Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Ticketmaster Removes Convenience Fee for Eagles Concert
Classic rock fans rejoiced when Ticketmaster,one of the largest ticket distributors, announced that it's removing its inappropiately named "convenience fee" for the Eagles' rock concert at North Carolina's Greensboro Coliseum on Jan. 17. Frustrated customers, (myself included), often complain about Ticketmaster's virtual monopoly on the market and its infamous surcharge for tickets, which are usually least 10% of the face price. In response, Ticketmaster has earned the unofficial nickname: "Ticket bastard."
When I purchased tickets to see Jim Gaffigan's Beyond the Pale Tour at Hard Rock Live, I payed $53 dollars for tickets that were listed for $40. I hate taxes in any form, so Ticketmaster's scheme left a bad taste in my mouth. Gaffigan felt our pain and incorporated it into his opening material. He drew a loud round of applause when he said:
Thanks for paying the $40 to come see me. By the time you were done with Ticketmaster's fees I bet you paid about $70.
To Ticketmaster's credit, they hired Irving Azoff their chief executive,who put customer service as a top priority. Azoff is a former agent for major bands, including Jewel, The Eagles, Journey, Van Halen, Neil Diamond, New Kids on the Block, Steely Dan and Guns N' Roses. Azoff recognized that Americans are already in penny-pinching mode.
The price reduction could revitalize ticket sales, which are down since last year.
Ticketmaster (NASDAQ:TKM), extended its control of the market when it acquired ticket exchange site Getmein.com and Paciolan ,a developer of ticketing system applications, but the net income for the third period was down 76% compared to 2007.
Hopefully, the results from this experiment will persuade Ticketmaster to scrap its inconvenient ticket tax altogether.
By Matt O'Hern at 04:29 PM | Comments (2)