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Ticketmaster Customers, Get Ready For Your (Tiny) Class-Action Payout

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the 16-million-for-the-lawyers dept.

The Courts 140

An anonymous reader writes "If you used Ticketmaster's website to buy tickets between October 21, 1999 and October 19, 2011, you're in for a windfall. Well, a $1.50 per ticket order windfall. Because of a proposed class action settlement, Ticketmaster is being forced to credit $1.50 per ticket order (up to 17 orders) to customers because they profited from 'processing fees' without declaring as much. And despite the reparations, Ticketmaster can continue to profit off transactions — they just have to say they're doing so on their website."

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Finally, not a scam (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38264108)

Got this mail today. I was about to delete the mail as another spamscam that got through but the text looked like too much hardwork to have gone in for a phishing attempt or a "Nigerian scam". I lived in the USA 10 years ago and may have purchased something from Ticketmaster.

Re:Finally, not a scam (5, Informative)

galaad2 (847861) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264296)

actually, it is a scam imho because you do not get 1.50 in cash but you get it as a discount voucher for the next ticket you buy. Ticketmaster doesn't pay you a single cent in CASH and if you stopped using them you're SOL, you're not going to get anything back. Their lawyers are laughing all the way to the bank.

Think of this settlement as just a small mandatory promotion for them since you'll be paying them anyway MUCH more than that for a ticket. The $1.50 discount is insignifiant.

http://consumerist.com/2011/11/you-could-score-150-as-part-of-class-action-suit-against-ticketmaster.html [consumerist.com]

Re:Finally, not a scam (5, Insightful)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264574)

This is a complete scam along with most class action lawsuits as the only ones who profit from this are the bloodsucking lawyers!!! Want proof? Ticketmaster is required to pay out $11.25 million in customer refunds, although this could increase based on how many people bother to dig up their tickets from 10 years ago. The two plaintiffs who started this each get 20k. And what do the lawyers get? $16.5 million. Biggest scam on the planet.

Re:Finally, not a scam (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265710)

How many years were the lawyers working, and how much would they have received if they had failed? I see this complaint with every class action, and there is SOME merit to it, but people act like the lawyers should do all their work pro-bono.

From the article, it appears to be an 8-year lawsuit, which works out to $2mil per lawyer / firm, per year. How many lawyers were involved?

Its also worth noting that the $20k for the plaintiffs and the 16 mil for attorneys fees look to be separate amounts-- unless I am mistaken, they didnt just get $17mil to split however the lawyers chose, but rather requested X amount for the lawyers, independent of the Y for the plaintiffs. Any lawyers care to clarify how that all works?

Re:Finally, not a scam (4, Insightful)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266342)

It's ok for lawyers to make a buck, but there's something wrong with the system when the typical result of a class action lawsuit is the people who were actually wronged making a buck LITERALLY while the lawyers, who were not harmed at all, walk off with more money than the average American makes in a lifetime.

Re:Finally, not a scam (2)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266738)

... there's something wrong with the system

yes

when the typical result of a class action lawsuit is the people who were actually wronged making a buck

How were they wronged, exactly? That the Ticketmaster website did not state that those $1.50 are "processing fees", among the other legal mambo-jumbo that nobody reads? THIS is the problem, not the layers getting paid.
Despite the fact that the layers do get an incentive of having this dragged out for years and collecting their lawyer-ly fees; the whole idea of a class action suit that is based NOT on on fraud, but a formality is a load of BS. Another example of someone playing the system.

Re:Finally, not a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38267064)

--- it appears to be an 8-year lawsuit ---

er...

Re:Finally, not a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38267820)

What is a class action lawsuit?

In short, a class action lawsuit is one in which a large number of people (i.e. a "class" of people) take action against a person, group, or organization.

Generally, a class action lawsuit follows a pattern similar to the following:

1) Megacorp Inc. manufactures a faulty product that results in the dismembering of 50,000 customers.

2) Noble Lawyer decides to stand up for the poor innocent people who didn't know he even existed but who would nevertheless trust him completely to represent them.

3) Noble Lawyer puts out a press release saying that he intends to sue Megacorp Inc.

4) The victims signal their unquestioning and unwavering loyalty to Noble Lawyer by not lynching him.

5) Having received such an overwhelming sign of support, Noble Lawyer initiates the lawsuit.

6) Megacorp denies all wrongdoing. The victims should have read the safety instructions, which stated quite clearly that "using the product yourself rather than hiring a gulible fool to do the work for $25.00 plus lunch could result in dismemberment."

