Friday, October 10, 2008

Tickets, please. Please, please, please.

Martin over at Currybetdotnet attempts to buy Depeche Mode tickets from the lovely people at Ticketmaster. It's not a happy experience; it makes you wonder if anyone at Ticketmaster has ever tried to buy things online, never mind from their own store.

On a related note, in the current edition of the BBC's in-house magazine Ariel, an enraged member of staff asks how come SeeTickets was charging not just a £2.50 booking fee, but also a £4.80 "transaction fee" on top of Oasis Electric Proms tickets - the £4.80 to cover "secure delivery" of tickets that, erm, you had to pick up from the venue.

The Official Response from Lorna Clarke, the director of the Electric Proms, stresses how important it was to make sure the tickets didn't end up being sold on eBay or anything (even although the security measures mean that legitimate purchasers are punished by having to jump through hoops to see the event they've paid for) before announcing a "partial" refund.

This misses the broader point about why the gig-goers are being charged at all a separate fee to cover the costs of security for the tickets - it seems to be an odd notion that to avoid people being ripped off and made to pay inflated prices, you, erm, inflate the price but hide it from the headline charge. Why not go the whole hog and slap an extra ten quid 'support band fee' on the transaction?