We aren’t surprised that Ticketmaster would do something that would befuddle consumers, but its latest maneuver might take the cake.
John Breyault of National Consumers League says Ticketmaster’s use of paperless tickets is on the rise, and so are buyers’ headaches.
In a paperless ticketing system, a consumer purchases the ticket online with his/her credit card, then brings that card and a form of identification to the event, where the card is swiped by a card-reading kiosk or a member of the venue’s staff. Ticketmaster says paperless tickets are meant to wipe out the high prices that ticket brokers or illegal scalpers demand.
The system also curtails your ability to sell or give away tickets, either as a gift or if you can’t attend.
Ticketmaster makes no apologies. On its website, it says, “If you buy tickets for friends or family, sometimes you only have to go to the gate, not through the gate.” In other words, to make sure that your friends can use the tickets that you gave them, you must go with them to the venue—but not go to the event yourself. Gee, thanks.
Moreover, the fact that your credit card must be scanned at the gate makes delays for eventgoers inevitable. In November 2010, fans who attended a Justin Bieber concert in Louisville, Ky., missed part of the show when scanners failed to recognize credit cards that were used to purchase tickets.
Breyault says if consumers can’t have a printed alternative, inconveniences will continue at other concerts or sporting events. Nevertheless, Ticketmaster’s paperless system likely will grow, he adds.
Live Nation, which is Ticketmaster’s parent company, didn’t return our requests for comment.
– P. Snyder