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NEWS: November 15, 2010 - My car has finally been returned to me - but I do not have satisfaction.

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Ticketmaster has got to be one of the most brazen collector of fees on this planet.  Not only do they charge you absurd fees on your ticket purchases (which you are often unable to buy from anywhere else), sometimes doubling the price of a show based on the price of the ticket - but they catalogue them right in front of you to rub them in your face!  If you've ever purchased tickets through this venue, you know what I'm talking about.

Here is an example of a recent transaction that I experienced on Ticketmaster.

$17.50 for the actual ticket itself.  This is a pretty cheap show, or so you'd think.

Next on the list:
$2.50 Restoration Fee for the historic Pantages Theatre.  Okay, I can live with that, the theatre is a landmark, and I don't mind paying a little to help keep it up.  This is reasonable.

But then it starts to get a little weird:
$5.75 "Convenience Fee"...  um... so in order to buy a ticket that is essentially $20, I'm FORCED to pay a $5.75 convenience fee, more than one-quarter of the price of the ticket, for the convenience of purchasing the tickets online.  This infuriates me on three levels.
  • This system is convenient for both me and them!  They save money by processing tickets online through an automatic service!  No employees to take thousands of phone calls, no employees at ticket windows, no printing of physical tickets or postage costs - it's an AUTOMATIC ONLINE SERVICE and I'm doing all the work.  Why am *I* being charged an additional quarter of the ticket price for that? 
  • Beyond that - this "Convenience Fee" varies depending on the price of the ticket.  The more expensive the ticket, the higher the "Convenience Fee" - how is that in any way rational?  It doesn't take them any more time or money to process higher priced tickets than lower priced tickets, so why am I paying more?
  • And further - this fee is charged per ticket - not per transaction.  If you buy five tickets, you get charged five "Convenience Fees" - again: how is this more work for them to process five tickets in their automated online service than to purchase one?
But this is only the first time that Ticketmaster spits in your face and makes you watch while they do it.

The next step in this rape of your bank account is a:
$4.55 "Order Processing Fee" - okay now, wait a second... didn't I just pay a $5.75 "Convenience Fee"??  How can further fees possibly be justified??  So to process an order takes not only a "Convenience Fee", which seems to be a charge for purchasing tickets online, but an additional fee as well?

Certainly, here is where the fees must end.  But no,
 the coup de grace has yet to appear:

In order to actually GET the tickets that you've purchased requires yet another fee!  The cheapest option for ticket delivery is:
$2.50 "TicketFast" Delivery - which is a charge for them to automatically email you the tickets - which costs them nothing!  You will using your own paper and your own ink, which you are already paying for!

What this all comes down to is that for a ticket that has a $20 face value (including the venue charge), I was charged $12.80 in service charges!  More than half the price of the ticket itself!

What is most infuriating about these fees is that they are put in front of you in a breakdown that shows you just how badly you are being screwed in an unapologetic, unexplained format that presents it as simply part of the process, and there is nothing you can do about it.  They throw it in your face in a way that breaks each fee into an amount that appears to be reasonable, but when collected together creates an inarguable unreasonable total.  If you want to see the show, you will pay these fees.  Period.

I would like to petition that venues stop using Ticketmaster as the sole agent for selling their tickets.  There are some other services out there that offer something similar at slightly cheaper prices, but often Ticketmaster is the only option to see the show or get the seats that you want without relying on other scalping sites that sell tickets at inflated prices.

I know that every business needs to make money, and I don't mind paying for things, but this is a racket that has got to stop.  I encourage everyone reading this to look into any other possible way to see the shows that you want to see that can avoid this process.  These people need to be brought back down to earth.

Thanks for reading.
J Logan, Customer Service Avenger