Friday, May 9, 2008

Ticketmaster Executives, You Are Horrible Scum!

So I want to by tickets to Kaiju Big Battel. Kaiju Big Battel is basically a live action monster movie. It's part theatre, part wrestling, and part dance party, and it's happening Saturday night at the Roxy in Boston. The official KBB website says it's $20 for entry, which seems like a fair price for the sort of entertainment they provide.

So I tell my friends about it, 'Hey Jared, wanna go see Kaiju Big Battel?', 'Hey Alexis, I'm going to Kaiju Big Battel on Saturday night you want to come?', 'Benny. Kaiju Big Battel, Saturday Night, you're going right?'. They too can't resist. Now, I have three friends who want to go, so for convenience sake I tell them I'll buy their tickets and they can just pay me back.

I live in Boston, but not close to the Roxy so getting to the box office is a slight inconvenience. I do have another option; I can purchase them online through Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster has a bad reputation for being pricy. I remember buying tickets through them for a big outdoor show and having to pay around $5 on a $40 ticket, so I figure I'll probably, at worst, get hit with a service fee of maybe 10% to 15% of the ticket price, that sucks but it's better than having to make my way over to the theatre district in person. So I check out Ticketmaster.com. What I discovered is disgusting.

You know what the Ticketmaster service fee is on a $20 ticket? $8.90. That's right $8.90. Here's a little elementary math to help put things in perspective. 8.90 / 20 = 0.445, now let's round to 2 significant digits and add a percent sign 45%. The service fee Ticketmaster charges is FORTY FIVE PERCENT!!!!!! of the ticket price. Here's the best part. You think since I want to buy 4 tickets there'll be some sort of economy of scale at work. Nope. $8.90 per ticket.

The service I am actually being charged for here is ticket distribution. Basically Ticketmaster sends people tiny sheets of paper, or digital files that will become sheets of paper, with symbols on it that tell a huge oafish guy with a clipboard they can walk through the door he is standing in front of.

So here's something else to think about. UPS, a real business who actually performs a valuable service, will charge me $45.44 to ship a 5 pound package from Boston to Los Angeles, that's clear across the U.S. folks. I can send a brick clear across the country for almost the same price that Ticketmaster charges to 'electronically deliver', i.e. email, 5 tickets. So why don't concert and theatre venues use UPS for ticket distribution. UPS can do the job just as well at a cheaper price. They'll save their customers a small fortune.

I'm a full supporter of free-market capitalism, but Ticketmaster's business model is the most crass and customer hating I have ever seen. Why is there no competition to Ticketmaster? Why do venues continue to do business with them when it's not in their own best interest? How did Ticketmaster monopolize this industry?

Ticketmaster executives you are scum. Your fat financial portfolios should not give you any satisfaction, because in reality you have not created any real economic wealth. You are parasites. My opinion of you is lower than women who have children just for increased welfare benefits. I know eventually the laws of karma will get you.

I will be buying my tickets at the door or not at all.

1 comment:

EVL said...

Here's a wikipedia explanation of their ridiculous charges - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ticketmaster#Service_fees

The cable and phone companies are equally full of crap when it comes to trumping up fake charges.