7) Noble Lawyer argues that the safety instructions were ambiguous due to the fact that the word "gullible" was spelled wrong. Furthermore, the safety instructions were unreasonable because the going rate for gullible fools is $35.00.

8) Megacorp decides to settle to get this guy off their back, though they mumble under their breath that "gulible" should be a perfectly valid spelling.

9) Noble Lawyer puts out another press release claiming a win for the victims and promising to represent their interests fairly and faithfully at the negotiations, then sits down with Megacorp to work out the deal in a dark room inside a building with security equivalent to that of Fort Knox.

10) Megacorp and Noble Lawyer sign the settlement agreement. Since the paper's not long enough to fit the signatures of all 50,000 victims (and some of them lost their writing hand in the aforementioned dismemberment), Noble Lawyer's signature represents the victims who naturally would have agreed to the settlement had they been permitted entrance into the building to witness the deal being brokered on their behalf. The settlement includes words to the effect that Megacorp admits no fault and that "gulible" is now the accepted spelling, pending approval by Webster's.

11) Noble Lawyer takes a token fee for his tireless, altruistic gestures on behalf of the victims. The generally accepted guideline for the amount of the fee is "slightly higher than the national debt," though by law it cannot exceed the Gross Domestic Product of Europe.

12) The poor victims finally see justice. They receive a letter in the mail asking them to take part in the settlement by sending in a self-addressed, stamped envelope in order to receive a coupon for $0.12 off their next purchase of $500.00 or more.*

*By sending for the coupon you agree to a new 98-year contract with low monthly payments of $999,999.99 and a one-time fee of your soul. Include $6.95 for shipping and handling.

13) (Optional) The victims re-think their decision in step 4.

Re:Finally, not a scam (5, Insightful)

Germ73 (1288776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264590)

If the payout to consumers is in the form of a voucher, it would only be fair that the the lawyer's fee is paid out in the form of a Ticketmaster voucher also.

Re:Finally, not a scam (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264626)

It's nice to get something back Ticketmaster's been hitting us with fees and monopolizing the industry long enough. About time they have to pay out something even if just a discount coupon nice to see them have feel some kind of pain. Maybe they will open there eyes and stop ripping off the public but I doubt they will.

they won't stop scamming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38265218)

That's the problem. They are going to reword the "processing fee" and continue charging the $1.50.
Nothing will change.

Re:Finally, not a scam (2)

residieu (577863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265920)

What pain? It's a coupon. Coupons drive people to buy things. Businesses issue coupons all the time, voluntarily.

If you were a disgruntled Ticketmaster customer, you're left with a coupon. To make TM pay up on their settlement, you have to buy something from them, handing them considerably more than $1.50 in profit.

Re:Finally, not a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38265148)

You're also limited to claiming a max of 17 orders. For a period of 12 years. It's not very hard to have exceeded that limit, even just two shows a year would do it.

DARN!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38264142)

1999 was after Jerry Garcia died, and I haven't been to any other concerts since then! Bummer, cause I could really use an extra $25.50 from the max payout for my next bag of hooch.

This is no surprise. (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264150)

The word master is right there in the name. They really do consider ticket buyers their slaves.

I notice (5, Informative)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264152)

..that the attorneys are going to get substantially more than $1.50 ($16,500,000 shared between them)

Re:I notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38264238)

Lawyers normally take a % of the total amount in a CAL. One of the many reasons to go to law school instead of studying CS!

Re:I notice (5, Insightful)

Ken D (100098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264242)

Then they should take a stack of coupons as their share, since that's what the class members are getting.... coupons off future ticketmaster ticket purchases.

Hey, if cash is good enough for the lawyers, it's good enough for the class members too!

Re:I notice (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264244)

They did the hard work...

Re:I notice (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264622)

They did the hard work..

The "hard work" was being defrauded by Ticketmaster in the first place. The "hard work" is being the victim.

When you are getting paid, and paid very well, for your "hard work" it is never as "hard" as being an innocent victim, no matter how small the victimization.

Let me ask you. You have a choice. You can be ripped off for $1.50 or collect $16million for 8 years of (honestly not that hard) work. I mean, it's not like those lawyers were going down into a coal mine every day or waiting tables. So what's it going to be? You've got three seconds to answer: Get your pocket picked of $1.50 or $2mil/yr?

