Frugal Living 

Avoid Ticketmaster’s Ridiculous Fees

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I have nothing against Barry Diller or InterActiveCorp but when Ticketmaster (owned by IAC) wants to charge me a $9 “convenience charge” for a $38 ticket to see a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion, then I think that’s a little excessive. I can almost understand a ten dollar service charge on, say, a hundred dollar ticket but when the service charge represents about a quarter of the final price of the ticket then we’re talking about a rip off.

To avoid this, the best solution is to buy the ticket from the venue itself. This is a hit and miss proposition but its your only shot at getting a ticket without paying the Ticketmaster fee. Your best bet is to call up the box office and ask if there is a service charge for buying a ticket there. Some will not charge any service fee, some will charge a Ticketmaster level rip-off fee, but some will charge a smaller fee (just to pay for the person attending the ticket booth). If it’s convenient, I’d recommend calling and buying the ticket in person. Another word of warning, many box offices won’t take phone or online orders, so you’ll have to physically go to the box office and buy it there.

I’m not in the camp that says Ticketmaster is trying to rip you off, they are providing a service after all, but I think that $10 on a $40 ticket is a little much… enough so that I’d be willing to drive up to the box office and pick a pair on my own (depending on how far it is, in this case Merriweather is a mile away).

Ahhh monopolies…

{ 47 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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47 Responses to “Avoid Ticketmaster’s Ridiculous Fees”

  1. Janell says:

    you guys will LOVE this!!
    Ticket Price
    US $20.00 x 3
    Facility Charge
    US $2.00 x 3
    Convenience Charge
    US $5.80 x 3
    US $83.40
    Order Processing Fee
    US $4.75
    Standard Mail: Allow 10 to 14 days for delivery
    No Charge
    US $88.15

    This is nuts…its like 25 percent of my ticket price!! WTF is going on??? I would have rather just printed the damn ticket out but they were trying to charge me 2.50…to use my OWN printer and my OWN ink….wow….

    • Vivi says:

      Yeah I agree with you it’s freaking ridiculous the fact that they have to charge you $2.50 to print out your own tickets. They should make that free!!! TM is nothing but another corporation trying to get over on people. I don’t think I ever want to get tickets from TM online ever again. Would hate not to attend any concerts or show, but only to prove a point that all these lame charges from them are the ones making us not want to buy tickets.

  2. Louis says:

    From a web developer’s point of view, my anger is equally directed at the venues. They almost always have their own web sites anyway, so adding an e-commerce component, allowing customers to buy tickets directly is not that difficult. If a venue can’t be bothered to add such a relatively simple–yet much needed–feature, then they’re not worth visiting, in my opinion.

    I “might” understanding paying the TM fees on a “per order” basis, but levying these convenience charges on each ticket is just crazy.

  3. Sloppy Bips says:

    You guys are funny. You sit on this website and read all these comments wasting valuable time and complain about a $5 fee. Lol… I guess some people don’t have anything better to do than to bitch and moan because someone out there is making money and you aren’t. GET A JOB!

    • smash says:

      Ignorance is bliss.

    • Skt says:

      We do have jobs. It’s not a $5 fee and if there is someway to avoid paying it, I’m going to do it. I already have a job, thank you very much! If there is a way to overpay, I will do so. Ha!

    • joe says:

      What does that make you. Being the guy wasting time reading and commenting about other people reading and commenting– that makes u double the loser

    • Frank T says:

      I have a very good paying job, but when 25% of the ticket cost is Ticketmaster fees Iam not paying. Its a monopoly and monopoly’s are always bad for the consumer.

  4. whatthe says:

    I crack up at Sloppy Bips reply…$5 fee? I wish. I now take my daughter and her friends to smaller concerts where the experience is just as fun and much more intimate. If Ticket-Ripoff-Masters has the ticket contract, then it’s one concert we can skip. I refuse to give them another cent…boycott? Hell yes! I’d rather my money go towards band-ts and cds and into the pocket of the musicians. The inde bands need your support. And then you can say, “I saw Paramore at the Fillmore, and I even met the whole band. It was the best night of my life!” Which, by the way, we say every time we get home from an amazing concert at a small venue.

