Ticketmaster is taking over the world and I will have none of it. What originated as a friendly and helpful ticketing service, catering to all Americans, has gradually become a monopolistic entity poised to destroy the free market economy this great nation was built upon. While one would hope the price of, let’s say, a Dodgers game would be based around how many people want to go – in other words, supply and demand – this is not the case. Instead, the price is dictated to the public by the evil minds behind Ticketmaster. It is these nefarious bastards who have schematically figured out how to control the rights to over 50 percent of all tickets sold in America, and by doing so, they are capable of jacking up base ticket prices to obscene levels, ripping holes in the pockets and hearts of those middle- and lower-class Americans who simply want to see their favorite band play at their favorite venue.
For the purpose of this article, I am going to focus on concerts, since they vary in price so drastically compared to standard sporting events. Ironically, it is with the smaller, lesser-known bands, who charge the least amount for their shows, that Ticketmaster is able to rip off the consumer the most. You see, the way these assholes make profit is through their ghastly surcharges. A band will set the base price of a ticket to their show at an affordable $20. Ticketmaster will then add on a $7.75 convenience charge, which, as they explain on their website, covers the cost of them graciously giving you, the buyer, the opportunity to find tickets to your favorite band! Gosh, they’re just too nice.
Next, there’s the $5 order-processing fee, which is there to help maintain the state-of-the-art computers and technology that allow you to breeze through their site. The best part is saved for last: the delivery fee. The simplest option, TicketFast, has a $2 charge. Ticketmaster docks its customers $2 to have a ticket e-mailed to them, that they then have to print out using their own ink and paper. If this is not one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is.
In an effort to unearth the mystery behind the utterly bogus delivery charge, I called up customer service only to be put on the phone with a nonsensical lady who thought I wanted to buy Snoop Dogg tickets. After a lot of prodding, she informed me that the $2 charge is necessary because the e-ticket arrives on the same day, within 20 minutes time, guaranteed. When I asked if this seemed like a sleazy way for Ticketmaster to make more money, she hung up on me. In the end, if you were to purchase this $20 ticket, you would be forced to pay an additional $14.75 in service charges. That’s over 70 percent of the initial ticket price! Douche bags.
Sure, there are other places to look to, like eBay and Craigslist, yet both only provide tickets to big shows. If you are looking to see a small band play at a tiny venue and you don’t feel like driving two hours to Los Angeles to get the tickets ahead of time, Ticketmaster is your only choice. One can only hope that in the years to come, tickets will all become auction-based, as seen now on eBay, enabling the public – not corporate America – to once again regulate the market as it should be.
Daily Nexus columnist Adam Wenger wishes Ticketmaster would make like Snoop Dogg and drop it like it’s hot.