Re:I notice (0)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264792)

Just because it's not physically hard, doesn't mean that it's not mentally hard. If being a lawyer is so easy, I'm sure a lot more people would be doing it. Oh, that's right, it isn't that easy at all. And they are putting themselves in a big risk. What happens if the lawsuit fails? They end up with nothing. They still have offices to pay for, employees to pay, and many other business related expenses. I'm sure the lawyers put quite a few hours into this case. It's not just a matter of filing a few papers, showing up in court for a couple days, and being done with it.

Re:I notice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38265018)

How about cost-prohibitive? Who has $180,000 to pay for six years of law school? Granted, that's pocket change once you hit $2M/year, but the barrier to entry is high, even for those with great intelligence.

Re:I notice (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265782)

They took a gamble with schooling; how many law school grads end up with a much less rewarding job?

Re:I notice (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38267648)

Apparently not, They have to manipulate bar exam requirements to limit the numbers and competition has yet to drive prices down.

Re:I notice (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265726)

If being a lawyer is so easy, I'm sure a lot more people would be doing it.

More people are doing it. The thing that stops most people from becoming lawyers is the price of joining the club. The intellectual challenge is way over-rated.

Over the years I've had more than one student that couldn't hack an English Lit program who went on to become lawyers, and at least one of them is a very successful lawyer, as he likes to remind everyone at the monthly poker games.

Re:I notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38267218)

You make it sound as if this is the only thing they've been working on for the past 8 years. If you have, say, 5 of these cases to work over that timeframe. If you only have a 20% success rate, you've still made more money in 8 years than I will make in 30.

Re:I notice (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264794)

What sort of argument is that? If the lawyers hadn't run the case, no one would have got anything. This case didn't magically happen.

Oh, and you are more than welcome to opt out of the class and bring your own case against Ticket Master.

Re:I notice (5, Insightful)

KernelMuncher (989766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265028)

"If the lawyers hadn't run the case, no one would have got anything. "

No one did get anything.

Except for the lawyers.

Re:I notice (0)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265766)

Then go and pay for Georgetown Law schooling for several years, pass the bar exam, and become a lawyer. Easy-peasy, right? If so, I wish you a successful practice and much success; good luck with that.

Re:I notice (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266352)

Then go and pay for Georgetown Law schooling for several years, pass the bar exam, and become a lawyer. Easy-peasy, right?

But then I'd be a lawyer.

No thank you.

Being Defrauded by TicketMaster wasn't Hard Work (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266452)

It was easy :-) All I had to do was buy a ticket from a venue that's using TicketMaster as its only ticket sales channel. There wasn't any way to buy my ticket without TM's fees, and there wasn't any way to buy it without paying $8-10 for parking even though I wasn't driving there. (I live about a mile from a venue that's usually a bad traffic jam for concerts, and I'd much rather bike there, not get stuck in traffic, and not need to worry about my substance consumption during the concert :-) Also, one year I ended up with a subscription to Rolling Stone that I'm sure was padded on to my bill, even though I didn't see any checkbox where I authorized it.

Re:I notice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38264516)

The attorneys should be sued for malpractice. They should've launched an antitrust suit against Ticketmaster instead.

Nobody cares about these complicated $1.50 vouchers when the service charges are $8 and up for a simple online transaction.

Eight years of work (2)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264852)

and asking for a fee which will be a around 20% of the settlement. While the number is very large I doubt you or I or much of anyone on this site knows the true costs involved in running a major law firm and maintaining a case over eight years.

So while it is simple to demagogue someone/something/etc because we don't understand it still does not make it right, let alone worthy of being rated insightful on this site. We should not give into our ignorance, let alone jealously, of others simply because of a dollar amount. It cheapen us and the very work we do. I am quite certain you can find any number of people on the street who would be aghast at how much "some" people get paid to work on computers and that attitude has the same founding.

Re:Eight years of work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38265842)

As far as Ticketmaster is concerned, this is not even a slap on the wrist. They will continue to do business the same way they've always done, in blatant violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Consumers still get the shaft.

I imagine you folks did look into that angle, but decided that a $16.5 million settlement for plaintiff counsel was adequate reparation for same. Somehow, the fact that you lawyers profited handsomely off Ticketmaster's misdeeds just makes it worse for the rest of us to stomach.

Now Ticketmaster's management and board can respond to future inquiries by the US DOJ, the states AG, or private parties by saying that the matter has been looked into in court and was settled to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Q. What do you call a lawyer buried up to his head in sand?
A. Not enough sand.

