Ticketmaster Goes Upfront About Service Charges - Sort of

Ticketmaster Goes Upfront About Service Charges - Sort of
Yesterday (August 23), on Ticketmaster's new blog, current CEO Nathan Hubbard wrote a post that finally seemed to address some of the many problems that consumers have with the ticketing giant's business methods. The post's conclusion? About three-quarters of those frustrating surcharges will be presented to customers immediately.

As Hubbard pointed out, "We get it - you don't like service fees. You don't like them mostly because you don't understand what the heck they are for."

He follows this with a bunch of industry jargon that is mostly praising the fact that Ticketmaster is no longer going to surprise you at the end of your transaction with all the added fees - they'll tell you most of them right off the bat.

"We are the leader in the industry, and so we are accountable for taking the initiative to drive industry change. We take that responsibility very seriously, and at the new Ticketmaster we wake up every day obsessing over the fan experience. We think this change is a big step toward creating pricing transparency that is good for fans, and thus good for business."

"The problem," Hubbard continues, "is that historically we haven't told you how much you have to pay for a given seat until very late in the buying process. And our data tells us this angers many of you to the point that you abandon your purchase once you see the total cost, and that you don't come back."

A test purchase we did this morning, for a seat at the Gorillaz show October 14 at the Air Canada Centre, turned out the following results: a $49.50 ticket, when accessed via the pull-down menu, now is "transparently priced" at $65.25, followed by this short fees breakdown "$49.50 Ticket + $15.75 Fees."

But by the "Billing" page, there's another $5.75 in "Order Processing Fees," which is entirely separate from mailing costs, should you choose Express Post.

What that $5.75 pays for is still unknown, so as far as we can tell, it's the same old Ticketmaster, screwing you up front.

Thanks to Pop & Hiss, the Los Angles Times Music Blog, for pointing this one out.