TicketsNow sold phantom DC Springsteen tix
Ticketmaster does it again. In February the quasi-monopoly botched sales for Bruce Springsteen's current tour and sent fans to Ticketmaster's TicketsNow.com scalper site, where they had to buy seats at huge markups. Now, AP reports, TicketsNow says it sold too many tickets for the Springsteen show at DC's Verizon Center on Monday. The company has been calling fans who thought they locked up seats at hundreds of dollars to tell them the bad news. TicketsNow says it will give people refunds along with free tickets in the nosebleed section.
But I doubt they're happy. Baltimore resident Joe Compton said he got locked out of buying Springsteen seats at face value from Ticketmaster in early February. So he went to TicketsNow, he says, paid $440 for two tickets plus another $80 in nuisance charges and was told the tix would be mailed in early May. They never came
"On Friday they called, leave me a message," he told me on the phone. " 'Contact us.' I've called Friday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. They have not gotten back to me. I go and look on my TicketsNow account. It says 'the order is complete'.... They've kept 520 of my bucks for three months and I don't think I'm getting the deal."
He's feeling doubly abused and very ticked off. Good thing Ticketmaster doesn't do anything important, like fly planes or run nuclear energy plants. Dear Justice Department and FTC: Don't let Ticketmaster merge with Live Nation!
Here is February's Hancock column on the Ticketmaster/Springsteen debacle:
'Boss' furor shakes Ticketmaster's reign
Date: Saturday, February 7, 2009
Byline: JAY HANCOCK
Lettie Holman swears on Bruce Springsteen's soul patch that Ticketmaster automatically kicked her over to its high-priced TicketsNow scalper site when she was trying this week to buy seats for The Boss' tour stop at Washington's Verizon Center.
Ticketmaster says she and others who make similar claims are misremembering or lying.So it is that, even before it starts, Springsteen's newest tour has become a public relations disaster for him and America's best-loved concert-ticket monopoly.
Springsteen is "furious" at Ticketmaster, he said in a prepared statement. Ticketmaster denies forcing Internet buyers to TicketsNow, where one is helpfully offered seats at $500 a pop, and says problems experienced by Springsteen fans have been exaggerated.