Re:Eight years of work (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38267110)

20% of what?
20% of the $40,000 paid to the 2 plaintiffs?
No.
Oh! 20% of the total face value of the coupons that Ticketmaster has to send out in its new promotion?

What you are not seeing here is that the lawyers settled for what is essentially a large payout for them.
The cost to Ticketmaster is small. They have to change almost nothing.
Ticketmaster is paying $16.5 million to the lawyers and $40k to a couple of dweebs. The rest is an advertising campaign.

Nothing changed. Lawyers got paid.

USA only? (2)

Gib7 (2445652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264162)

I've used ticketmaster for events in the UK and Australia. Do I get anything? Or is it just the USA?

Re:USA only? (5, Informative)

Gib7 (2445652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264172)

Ah, I found the answer, and it's "You must also have been a resident of the United States at the time of your purchase". And the $1.50 is only credit on their site! You don't even get a cheque for the money. Ridiculous. I hope the lawyers who agreed to this also get their payment in ticketmaster credit only.

Re:USA only? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38264180)

Plus you can only use the $1.50 credit vouchers two at a time, saving you a maximum of $3 off the extortionate price of a ticket. Seriously, does anyone apart for the lawyers in a class action suit walk away with fistfuls of cold hard cash? Offer to pay the lawyers in $3-off-your-next-purchase credit notes and see whether they go for it...

Re:USA only? (2)

quetwo (1203948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264436)

A maximum of $3 off the $20 processing fee! Awesome!

Re:USA only? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38264182)

In other news Ticket Master processing fees (now fully declared in the T&Cs that no one reads) have gone up by $1.50.

Re:USA only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38264240)

Since the case was not adjudicated in an international court, you get nada.

I live in a world... (1, Insightful)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264188)

...where a commercial enterprise has to DECLARE that they operate with the intent to make a profit.

No wonder our financial system is nearly in ruins.

Re:I live in a world... (1)

AdrianKemp (1988748) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264220)

Just about exactly what I was going to post.

Seriously, what did people think ticketmaster's business model was?

Re:I live in a world... (4, Informative)

Man Eating Duck (534479) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266844)

Just about exactly what I was going to post.

Seriously, what did people think ticketmaster's business model was?

You would think that it is to provide an optional sales service for convenience that people would choose to pay for, and you'd be wrong. While the email option is convenient, it turns out that they demand exclusive deals with venues, so that you have to pay their "ticket fee" when buying at the door as well. Mind you, ticketmaster has *nothing* to do with door sales except for receiving their racket money (source: a good buddy works at one of these venues), and you don't even get a ticket. Venues still announce cover charge without the fees.

As I see it, if there's no way you can avoid paying the fee even at the doors it's hard to claim that they're tied up to a cost for a service. When I get a goddamn rubber stamp at the entrance in exchange for cash, I don't expect to have to pay a fee to some third party. Ticketmaster don't even do anything to inhibit illegal ticket scalping - which would have been a nice service, and real added value for all concertgoers. If they did I'd be less annoyed with paying their fee.

Re:I live in a world... (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264236)

It probably doesn't serve your sense of victimhood as well; but if you take a look at the complaint [ticketfeelitigation.com] you'll notice that something rather different is the case:

Specifically, TicketMaster (falsely) declared that a given charge covered the cost of a specific processing option, when in fact it was simply added to improve the margin on the transaction. Making false claims about goods or services involved in a transaction is, y'know, "fraud"(which, incidentally, is in large part why our financial system is in ruins)... Had they simply not engaged in fraud, and not misrepresented the nature of the fee, they would have been free and clear...

Re:I live in a world... (5, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264254)

I just checked a recent ticket and it does indeed declare that charge correctly now. The 4 items mentioned are:

1. Cost of performance
2. Cost of venue
3. <illegible smudge>
4. Profit!

Re:I live in a world... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264280)

Yeah. I don't know exactly when they changed the language(probably not long after the filing, if not before); but apparently the previous wording asserted that various charges were actually correlated with various costs(notably 3rd party ones, like a UPS shipping upgrade or a venue charge), rather than just being a somewhat curious itemization of "Because we can".

If memory serves, there was a similar suit against one or more of the big telcos a while back, the telco had been padding bills with fees named to look like FCC service charges or government imposed taxes of some sort that were simply sneaky additions to the base price of the line. They got smacked down. Nothing illegal about charging a price that includes profit; but charging a price that claims to be cost recovery; but is actually something else, is simple fraud.

