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November 13, 2008

Ticketmaster won't charge extra fees for Eagles tickets

eaglesI hate Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster is right up there with Comcast in my book -- they're both bloated, incompetent corporations. See, they can be as inefficient as they want, because they pretty much have monopolies on their markets.

This week, Ticketmaster announced that it won't charge any extra fees for tickets to Eagles concerts. OMG -- how, like, totally generous of them!

If you're unfamiliar with Ticketmaster's tricky ways, know this: When you buy a concert ticket from them, they slap you with a series of fees. A $49.99 ticket to see Wayne Newton at the Lyric Opera House ends up costing something like $69.99 by the time Ticketmaster's through with you.

Here's the kicker: They call these fees "convenience charges."


What in God's name is so convenient about ordering tickets online or over the phone that gives Ticketmaster the right to charge so much extra? Paying more money isn't convenient at all ...

empty pocketsI think they just call them "convenience charges" to spite us. They know it's not convenient. You just don't have any other choice. You have to pay it. So they rub it in your face by calling them "convenience charges."

But this time -- just this once -- they're going to waive these convenience fees for Eagles fans.

But why? I mean, the Eagles charge out the whazoo for their concerts. It baffles me, because live, the Eagles sound exactly the same as they do in the studio. You can go to one of their shows, close your eyes and never know you're at a concert. Except for the inevitable drunk dude in a flannel shirt screaming "Freebird!"

I hate that dude.

My point is, Eagles fans are willing to pay $75.99 for nosebleed seats. So why not stick 'em with an extra $19.99 in convenience fees? They won't mind.

Instead, Ticketmaster should stop charging convenience fees for smaller acts (like Shwayze or Jenny Lewis or Dan Deacon). I know Dan Deacon fans are strapped for cash. Hey Ticketmaster, give the discount to people who really need it!

This recession is hitting us all. I opened my wallet the other day and a cartoon moth flew out. I can't afford these "convenience charges" anymore, Ticketmaster. But fat cat Eagles fans sure can. So give the discount to the lower-middle class -- folks like me.

We're the ones that need the bailout.

(AP photos) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:55 AM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Local music, Random stuff


"convenience charges" kind of like a Value added tax, an ATM charge or a mandatory tip.
They keep this all going with delivery or courier charge (read express mail or UPS) if don't want to wait for them to send them to you at their leisure.

What's also a lot of fun that if you elect to go alone, they wont sell you one ticket if two or four seats together remain.

I hate the process and be grudge the cost, so rarely go to any of things anymore.

hmm, I'm an Eagles fan, and while i may be fat, I am NOT a cat!! might want to be careful of too broad a brush...
It's been so long since'I've had to do this, but can't you still buy tickets through the venue? call them and cut ticketmaster clean out of the loop!

It's all those bigwigs in Tinseltown that can afford this stuff.

I rather enjoy the drunk dude in flannel who inevitably screams, "Freebird!"

Comcast loves convenience fees too!

I am 100% of the same mindset on this issue as well.

The worst was when I went to Rams Head Live to buy two tickets. There was a $4 "convenience" charge for each ticket. What was my convenience in going to the venue to buy the ticket?

Oh, it was just a way to take a larger percentage of the gate from the band.

PS If I was ever to attend an Eagles concert, I would have to be drunk and yelling "Freebird." Me and the Dude have that in common.

I've been on the Ticketmaster hate-wagon for years...but they really sent me to new levels of hatred last week. There was a limited number of ticket pre-sale for Wilco at the Lyric on Thursday at 10am. I was too busy at work right at 10, and tried around 10:15. Sold out. I was perturbed, but what are you gonna do, I missed the 10:00 start, it was my fault.

They went on sale to the public on Friday at 10. I tried for tickets at exactly 10:00 (and 7 seconds), but yet again, sold out. I kept trying over and over, and after another 5 or 6 minutes, I fianlly got a hit and two tickets way up in the back balcony. Crappy seats, but at least it was in the building. I click 'yes' and it takes me to the payment screen. I already had an account set up with Ticketmaster, so they already had my credit card info and all. However, I moved semi-recently, and they still had my old address. I clicked on 'edit' to change the address, and when i was done clicked 'save'.

I then get an error message saying that my name doesn;t match what's on my credit card. Even though, yes, it did match, and more over, I never changed my name, just my address.

At any rate, it never ended up accepting my change, and after the 6 or 7 minutes they hold the seats for you expired, so did my chances of seeing Wilco at the Lyric.

