Why NJ music fans are shocked, disgusted, confused about ‘free’ Ticketmaster tickets
It had been a banner week for music fans in New Jersey — what could be better than free Ticketmaster tickets?
On Monday, we learned many of us who attended shows over a 12-year span had codes for free shows or for discounts waiting in out accounts — the result of a class-action lawsuit. You didn’t need to do anything special other than check your account and redeem the code.
But the company continued to find new ways of rankling those who’ve shelled out their hard-earned cash for tickets. Tuesday, a list of concerts eligible for free tickets went live, including summer shows at Holmdel and Camden venues.
Suddenly, customers reported trouble checking their voucher codes:
When a company like #Ticketmaster has the monopoly and all those fees, a website that can handle traffic isn't too much for public to ask.
— MarkSuppelsa (@MarkSuppelsa) June 21, 2016
— Ryan Dowd (@ryanphonic) June 21, 2016
And then, the first wave of free shows was taken down entirely.
Ticketmaster says it’s already redeemed $5 million with of ticket vouchers, and more shows will be posted soon.
But among all the trouble, there’s a new wave of disgust and frustration among music fans, in Jersey and beyond.
But I have to ask — are we shocked that a company settling a multi-million dollar lawsuit for “shady” fee disclosures, is changing the way these codes can be redeemed?
— Brian Lang (@BrianLangAuthor) June 21, 2016
— Bryan Crabill (@Bhcrabill) June 21, 2016
Not shocked, but definitely upset. It’s at least made for some amusing moments on Twitter:
— Stephanie Feldman (@Cloverbelle56) June 22, 2016
— pOdobnik (@podobnik) June 22, 2016
— Sarah (@UberGuber) June 22, 2016
For those who maybe don’t have voucher or discount codes trying to sort through this mess — let’s take a closer look at the legal jargon posted with each of them online:
“Potentially redeemable” certainly jumps out at me as rather unpromising! So does the phrase “limited availability.”
It goes along with the terms laid out on that Ticketmaster settlement info page. That page refers questions to another Settlement site, where the question “Am I guaranteed free tickets?” is answered this way: “While all class members are eligible for qualified events, tickets will be redeemed on a first come, first serve basis.”
So, that’s a no then?
Truth be told, I’m not as angry as I would be about the “bait and switch” or “smoke and mirrors” or whatever shenanigans Ticketmaster is being accused of pulling, since I was able to use a free voucher on a Holmdel show before it was yanked.
So, go ahead, try to use your voucher on a New York City tribute to Rolling Stones or tribute to Guns and Roses. Both cover bands are on the list as of Wednesday. It might give you some “Satisfaction” before more list changes create further “Appetite for Destruction.”
Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee. A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.