Re:I live in a world... (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265522)

I thought everyone just assumed that all of the items in the breakdown were Ticketmaster's "Because We Can" fees?

It get's better.... (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264200)

They also are allowed to force that fee (Now $2.50) even if you buy the tickets at the venue.

It's why I dont go to see shows anymore. Horribly overpriced, everyone has to get an additional profit fee in there, and you end up with crap seats unless you pay 4 figures.

Screw it, it's not worth it anymore. And from the performance of the band at the last 3 concerts I was at, they suck live anyways. Beastie Boys utterly stunk live.

Re:It get's better.... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264394)

Fortunately concerts in Europe are still (relatively) affordable I remember going to Rock Im Park in Germany and got a 3 day ticket for 150 euro, including camping, for some really big bands. Just seeing one of those bands in the states would probably set you back almost that much..... and of course now I live in Japan where it's even worse than the states, a 2 day festival roughly akin to Rock Im Park costs over 3x as much and doesn't include camping.....

Re:It get's better.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38264532)

Screw it, it's not worth it anymore. And from the performance of the band at the last 3 concerts I was at, they suck live anyways. Beastie Boys utterly stunk live.

Well, your problem is in expecting that a group that utterly stinks with their recordings would somehow be any better live.

Re:It get's better.... (2)

ojintoad (1310811) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264764)

Ticket Fly is an up and coming competitor [crunchbase.com]
Ticket Alternative has been around for almost a decade. [atdc.org]

If you don't like one Ticket Processor's practices, okay. Then don't go to shows at venues that use that Ticket Processor. Capitalism might be able to fix this yet.

For what it's worth, I have gone to countless shows w/o paying a dime to Ticket Master. That doesn't mean I don't pay fees, but the ones I pay are a lot more reasonable ($10 plus fees with Ticket Master vs $3-5 fees elsewhere). And the option of going to the venue and buying tickets directly to avoid fees.

Re:It get's better.... (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264780)

Don't go to seated shows. If it's not general admission, it's not worth going to.

Re:It get's better.... (1)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266128)

It's why I dont go to see shows anymore. Horribly overpriced...

Are they? You'll know they tickets are overpriced if the event doesn't get close to selling out. If it sells out, then the tickets might actually have been too cheap--"below the going rate determined by supply and demand." [wikipedia.org]

Re:It get's better.... (2)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266734)

I've upped my concert standards, so up yours. There is plenty of good music to be heard for short money: if you care, seek it out; if not, that's fine, just skip it. But don't justify your rejection of all musical shows under the banner that the very very highest end shows are overpriced.

Re:It get's better.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38267350)

I still go to local shows, all of which tend to sell tickets through something other than ticket master. And tickets to these tend to be significantly cheaper. $15? Hell yeah.

As an added bonus, Mayhem live was pretty good. Still surprised they came to Canada. And for a name that big, I'm still surprised at the $15 ticket price.

Dear Suckers, (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264218)

We at Ticketmaster would like to remind everyone, during this difficult time, that the reason that their payout is so tiny and late is not that the penalties for audacious fraud on a grand scale are pitifully small; but that trial lawyers are evil and greedy.

Had we embraced the glorious truths of tort reform, you could have been spared having to receive such an insultingly small offer at all, and we could have gotten away with the entire thing.

Re:Dear Suckers, (1)

OpenDude (1948202) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265388)

evil and greedy.

Exactly

Ticketmaster can continue to profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38264292)

"And despite the reparations, Ticketmaster can continue to profit off transactions — they just have to say they're doing so on their website."

No, really? A private enterprise is allowed to profit off its business provided it does so in a manner that is not fraudulent? Shocking!

Ticketmaster can continue to profit (1)

UnHolier than ever (803328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264294)

"And despite the reparations, Ticketmaster can continue to profit off transactions — they just have to say they're doing so on their website."

No, really? A private enterprise is allowed to profit off its business provided it does so in a manner that is not fraudulent? Shocking!

Re:Ticketmaster can continue to profit (5, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264316)

Well the problem with this "$1.50 refund" is that it's actually $1.50 off your next purchase with ticketmaster".

Read them email to the end. I got this email a few days ago, and as far as I can tell this is legalized highway robbery. For the low, low price of $16.5 million to the lawyers who took up the cause, Ticketmaster gets free publicity and additional repeat customers, while not having to pay their customers anything. There is so absolutely little for the average customer to have gained from this, there might have not even been a lawsuit to begin with.