The worst part was after I was unable to buy tickets at "face value" (plus [creative expletive] fees), Ticketmaster was helpful enough to display an advertisement to the ticket brokers they now partner with offering me the $37 tickets for $115.

How is this legal?

In the same vein, MissionTix who sells tickets for Ottobar, Fletcher's, and others, while significantly less than Ticketmaster, charges convenience fees when the process seemingly involves no human effort or time. I pay for the tickets, I immediately receive the .pdf version of the tickets in my email, I print them on my own. Is the convenience charge merely for your adobe acrobat license? I just wish I had a hookup in the local scene who could get me into shows all the time.

I too have loathed Ticketmaster for years but have unfortunately had no choice but to patronize them on occasion. I'm fairly certain that the Eagles were one of the few bands that attempted to derail the Ticketmaster monopoly a few years back, which may be part of the explanation for TM's "goodwill" gesture now.

Ted, I agree with venues adding their "convenience" fees at the box office. This makes absolutely no sense. I do understand charging a little extra at the door for the under 21 crowd (like the Recher) to compensate for them not buying $6 beers while at the show. However, when a venue, such as Ram's Head, posts a ticket price on their website or in a paper or wherever, that should be the price you pay. I actually can't think of a venue in the area that doesn't tack on a few bucks at the box office window now. What's so convenient about driving there, often paying to park, and walking inside to complete your transaction in person?!

Don't even get me started on the inflated prices of the tickets themselves and the fact that a concert shirt will run you $25-$45 these days...45 bucks for a short sleeve t-shirt?!?!

Beav, I had a very similar experience online with the Wilco show. I got through at 10 am and was holding some balcony tickets and was abruptly kicked off when trying to sign into my account - no tix. Luckily my friend was at the box office and able to get 2 on the balcony, not to mention save us almost $30 in convenience charges!

Terry -- me too.

Wait a minute ...

In defense of MissionTix, they base their service fee on the price of the ticket. The lower the ticket, the lower the service fee.

Also, all the ticket price goes to the venue. They pay up quickly. You don't have to chase them for your money.

So they charge you $2.25. They operate a great ecommerce site and are excellent way for small venues to be able to sell tickets on line.

don't want to pay the extra charge? you don't have to. just drive yourself to the box office to get the tickets there.

or is that not 'convenient" for you?


Recently, the venue wasn't only "convenient", I had to pass for other reasons. I still got charged a processing fee for someone just to sell me the tickets at the box office, which just seemed to be another name for convenience fee I pay when I've bought tickets online.

The Beav sez: "Ticketmaster was helpful enough to display an advertisement to the ticket brokers they now partner with offering me the $37 tickets for $115.

How is this legal?"

Seriously. I've never seen an answer to this question and I'd like one.

An interesting article from 2003.

"Sep. 19--Ticketmaster, the concert-ticketing giant accused last month of antitrust violations, has countersued the String Cheese Incident, contending that the Colorado jam band's practice of selling seats directly to fans interferes with Ticketmaster's contracts with venues."

full article:

I originally was looking for when the Dead Kennedys sued them for not putting their name on the tickets only "DK"

fizzy & Beav, there's quite a bit of (online) controversy brewing over this TicketsNow-Ticketmaster right now with the Phish reunion shows coming up in March. Apparently tickets to the 3-night run in Hampton, VA were listed on the TicketsNow site for up to $787 a piece moments after the 41,000 tickets sold-out...,0,1202855.story

There are still a few venues that you can purchase tickets at the venue early to avoid fees, such as Sonar, in particular, with the only typical inconvenience being cash only.

Though yea, I don't agree with the venues who charge a fee in this case as well...I'm looking at you, Recher.

But the lack of convenience charges at Sonar and cheap service of Missiontix for Ottobar are parts of the reasoning I more often frequent these venues. I typically don't even bother with Recher and Ram's Head unless it's a show I simply can't resist. Though I must say, I'm loving the free shows that we've been getting in town recently from TaxLo, Scion, and Steez.

this is an absurd amount of time, effort and money for what's supposed to be an evening of entertainment. This all hoping that the band or event in question is having an "on" night or doesn't cancel.
Let's not forgetting the prospect of getting behind someone who stands the whole evening or brings their sign or banner to hold all evening.

All this horsesh*t does a fairly effective job in stripping the enjoyment and enthusasium (ck sp).

I thought ticket resaling was supposed to be legally limited to five times the original or printed sale price.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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