and only for the events of its own choosing.

Live Nation will arrange for at least 100 tickets at each event to be made available to the Class Members free of charge for at least 60% of the events that take place at Live Nation owned or operated amphitheaters.

There is overall only a $42 million minimum expenditure that Ticketmaster has to make during the years of the settlement, and if not enough vouchers are redeemed in any year, they have to pony up more free tickets to make up the difference.

From a practical standpoint, class members should not expect to receive any free tickets to shows, and no more than a couple of bucks off any ticket they actually purchase.

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7 Comments

  1. Class action lawsuits are lawyers’ gold mines. The “class” in the lawsuit is usually the rubble left behind – useful for the time necessary to extract wealth.

    Comment by Marty — June 27, 2016 @ 7:43 am
  2. Pissa! I knew it is one of those too good to be true! Where is the justice here!

    Comment by Martha — June 27, 2016 @ 8:27 am
  3. So basically Ticketmaster is the only one benefiting from this lawsuit. Because in order to redeem the $2.25 (which unfortunately isn’t stackable), I have to spend significantly more to obtain a ticket. If I was planning to attend the show anyway, ok, then I get $2.25 off of the ticket price but this isn’t going to prompt me to attend a show that was on my “maybe” list.

    Comment by Amy — June 27, 2016 @ 9:19 am
  4. It has become insane how US Corporations can do anything they want and even when the very few get busted for doing things illegally, they barely get a slap on the wrist and they continue on, business as usual.

    But I thought “corporations are people my friend”?? If you or I stole from someone or committed fraud, not only would we have to pay it back, pay a fine on top of that, we would also be in jail, lose our job, etc…

    Comment by Lisa — June 27, 2016 @ 10:42 am
  5. Even if you did get to use a voucher most of the acts are not even big names at all.

    Comment by richard — June 27, 2016 @ 11:46 am
  6. I dislike it when class action winnings result in a voucher for the business that has wronged customers. I don’t want to get my money back in a form that forces me to do business with the offending party again. I want the ability to take my business elsewhere after I was wronged by their business practices.

    Comment by wayne — June 27, 2016 @ 11:53 am
  7. Let us not forget that the free tickets are for “General Admission” only and very few venues even offer that. Having said that, I did get 4 free tickets (2 vouchers) to Toby Keith. I have 10 more vouchers for 2 free tickets that I’ll never see and 12 vouchers for $2.25 off, but when the service fee is over $16 per ticket, that’s not enough of an incentive for me to buy from TicketMaster. So the GA for Toby Keith is lawn seating, in the WAY BACK and not covered, in case of rain….. sigh.

    Comment by Karen — June 27, 2016 @ 1:59 pm

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