These sorts of cases where the lawyers representing the public are well compensated need to require that a cash payment be put in to a fund to be claimed against. Reading that email from Ticketmaster was a waste of my time.

Re:Ticketmaster can continue to profit (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264442)

could you even cash a $1.50 check. i would assume the check fees would be more.

Re:Ticketmaster can continue to profit (1)

jemtallon (1125407) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265976)

I smell a class action lawsuit!

Re:Ticketmaster can continue to profit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38264484)

Same here. I'm 41 and back in my concert going days I saw Eric Clapton, The Who, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top all for $30 each. My adult daughter was out in California and wanted to go to a Janet Jackson concert but doesn't have a credit card. She sent me a check and I bought the tickets from you know who. Never again. I can't understand why concerts haven't been killed off by this crap. I can't imagine paying $200 to see a live performance that sounds half as good as the CD. And the worst part is knowing that a large chunk of that money goes to such a seedy organization.

Re:Ticketmaster can continue to profit (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264614)

I can't understand why concerts haven't been killed off by this crap.

I'm sure they'll find some way to blame it on file sharers.

Re:Ticketmaster can continue to profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38266030)

Hey, ticket prices have just followed house prices (they're just 5 years behind).

That's only a doubling of price every 6 years. Perfectly normal.

Re:Ticketmaster can continue to profit (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266116)

Try seeing The Who or Clapton for $30 these days.

Re:Ticketmaster can continue to profit (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264562)

What is justice? They charged you more for processing fees in order to profit from the sales. Now their customers can get their ticket service free of charge for the amount of times they got screwed, they no get it gratis and TicketMaster loses some amount of money. This nullifies their illegal profit.

This is a punishment for TicketMaster, not a "cash please" thing. Be lucky that the system doesn't always charge insane fees in the millions for a small processing fee. $1.50 USD is seriously not a massive amount of money and in this capitalistic world; you could have always bought them somewhere else.

Re:Ticketmaster can continue to profit (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38265184)

$1.50 USD is seriously not a massive amount of money and in this capitalistic world; you could have always bought them somewhere else.

This is the real problem though. In MOST cases, you cannot "just buy them somewhere else". Ticketmaster has a virtual monopoly on ticket sales for most major venues. You cannot buy tickets any other way, including directly from the venue box office. This forces consumers to pay their exorbitant prices & fees, regardless of how many they tack on. The only real other option is just to not go see the show.

Re:Ticketmaster can continue to profit (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265346)

This is a punishment for TicketMaster, not a "cash please" thing. Be lucky that the system doesn't always charge insane fees in the millions for a small processing fee. $1.50 USD is seriously not a massive amount of money and in this capitalistic world; you could have always bought them somewhere else.

This is not a punishment.
People now have the choice to (A) not get the refund or (B) pay TicketMaster to get the refund.
Unless you consider "slightly less profit on customers you might have otherwise lost" as punishment.

Re:Ticketmaster can continue to profit (1)

gutnor (872759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264702)

You are hard against the lawyers, they managed to get ticketmaster to remove the usual "this offer cannot be combined with any other offer". /sarcasm

Re:Ticketmaster can continue to profit (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265172)

There is so absolutely little for the average customer to have gained from this

That's true. But to be fair, compare it to how much they were skimming off of each "transaction fee".

wah? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264298)

And despite the reparations, Ticketmaster can continue to profit off transactions â" they just have to say they're doing so on their website.

That's all we can really ask for, besides actually getting back the ill-gotten gains, and having any unclaimed ill-gotten gains reclaimed and put to some good use, which I note hasn't happened. (Operational costs would take care of making it costly as opposed to simply unprofitable.)

I'm out (1)

mayberry42 (1604077) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264416)

I received the email regarding this class action and, well, it's stupid. people knew how much they paid and what they were paying for and agreed to it. this whole thing is unnecessary.

Re:I'm out (2)

berashith (222128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264460)

no one really agrees to it. You either do it, or dont get the tickets. There are many other fees already stacked on, and if there was a $1.50 fee for service , plus a $1.50 fee for tickets, plus a $1.50 fee for using the web site, plus a $1.50 fee for picking up the tickets, eventually people would notice, so they buried one of them without telling anyone that they were paying fluff. I havent used ticketmaster in a long time because of this... when the face value is half the cost, something is wrong. I call the venue directly to avoid the nonsense, and if I cant get around it, I contact the performer and let them know how I feel. It may not help, but it might.

