I was going through my nightly review of tech news, when I stumbled across an amazing story that literally ended up on the backpages of the podcasts and web sites I read: Ticketmaster uses auctions to fight online scalpers At first glance I simply could not believe it! As I continued to read on, my reaction changed from disbelief to fury. I am disgusted and appalled at Ticketmaster, and angry that there is little that nothing consumers can do about it.
Ticketmaster has been on my unofficial list of "most despised companies" for quite some time. I loathe them for their monopolistic practices, and that they find every single way possible to screw consumers. I could break down every single step in the ticket-buying process and point out where Ticketmaster gauges you, or are grossly incompetent. Some that come to mind: their 50% markup in purchasing fees; the fact that they charge you for the ability to print tickets using your own printer and ink; they invest no resources into their web or phone infrastructure, resulting in their servers being over-taxed every big on-sale date; or the fact that their customer service cannot assist you in anything.
Just when I thought this company couldn’t get any more greedy, they go out and take the one aspect of ticket-selling they haven’t exploited – scalping. Now, with their new auction system they’re going to take all the best seats and literally give them to the highest bidder. While Ticketmaster claims that the money will be split between the artist and promoter, it’s obvious they’re taking a hearty cut of the profit.
Ticket-buying used to be a test of endurance, patience and strategy. I have vivid memories of arriving at an outlet extremely early, placing my friends in strategic positions for the lottery, along with working the phone, Internet and line all at the same time. In the end, ticket-buying came down to luck – now it’s just going to come down to a big account-balance.
Enough with this charade of trying to curtail ticket scalping Ticketmaster – you’re no more noble than those guys holding up giant "I NEED TICKETS" signs outside the venue. If Ticketmaster really wanted to curtail scalping, they would offer the auctions and donate ALL proceeds to charity. The worst part about it is that there’s nothing consumers can do about this. Ticketmaster dominates the market, managing US ticket sales to virtually every big-time concert or sporting event. I go out of my way to try to avoid Ticketmaster (i.e. the DMB Warehouse), but I rarely am successful. It looks like we’ll have little choice but to grin it bear it.
Thank you Ticketmaster, may I have another?