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Ticketmaster's new blog

And why I hate them even more now.

By Karen Datko Aug 27, 2010 11:33AM

This guest post comes from Len Penzo at Len Penzo dot Com.


I recently bought tickets to see Maroon 5 at one of their upcoming shows in Los Angeles this October. Let me tell you, I love Maroon 5 almost as much as I love my dog -- which puts them pretty far up my totem pole of most-cherished entities.


Of course, like most mere mortals in Los Angeles without a connection to Ryan Seacrest or some other music industry insider, I reluctantly bought my tickets online through Ticketmaster.


Anyway, a few days ago I got my tickets in the mail and was immediately reminded of why I hate them so much.

See, I bought four tickets at a total face value of $260. Fair enough. However, after Ticketmaster tacked on their world infamous "convenience charge" ($50.80) and an order processing fee ($4.55), I ended up paying $315.35.


Believe it or not, there would have been another $2.50 tacked on to the bottom line if I would have decided to print my tickets at home -- using ink and paper I already paid for -- but I managed to avoid that extremely dubious charge by having Ticketmaster mail the tickets directly to my house. I know.

So imagine my surprise when I found out that Ticketmaster launched a brand-new blog this week called Ticketology

According to Ticketmaster, their new blog is intended to, among other things, "bring you regular posts about our business from the people who lead, live, and love it."


Rock on, Ticketmaster.


The first entry was from Ticketmaster's chief executive officer, Nathan Hubbard, who immediately won me over with his very first sentence: "Today we're excited to announce three important changes to the way we interact with you."


Hey, he's off to a great start!  Keep talking, my man!


"We get it -- you don't like service fees."


Damn straight, Nate!


After doing a double take to make sure I read his second sentence correctly, I immediately subscribed to Ticketology's RSS feed.


I could barely contain myself waiting for the next line announcing that Ticketmaster had renounced all of their stupid fees once and for all!


"You don't like them," continued Hubbard, "mostly because you don't understand what the heck they are for."


Truth be told, I don't like the fees mostly because I think they are a crock.


"We'll try to do a better job in this space over the coming months of helping you understand our business."


You do that, Nate. (I should have known.)


Hubbard then went on to tout Ticketmaster's new "transparent" ticket interface that shows you how much you can expect to pay as early as possible in the buying process. But the new process still doesn't incorporate per-order charges like taxes, and those pesky processing and delivery fees.


So will their excessive and ridiculous  fees ever go away?  Not if you read between the lines. As Hubbard blogged:

The reality of the live entertainment business is that service fees have become an extension of the ticket price. Most of the parties in the live event value chain participate in these service fees either directly or indirectly -- promoters, venues, teams, artists, and yes, ticketing companies -- and service fee rebates are our largest annual expense at Ticketmaster.

After that, I vaguely remember him sharing something about a more fan-friendly return policy, but by the time I got to that part I kind of lost interest.


Fool me once, shame on you, Ticketmaster. Fool me twice, shame on me.


Somewhere near the end of Ticketology's very first post, Hubbard informed us that "at the new Ticketmaster we wake up every day obsessing over the fan experience."


Terrific. And on that sour note, I signed off from Ticketology.


Then I immediately unsubscribed from their blog.


More from Len Penzo dot Com and MSN Money:

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