Re:I'm out (2)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264598)

I received the email regarding this class action and, well, it's stupid. people knew how much they paid and what they were paying for and agreed to it. this whole thing is unnecessary.

From my perspective, it's dishonest when a ticket prices is advertised as £25, but there are so many fees that to actually get a ticket you end up paying £32.50.

Ticketmaster pay the venue for an exclusivity deal, which means the only option is to buy tickets from Ticketmaster, or the venue itself (which is often very impractical, or almost impossible). The fees make no sense -- buying four tickets often means paying four postage fees, four service fees and four booking fees.

Here's [guardian.co.uk] an article in a British newspaper complaining about it. I'm not sure if any rules or laws have been changed since 2009, I don't think so.

Re:I'm out (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266040)

Is issuing tickets such a complicated business that these venues couldn't do it themselves? I'm sure some of these are owned by fair-sized companies that could afford to invest in their own ticket-sales infrastructure and keep the margin that TM's been collecting.

Re:I'm out (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266244)

One thing that Ticketmaster started doing a year or two ago was disclosing each additional fee/charge on their tickets, showing clearly which were theirs and which were the venues. The venues freaked out. However, the transparency was enlightening: of those 7.50 in extra charges, 2 might be Ticketmasters' and the rest extra fees added by the venue, who are *already* getting paid for hosting the show in the first place!

Double Standard? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38264420)

I lived in Orlando, Florida about the time the Orlando Magic were becoming the next big thing. Ticketmaster was in charge of ticketing at the "O-rena". Funny thing is, the city of Orlando passed an ordinance that individuals selling tickets and charging more than $1 over face value could be arrested for scalping. Ticketmaster however could charge their "convenience fee" without any fear of retribution.

Ticketmaster loves to spam you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38264510)

Bought tickets through Ticketmaster for an event a couple months ago. Now I'm getting weekly spam from them. Their "unsubscribe spam" page actually has the balls to say, "You may still receive [spam] from our advertising partners" or some horseshit like that. And sure enough, the spam doesn't stop.

Won't be dealing with Ticketmaster again if I can at all avoid it.

Re:Ticketmaster loves to spam you (1)

Arrogant-Bastard (141720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38267016)

I've NEVER bought anything from Ticketmaster. I've been getting spam from them for seven years. (Yes, I could block it -- but instead I feed it to blacklists.)

Nice (2)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264594)

With all that money at least 11 tickets I'll be able to buy 1 concert beer :-)

I got my money from the eBay lawsuit! (3, Funny)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264604)

There was a recent class action settlement against eBay which I accidentally was a part of. I received a check for $1.63. $1.63!! You Ticketmaster users only got $1.50. Eat my dust!

Re:I got my money from the eBay lawsuit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38265900)

I thought it was, "Burn dust!! Eat my rubber!!!"

Re:I got my money from the eBay lawsuit! (1)

tipo159 (1151047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265950)

My eBay check was $0.79. I guess that I need to do more transactions on eBay so next time there is a class action settlement, I'll get more a bigger payout!

Never mind Ticketmaster (0)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38264766)

They are amateurs compared to the real evil - Stubhub. Bribing legislators to repeal anti-scalping laws etc. Owned by eBay.

Re:Never mind Ticketmaster (2)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265392)

Scalping is only illegal based on a technicality.

Tickets are a "right to rent a space" - so the customer doesn't own a ticket -- the ticket represents a "rental."

If we follow the LAWS of this nation; "The Consumer is Sovereign." Meaning; I can buy a car and sell it, and I can run it off a cliff if it doesn't damage someone else's property or cause harm -- it is MY car. Even on that concept, our CorpGov has put limits, because you cannot buy and sell more than a couple cars a year in most states -- obviously because this interferes with "legitimate car dealers" -- meaning those who've paid for the legislation to stop you.

When I buy an airplane ticket -- I often check the prices of some online "clearinghouses" for a better price -- why does TicketMaster raise prices, but Travelocity lowers them? They are both instances of a unique event and an empty seat that means a loss if it isn't filled. But with Airlines, the "scalper" is selling off otherwise unused seats, and,... well, in the case of a scalper, they are trying to profit while not being a mega-billion dollar company like TicketMaster.

Crooks hate competition.

