Ticketmaster is one of the major international ticketing agents for events such as music concerts and theatre productions.
It is a US company that in 2010 merged with Live Nation to become Live Nation Entertainment, but over the years customers have considered the company monopolistic due to the fact they charge a service fee that many consider an unreasonable price. Whilst other ticketing agents have emerged, Ticketmaster can afford to be unscrupulous with their charges to customers because they have a large percentage of business investment with significant venues and most events prefer to release tickets through them. As long as there is no competition to cause a threat, high fees will remain a part of Ticketmaster’s policy.
Despite being the number one source for Tickets to large-scale events, Ticketmaster still suffers a number of complaints regarding its ability to provide a stable system for purchase; with the options of buying online and ordering via telephone frequently failing a number of customers. Particularly during times when traffic is at high volumes – usually at the time of ticket release for a popular and anticipated event – customers find themselves facing a bugged regime, with phone lines cutting off and internet pages going down.
Pearl Jam V. Ticketmaster
In 1995, Ticketmaster’s tickets had surcharges as high as 25% – plus ties to heavily marketing other products like parking fees, which lead popular grunge band Pearl Jam into a battle with the firm.
Pearl Jam didn’t want to sell their tickets for any more than $20 USD, with surcharges of no more than $1.80 USD, but Pearl Jam fans and Ticketmaster customers were facing being extorted as Fred Rosen of Ticketmaster refused the bands’ request, and subsequently threatened them with legal action for breach of contract with their major venues. As a result of the dispute, Pearl Jam abandoned Ticketmaster and its associated venues for their tour, and instead decided to source their own venues, but their efforts eventually collapsed; a further testament to their monopoly.
The war on scalping
Recently, Ticketmaster decided to branch out and open up competition to a number of ticket resellers such as StubHub; essentially allowing fans to ‘tout’ their own tickets in a safe way. Since scalpers on the street make a tidy profit from re-selling event tickets for extortionate prices – usually on the street on the day of the event to desperate bystanders praying for a miracle – Ticketmaster have decided to attempt to eliminate the risk of personal financial game to the public by opening up a forum where Ticket purchasers can offer their tickets for face-value or higher – whatever the recipient is willing to pay.
It doesn’t completely wipe out the prospect of scalping however, as artists can choose to opt out of allowing their tickets to be re-sold via the website, leaving a platform open for scalpers to do business on the streets once again.
So, whilst Ticketmaster will remain the number one ticket broker for the foreseeable future, it’s only claim to the top is how many contracts it holds with large venues across the US and UK.
Their dedication to giving a fair and pleasant customer service experience seems to be lacking majorly where other corporations are going above and beyond the call of duty to supply.
Ticketmaster Customer Service – 0843 504 0042