Watchdog on Ticketmaster

My previous posts may have tipped you off on the fact that I hate ticket touting. From street corner scalpers to misleading websites claiming to be working “for the fans” – apparently, without them buying/negotiating bulk amounts of tickets and selling them at up to sixteen times the face value, poor, honest, “real” fans would not get a chance to see their favourite bands live. Apparently “real” means he who has the most money.

On this week’s episode of BBC’s Watchdog, the reselling of Ticketmaster tickets was covered.

This profiteering isn’t happening on any random auction site. It’s actually happening on Ticketmaster’s own partner site, Getmein.com. And for every ticket that’s resold there, Getmein take a sizable percentage.

It seems that the “honest, true fan” only gets a chance to buy a slice of the tickets at face value, and the rest go direct to the touting partner. I wonder which site the front row arena seats get put on?

For an hour, our researcher kept trying to buy a ticket through Ticketmaster, but the site just kept saying none was available. However, in less than half an hour, tickets to the concert were appearing on getmein.com. The most expensive one was a £30 seat, listed for almost £150. It appeared that some people were buying up tickets with just one intention; to make a profit.

Ticketmaster say their Getmein site is a marketplace where genuine fans can buy unwanted tickets at a fair price. It says it’s preferable to fans having to deal with touts. But if it’s allowing people to re-sell tickets within seconds of buying them, at massively inflated prices, what’s the difference?

Ticket agencies and eBay may not care about scalping – after all, they have something to gain from it too – but the artist’s agent and tour manager certainly will, and the bands who care the most about their fans WILL do something about it.

Remember:

  • Find out when tickets go on sale in advance and learn about tabbed browsing and the F5 key
  • Know that REAL FANS WILL NEVER SELL TICKETS FOR ABOVE FACE VALUE – visit forums and ask in the queue on the day.
  • Use sites like ScarletMist – who DO work for the fans and ban anyone trying to sell a ticket for above face value.
  • Beat the touts at their own game – there’s nothing sweeter than being able to win an eBay auction, or get a ticket seconds before doors open, off a tout at face value.

Addendum: It was a little disappointing to hear David Mitchell’s voice on a recent Seatwave advertisement – I wonder if he researched what he was being paid to promote?

8 Comments

Filed under comment, link, music

8 responses to “Watchdog on Ticketmaster

  1. Sam T

    I have been on the phone to GETMEIN since Monday as I have not received my tickets for my Usher Convert which is in less then two weeks. The UPS card that was delivered had not tickets inside them, i have not got the card as it has been thrown out but only have a front sheet which comes with the package. GETMEIN are saying that i have to email thier disputes manager and contacting the seller if no luck I can not go to the concert? I have bought 6 tickets at a high price so losing that money is just a waste. Any suggestions on what to do? I do want to go to the concert so are they allowed to refuse me entry?

  2. The venue can refuse you entry without a valid ticket.

    GETMEIN, however OWE you these tickets – you have paid for an advertised product that they now must deliver. If your tickets cannot be sent to you in the post, they should make them available at the venue on the night of the concert – this is what legitimate ticket agencies always do. You take your email confirmation and a form of ID (usually the card used to buy the tickets) to the venue’s box office on the night, and they will issue you with new tickets. Explain this to GETMEIN – they should know that this is the procedure.

  3. Simon G

    Why do you give such terrible incorrect advice Shreena? You seem to have no knowledge of the law or consumer protection. I’ve thought about, but never used, this Getmein. As long as they give Sam the tickets or a 150% refund (as specified in their terms and conditions) they are covered. Do some research before you mislead people.

    • Who am I misleading?

      “As long as they give Sam the tickets or a 150% refund”

      “GETMEIN, however OWE you these tickets – you have paid for an advertised product that they now must deliver. If your tickets cannot be sent to you in the post, they should make them available at the venue on the night of the concert”

      That’s exactly the same advice, isn’t it? Both you and I have said that they need to give her the tickets. Sam has talked about losing her money so clearly a refund hasn’t been discussed either.

  4. Simon G

    Legally Getmein “OWE” Sam nothing. As harsh as that sounds and I realise. They do not have to provide the tickets. As long as they have refunded him (or her) or supply the tickets they are legally in the clear. Obviously this is terrible for the person who bought the tickets which is why I assume they offer their 150% refund as compensation in their terms and conditions.

    I assume them telling him/her to contact the disputes manager is the way to get this authorized, it certainly has been the case in the past when Ive had to complain about trains/large hotels ect.

    I know you hate ticket touts (who doesn’t?) but you shouldn’t let this cloud your judgement in giving sound advice.

    • Either they owe her the tickets or they owe her the money – so they do owe her something either way.

      I’m just going on what Sam’s said. “GETMEIN are saying that i have to email thier disputes manager and contacting the seller if no luck I can not go to the concert? I have bought 6 tickets at a high price so losing that money is just a waste.” She’s worried about losing her money and not getting to the concert, and I am telling her that those two things should not happen; she has a right to go to the concert. If she’s already spoken to them, either they haven’t told her her options or she’s misunderstood. I’ve told her to explain this to GETMEIN – surely if she has misunderstood, explaining what she wants should result in clarification of the process, and reassure her that there’s nothing to worry about?

  5. Orsolya

    Hey guys,
    we ordered two tickets from getmein.com, but in the meantime we needed to change the address. I did change on their website, but they still sent them for the wrong one. I contacted the company which is charge with the delivery, I changed the address, and I am still waiting for my tickets. I called them 3 times, and at the last ine they told me to call the site I bought the ticket from. I did as I’ve been told, and getmein adviced me to write their disputes manager. The correct e-mail is disputesmanager@getmein.com, right??? Please tell me they’ll sort it out for me, because I can not miss that concert….
    Thank you for your help!

  6. steven allan moffat

    I just bought 2 tickets from Getmein.com for the David Gilmour concert,spent £1128 on 2 tickets and now sum folk r saying myself and my girlfriend won’t get in as we’re not the actual person who bought the tickets from the Royal Albert hall site,but if that’s the case why do uz let people sell tickets for such events knowing fine well that the trusting buyer using ur site won’t b able to gain entry to the event , can sum1 plz help me out as I don’t know wot to do ! I have uzd Getmein.com 2 years ago for the Rolling stones at Hyde park and never had this trouble that’s why we tried this ticket site first as I had uzd it before and received my tickets without a hitch Thanking You Mr Steven Allan Moffat

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