Re:Never mind Ticketmaster (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266136)

What is evil about scalping? Scalping only happens because the tickets are underpriced and therefore scarce. Scalping just moves the prices up to the actual market price.

The purpose of a class action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38264834)

Is not to make the people participating rich but to punish the perp. And it is working.

Re:The purpose of a class action (1)

oh-dark-thirty (1648133) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265000)

This is one instance where I don't really care that the lawyers are cleaning up, because it's at TM's expense.

What's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38265052)

I don't understand why this is a story? This sounds like a typical class-action lawsuit settlement. The plaintiff lawyers got their $$$ and that is what the law suit was all about.

Best way to prevent these sort of crappy deals, is to require the lawyers to get paid in coupons whenever the members of the class action get paid in coupons.

TicketMaster sickened me from the beginning. (2)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38265298)

If it were MERELY a way to get tickets online-- then charging a Buck for the "service" would be fine. But it's really a profit-gobbling obscenity, that creates a monopoly for Ticket prices.

We even have laws against scalping now -- which wouldn't be necessary if tickets were just SOLD at the gate, or there were enough concerts/large venue performances that scarcity weren't a problem.

But TicketMaster in essence is a Monopoly on top of local Monopolies. You aren't going to watch a Braves baseball game unless you are at the Braves stadium or their competitors -- this goes the same for watching a concert; reasonably, nobody is going to drive 200 miles to the next concert venue for that particular artist.

>> So either there will have to be a regulated Limit on prices -- because TicketMaster can fix them, or there has to be no TICKETMASTER at all. The could be sold off to all the local companies that sell tickets as a "clearinghouse" since that's the useful function they serve.

When most of the profits go to the middleman -- there is ALWAYS a problem in a system.

Profit off transactions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38265880)

Ticketmaster can continue to profit off transactions — they just have to say they're doing so on their website.

WHAT? They provide a service and they're allowed to profit off it? That's outrageous, why do we let these corporations get away with this kind of activity?

Now if the issue is a difference between the advertised price and the actual price because of these "processing fees" that's a different matter. They (and the phone companies, and the airlines) should have to advertise what you'll really pay.

Bah (1)

amalek (615708) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266028)

They suck on more levels than that. Wish I got here earlier so more people could read this.
1) Their login form sends incorrect passwords so I can't login to print my tickets
2) they refuse to support me on this since I bought the tickets through a 3rd party (actually Ticktackticket, who they bought years ago)
3) I point this out, they still refuse to help because apparently the gig is in Mexico (it's in Spain)
4) I lost 60 euros on this bullshit and they still refuse to offer any level of support

Moral of the rant: ticketmaster suck, and interminably so.

They Made a Profit? (1)

cogeek (2425448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266374)

The Horror! A company actually charged a fee, for profit? How does everyone that buys tickets from Ticketmaster think they pay their employees, keep their servers up and running and the lights on? Of course they make a profit from their "processing fee." Anyone that thought any different is naive about how a business works or just didn't give it any thought.

opt out (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266854)

I received the notification and I opted out. Why? Because this does not benefit the customers. It only benefits the lawyers who filed the class action suit. Ultimately it hurts the customer because it will cause TicketMaster et. al. to raise prices.

I got this story beat... (2)

doug141 (863552) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266874)

I just got a check in the mail for one penny for an ebay motors class action settlement. Printing and mailing the check probably cost a dollar. Reminds me of the time my school sent me a bill (in the mail) for $19 cents.

Was done before on South Park (1)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38266888)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_on_Strike#Lawsuit [wikipedia.org]
... Kyle convinces the world leaders to give Canada a consolation prize of gumballs and Bennigan's coupons. The strike is settled .... Aboutman throws a party to celebrate end of the strike, treating it as a great victory for Canada, but Terrance and Phillip realize that the gumballs and coupons are worth $3,008, whereas Canada lost $10.4 million by striking.

Opt Out And Reserve Your Rights (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38267354)

I excluded myself from the class action suit and expressly declined to waive my rights against Ticketmaster for any claims referenced in the suit. Members of the class and/or subclass can contest the terms of the settlement, including attorney compensation terms, by sending letters to the court and both counsels. Instructions on how to do all of this are included in the class settlement notice.

Also if you do not use your $1.50 coupon then they will give $1.50 to a charity.

I disagreed because the settlement A) Requires that I do business with the company that allegedly breached a duty to me and B) overcompensates counsel (awards an amount equal to 2.5 times the firms normal hourly billing rate).

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