  5. Paul says:

    Just came back from Collective Soul concert in Chicago’s House of Blues.

    2-tickets: $75.00
    Convenience Charge: $24.00
    Conv. Charge Tax: $1.20
    Total = $100.20

    Excluding taxes, we paid THIRTY TWO (32%) in their f*cking convenience charge. F*ck ticketmaster, this is getting ridiculous. I wish they had some competition for the average consumer to choose from.

  6. Ted says:

    And its even getting ridiculous! ! !

    Check this out:
    One wheelchair accessible ticket & two companion tickets for a July 2012 event in Arizona.

    Ticketmaster prices are the following:
    Ticket price: $60.60 per ticket
    Convenience charge: $14.35 per ticket
    Facility fee: $5.40 (per ticket}
    Order processing fee: $6.75 (per order)
    Total: $247.80

    Actual cost if you get it at the box office is $40.60 (per ticket) or $121.80 (for 3 tickets) plus taxes. The box office is not charging any fees for the wheelchair accessible seating. The extra $126 is because of service and wheelchair accessible fees that Ticketmaster is charging. So Ticketmaster is charging me double the cost of the actual ticket price. Now that is really outrageous! I’d rather drive and spend less than $15 for gas to get the tickets at the venue instead of paying over a $100 for “convenience”. Hey! Tell you what!, paying double the ticket price IS NEVER CONVENIENT at today’s economy.

  7. Joel says:

    It’s very simple. Boycott TICKETMASTER using Twitter and spreading the word via all available social networking sites. Hey, if they could start a revolution in Egypt, they could certainly inflict a little pain on these scam artists! I recently took my son to a hockey game. Two tickets cost $24.50, the TICKETMASTER SCAM fee was $10.00, and the ‘convenience’ charge was $4.00. That represents a SIXTY PERCENT SURCHARGE on the price of two tickets. It’s not only ridiculous, it’s EXTORTION. What agent anywhere charges 60% on the dollar?? So spread the word. Boycott TICKETMASTER and buy your tickets whenver possible, directly from the venue.

  8. emr says:

    I just sent the following to TM along with my request to be removed from their emailing list:

    I am about as far from a typical “event” attender as can be imagined, so yesterday was my first experience with Ticketmaster. Your denominating a 25% surcharge per ticket a “Convenience” charge is as egregious an instance of adding insult to injury as I remember having encountered. The number, nature & quality of on-line comments on this topic gives me hope that should I live long enough to want tickets to another “event” I will be able to purchase them from a Ticketmaster competitor.

  9. Alex says:

    I know it is crazy. I want to see Sliverstein in a few weeks the ticket is $18.50 but the service fee is $8 that is 43% more that I am paying. It is stupid really.

  10. Paul says:

    I want to see a tribute band whose tickets cost $18, but the fee is $9 – that’s a 50% fee.

    There is NO justification whatsoever for this, yet no-one seems able to curtail what these legalized rip off outfits get away with.

    They have successfully avoided any and all attempts at regulation and the situation only gets worse – vis the LiveNation/Ticketmaster merger which is essentially a monopoly.

    I’d really love to see the Bureau of Consumer Protection whose mandate is to protect consumers from “unfair business practices in the marketplace” go after these scumbags in a meaningful way for once and for all…

  11. Marissa says:

    It’s done nothing but go from ‘ridiculous, but oh okay I’ll do it anyway’ when it was like 3-6 bucks to ‘Hell no, I ain’t paying $12 per $35 dollar ticket. & their ‘competitors’ aren’t much better.
    I just bought two PUSA tickets off ticketfly & they charged me $11 in additional fees.

  12. Hateticketmaster says:

    I just bought 4 tickets to an event totaling $46.00 and was charged an additional $40.55 for service fees, facilities charge, order processing fee and “print at home” fee. I will never buy tickets using them again.

  13. Stacy says:

    I want to buy 2 tickets worth $51 at a tiny venue and they are charging me a $20 service fee. That’s a nearly 40% service fee. Not only do I want to boycott ticketmaster/ticketweb, but it makes me less inclined to go to the concert. Artists should find another company to sell their tickets with.

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