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Buying Tickets? Better Read The Fine Print [AUDIO]

Several music acts are offering a chunk of their seats through paperless tickets or will call only, a move consumer advocate groups say is unfair to ticket buyers.

John Mayer
John Mayer’s concert at PNC Bank Arts Center this summer offers some tickets as will call only. (Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images)

Certain rows at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel are offered as will call only for John Mayer’s performance in August, which goes on sale today.

Anyone who purchases tickets in those rows must be the ones who show up on the day of the concert, with valid photo identification in hand.

“We all have the right to purchase gifts for our kids and friends, and we should continue to be able to give away or resell our tickets if plans change at the last minute,” said Linda Sherry, Director of National Priorities at Consumer Action. “Anti-consumer policies like restricted ticketing strip fans of our freedom to give away, buy, or sell tickets.”

“We would much rather not have these restrictions in place,” added Chris Grimm with Fan Freedom, which was initially funded by StubHub.

Ticket Seller Cites Scalping

Live Nation said will call and paperless seating dramatically reduces scalping. With ID or a credit card needed at the door, the restricted tickets can’t be sold on secondary sites at outrageous prices.

“(Artists) are doing that because they want to give their real fans the best chance at a face-value ticket,” explained Live Nation’s Jacqueline Peterson.

She said paperless tickets make up an estimated 20 percent of sales for artists like Kid Rock and Bruce Springsteen.

“We’ve always maintained that paperless tickets or will call tickets aren’t right for every show or for every artist,” she added.

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