THE BLOG
02/10/2009 09:03 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

One More Ticketmaster Story; Apologies Aren't Enough

On Sunday afternoon, 7/27, I purchased tickets for the 7/28 Bruce Springsteen concert at Giants Stadium. I purchased them through a ticket broker called Tickets Now, only because they were affiliated with Ticketmaster, a somewhat reputable (HA!) company.

The next morning, I found out through a Bruce Springsteen fan website, Backstreets.com, that people who went to the Sunday evening show and sat in the exact section that I had purchased--Section 209--said the seats were obstructed and nothing but Bruce's microphone could be seen. As a matter of fact, ushers and security guards were prepared for this as they had stacks of tickets in their hands, ready to escort the unhappy patrons to other locations. This was not how I wanted to spend the evening with my wife, schlepping to New Jersey, not knowing where we would be placed.

I called Tickets Now and asked for a refund. Nowhere on their site did it say my tickets were obstructed view. Why would I have paid a premium to sit in seats without a view? They claimed their 100% guarantee only guaranteed getting in the venue. Nothing more. When I said that Ticketmaster sells obstructed view seats by saying "obstructed view seats," they were unphased. Supervisor Denise Wojciechowski offered nothing in the way of help. She was very smug and offered this, "You used the internet to find out this information, why didn't you use the internet to do this before you bought the tickets?" In other words, I'm f**ked! A refund was never in her plans. And actually, nothing, not even replacement tickets were offered. Tickets Now claims "100% customer satisfaction." I couldn't be less satisfied.

I took my case to the parent company Ticketmaster. After 45 minutes on hold, the customer service representative I spoke to, Meredith, said Ticketmaster had nothing to do with Tickets Now. When I said that the link for Tickets Now was found on the Ticketmaster website and that on the Tickets Now website it says, "A Ticketmaster Company," she played dumb. "Uh..I don't know anything about that sir."

I sent my unused tickets, which did not say "obstructed view" anywhere, along with the header from the Ticketmaster website that says "Tickets Now-A Ticketmaster Company," to Visa, disputing the charge and hoping I'd get some compensation.

Months later, I get a letter from Visa. It wasn't good news. No refund. No concert. $380 down the drain.

I bring this up now in light of the new allegations against Ticketmaster. I had my recurring Ticketmaster nightmare just last week trying to purchase tickets for the current run of Bruce Springsteen shows, and like so many others, at 9:02 AM, was horrified to see the Ticketmaster page suddenly under maintenance. I KNOW everyone has a nightmare Ticketmaster story. I urge all of you to share these stories. Let's get live music out of the hands of the rich and back in the hands of the fans.