This past Monday at 9:00 AM, Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band tickets went on sale for two shows at the IZOD center in New Jersey. Ask any native New Jersey resident; they know all about it.
In a bizarre event that hasn’t happened since the dawn of online ticket buying, the wait time to get tickets was longer than average and several error messages popped up on those trying to obtain tickets for one of the shows
A Ticketmaster spokesman said that the system did not fail and that only a small handful of potential purchases had problems. Ticketmaster also claims that Bruce’s popularity and appearance at the Super Bowl the night before created an overwhelming demand for tickets. However, several fans claim differently.
One things fans did notice when they were informed that tickets were no longer available was that Ticketmaster was kind enough to direct users to a secondary market online broker, TicketsNow.com.
The only unethical thing about this is that Ticketmaster owns TicketsNow. This led to a lot of questions and outrage by angry fans left out in the street. The biggest item they griped about was the error message itself that claimed the site was down due to routine maintenance. Routine maintenance would NEVER happen during the busiest part of the day, especially a day when tickets to a major tour went on sale. Ticketmaster has since admitted the error was a glitch on their end and apologized in a statement.
Turning over to the TicketsNow site, your cousin Ryo discovered the following:
· There were over 600 tickets available for each NJ show on TicketsNow
· The prices for these tickets was an exurbanite amount, well over the legal limit of 20%
over face value resale allowed by New Jersey
· Some tickets were as high as 1000% over face value
· There is a per ticket service charge of $10 if you purchase tickets
· There is a shipping fee of $15 per order
· TicketsNow receives 15% commission on all final sales
· All ticket holders must have “tickets-in-hand” before they are allowed to list them on
This raises a couple of questions. The first being, who is enforcing the resale law? TicketsNow website clearly states: it is the seller’s responsibility to comply with all ticket resale laws. However, what happens if someone notifies TicketsNow that the seller is not in compliance with the law? What legal action would be taken?
Is there any verification for “tickets-in-hand?” Some of these tickets were up on the resale site almost as soon as tickets were on sale through Ticketmaster. If these tickets were being sent to the original seller by Ticketmaster, then that would hardly qualify as “tickets-in-hand.” No seller information was available on TicketsNow regarding any ticket re-sellers.
Requests for clarification from TicketsNow were unreturned.
At the heart of this matter is whether or not Ticketmaster is operating within the public’s best interest by owning both the original source to obtain tickets and the resale source. Isn’t that a conflict of interest? Wouldn’t it be in the best interest of Ticketmaster to hold back some tickets that will then become available on the secondary market for a hugely inflated price? A lot of fans on message boards across New Jersey certainly felt so. And if they want to see Bruce Springsteen, there is no other choice but to use Ticketmaster or pay an overinflated price through a modern day scalper.
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