View Full Version : Ticket Service Fees for Cancelled Shows (no worries, not GPN!)
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09-24-2010, 07:15 PM
I'm getting an education in service fees today. I recently bought a ticket to a show at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA. The artist cancelled the tour a week later. Northampton Box Office refunded my ticket price, minus the $4 service fee. So I paid $4 for them to provide the service of giving me ... nothing? Interesting. Is this common practice among ticketing agencies? First time I've ever experienced this.
09-24-2010, 10:56 PM
Three years ago I bought tickets to see the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Theater in NYC. Due to health reasons, the band had to cancel their tour. Ticketmaster refunded my money minus the $3 service fee. I called Ticketmaster about the service fee, but I didn't have any luck getting the $3 back.
09-25-2010, 12:56 AM
I did a little research about ticket agencies on the web and I think I get how this works. Here’s an analogy:
You need a loaf of bread. The grocery store down the street has bread. I’m the ticket agency and I have an exclusive deal to sell the bread on behalf of the grocery store. So if you go to the grocery store yourself, they won’t let you in to get your bread. They say, go talk to Trish and we will let her in and she will get your bread for you. So you come talk to me and we make a deal that you will pay me $5 to get your bread. $4 is for the cost of the bread, and $1 covers my trouble of going into the store and getting it for you. So you hand me $5 and I go off into the store to get your bread. When I get there, the store is out of bread. I come out and give you $4 and you ask me why I am keeping your dollar when you’re still without bread. And I say, because I still had to go in and look for it for you. Whether the bread was there or not, it’s still the same effort for me. So you are S.O.L. with no bread and $1 poorer, and I still make money either way. And next time you want bread, you still have to come back and see me, because the store doesn’t let anyone else in but me.
In the context of that kind of bizarre system, non-refunding of the service charge can be rationalized because the system is set up to appear that the ticket agency is providing the service to the consumer rather than to the seller who is farming out this task for their business (and creating a monopoly whereby the consumer can get the item no other way). Where I work, when we farm out tasks to an outside vendor, we pay the bill for farming it out. I suppose the cost gets passed on to the consumer either way. This just all seems like a shady way to go about it.
09-25-2010, 01:19 AM
I was credited with all my charges including a $3.50 service charge each ticket for the cancelled GPN Roxy show June 8th.
I checked my statement, and that was directly through the Roxy, and the credit was received on the 11th (5 days after they cancelled out on us).
The promoter should eat all losses but no one said life is fair. In Heath's scenario sounds like he got most of the sercvice fees back. 3 bux on an allmans tic to the beacon was probably a shipping or eiticket printing fee...if u paid by credit card u could call the cc company and have them freeze the charge and open an investigation. If u paid by cash, probably just gonna have to let it go. Like Heath I had tix to one of those allmans shows 3 years ago, but it was on a friend's credit card and I don't remember what happend.choosing the will call option might have resuted in zero losses but who knows. I think if u buy tix at the box office of the venue in person, there might not be any service fees whatsoever, that's how it used to be but not sure about these days. But think about it, in that scenario u still woke up that morning and went to the box office and went home. So if the show got cancelled u still lost something that morning-be it time, gas, taxi, bought a 6 dollar coffe next to the beacon...cancelled gigs are a lose-lose 4 all parties. Sux Trish. U will just have 2 rage extra hard at a GPN show and make up 4 it.
09-25-2010, 09:37 PM
I just find this whole issue fascinating and perplexing. The ticket agency charges the fee under the pretense of performing a service for the customer. But the reality is that the ticket agency is performing a service for the venue, which needs to sell tickets for its shows and has contracted with the ticket agency to sell tickets because the agency can do so more cost effectively than the venue could if they managed their own ticket system. How it can possibly be legal for them to spin it the other way and pass the charges on to the customer in instances where they've failed to provide the customer with anything at all -- well, that's just nutty. If I ordered something online from a brokering service such as Amazon, they would not charge me a fee if the thing I'd ordered turned out to be out of stock at the merchant. I'm guessing the musicians get screwed by these intermediaries as well and we all just have to live with it because the ones creating a barrier between us and the music have all the control. Ugh!
Ah well, rant over!
U will just have 2 rage extra hard at a GPN show and make up 4 it.
That I will most definitely do! :cool:
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