Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's Ticketmaster's World...

So I'm lucky enough to be heading off for the second weekend of the justifiably famous New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, or Jazz Fest, and am struggling with the unjust dilemma of ticket sales here in Ticketmaster's world (and we all just live in it).

Pre-paid ticket sales are $45 on the Jazz Fest website but go up to $60 if you're buying day-of at the gate. So the obvs move here is to pre-pay, right?

But then witness the Ticketmaster peripheral sales funnel of ultimate aggravation in action:

Exhibit A

Okay, so even though it's a weekend long festival, if I'd like to go to more than one day I have to buy individual tickets for each day. That's not very convenient.

Exhibit B

Oh, now I get it. You want to sell me individual tickets so you can double (or triple) me up on the infamous Ticketmaster service fees, which at over 18% are in the polite range of what you'd tip a waiter at a fancy restaurant.

I'm still saving $6.85 per day off the box office price. That's cents that makes sense. But wait...

Exhibit C

It's easy to look at this and say, quit complaining and go Will Call (and I probably will). But there are times when this matters. Witness Outside Lands Festival 2008 when the Will Call line was like an hour long and yours truly missed the Black Keys, Beck and a good chunk of Radiohead as a result. And then what is Ticketmaster really charging me for? The privilege of self-service? $2.50 to print it out my damn self?

I understand a company's got to make a buck, but there's also a difference between good profit, earned for delivering value, and bad profit, earned by pressing your position of power. Somehow Ticketmaster has all the tickets and to me this is no bueno.

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