Ticket Gouging: When Does It Stop Being Worth It?
I know roughly ten people (myself included) who had “LOG ONTO TICKETMASTER AT 12:00PM” scheduled in their smartphone last Friday. Why? Well, Friday just happened to be a day where several big acts had tickets go on sale. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd all released their tickets to the public at roughly the same time, on the same website with the same servers. What happened? Chaos happened.
Fans of all colors, shapes and sizes were frantically choosing their seats of choice, entering private billing information and typing in security codes. What happened next? Thousands of people were stuck staring at this picture:
After being as patient as I can possibly be, 15 minutes became a half hour which became 45 minutes. And at last, my wait time was over and the screen was finally about to change over to my order so I can go ahead and press submit.
Instead, a majority of us received an error message. Most of us came away empty handed. Why? Because professional scalpers/hackers figured out a way to manipulate the Ticketmaster system. They swooped in and broke all of the rules set in place regarding how many tickets you can buy at a time. Seats were bought hundreds at a time and within minutes, secondary ticket sale sites like Stubhub had seats that were originally ours, up for grabs for three, four and five times the face value of the ticket (which was not cheap by the way).
Not much can be done now. The tickets are sold. And there are a few people out there who actually made out well and have tickets to the show they desire. Ticketmaster can’t just say, “those tickets are now invalid and we are going to have a re-do.” Ticketmaster and other similar sites can, however, step in moving forward. For any future concerts, sporting events and Broadway shows, new steps need to be taken to stop this from every happening again.
Instances like this are single single-handedly killing the industry and I want to hear a couple of thoughts from you.
1) How much is too much to pay for a ticket for a special event? The most money I have ever spent on a single ticket is $350 to attend the last ever game at the Old Yankee Stadium in 2008.
2) What steps could websites like Ticketmaster take to stop this attack from ever happening again?