I know I am not breaking any new ground here by complaining about Ticketmaster and its fees, but Ticketmaster is clearly thinking creatively about how to further infuriate its customers. I just bought a couple of tickets today for a concert and here’s the breakdown:
2 tickets: $51.50 each, $103.00 total
Convenience charge: $10.20 per ticket, $20.40 total
Order processing charge:$4.10 (So just what is the convenience charge then? Beats me. It’s convenient to stick me up this way so Ticketmaster can make its numbers each quarter, but beyond that, I am mystified.)
And here’s the capper, why Ticketmaster is on the cutting edge of customer-maddening, profit-margin padding services. Ticketmaster has a new “convenience” where it will email you your tickets as a PDF and you can print them out. That’s $2.50! To send me an email! Did they get that hoax about the post office charging for email and took it seriously?
Let’s total it up: I bought tickets for $103.00. I am paying $27 in service fees. That’s more than 20% of my total cost. For what? To send me an email with the tickets! If you want your tickets mailed to you, by the good old post office, it’s free! There’s a word I didn’t think existed in Ticketmaster’s vocabulary, but sending the tickets by mail costs them real money. Emailing them to me doesn’t, which is of course why it costs $2.50. Insidiously brilliant.
I know Ticketmaster’s an easy target, and it’s not that I begrudge them something for their trouble, but there were 19th Century train robbers with dastardly moustaches who offered a better customer experience.
Of course, they’re not alone. I had to give a credit card to secure an online restaurant reservation today, and if I’m late or cancel, the restaurant will charge me $25 per person! I may not spend that much when I go, so now it’s in the restaurant’s fiduciary interest for me not to show up. Again, insidiously brilliant.
But my meal has already been diminished and I haven’t even gotten there yet. I’m roped in now, but I hope not trusting me was worth it to guarantee that I’ll be a one-time customer.