Boycott TicketMaster

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Date: Saturday, July 9th, 2005, 13:43
Category: Uncategorized

TicketMaster TicketBastardI just got shut out of buying tickets for the Pearl Jam concerts in Atlantic City today, despite having a live operator on the phone at 10:01 a.m. – literally the minute tickets went on sale. It’s a long story but suffice it to say that the operator could not successfully place my order in time, despite having “found tickets.” Anyway, this isn’t the first time that I have received abysmal service from the ticket monopolist and I’m calling for a boycott of TicketMaster and an investigation into their monopolistic business practices. Following is part of the letter that I sent to TicketMaster today….


TicketMaster TicketBastardI just got shut out of buying tickets for the Pearl Jam concerts in Atlantic City today, despite having a live operator on the phone at 10:01 a.m. – literally the minute tickets went on sale. It’s a long story but suffice it to say that the operator could not successfully place my order in time, despite having “found tickets.” Anyway, this isn’t the first time that I have received abysmal service from the ticket monopolist and I’m calling for a boycott of TicketMaster and an investigation into their monopolistic business practices. Following is part of the letter that I sent to TicketMaster today.

Dear Sir or Madame;
After the horrible experience I had with TicketMaster today trying to purchase tickets for Pearl Jam I will never use your service again.
The TicketMaster representative I spoke with was rude, unhelpful, and when I asked for their identifying information, they hung up on me. When I called the “sales force supervisor” I was also given the runaround and told that they couldn’t help me without an order number (which I don’t have because I didn’t get to place an order.) Further calls resulted in zero humans and even longer hold times.
The TicketMaster representative was so unprofessional that it amazes me that they could be hired for a “customer service” position. I am embarrassed and appalled that such bad customer service *even exists* and am convinced that this could never happen in a free market. It is because TicketMaster enjoys such a huge monopoly in the market that they can afford to charge such ridiculously HIGH prices and provide such LOW customer service – and pocket the difference.
I will be writing to the artist, the Better Business Bureau, the Department of Justice, my state Senators, Representative and local media outlets to tell them about my experiences.
Sincerely,
- A former customer.

Ticketmaster is the world’s largest ticketing company selling 98 million tickets valued at $5 billion in 2004 (estimated to be more than 90% of all tickets sold). Ticketmaster’s parent company, IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC) formerly USA Interactive, is an Internet powerhouse run by business mogul Barry Diller. IAC also owns some household Internet brands, including: CitySearch, Evite, Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, HSN, LendingTree, Match.com, and TripAdvisor (to name a few). According to DueDiligence “Ticketmaster holds its monopoly because, like eBay or NASDAQ, it’s the place two sides of a transaction have settled on as the place to go.” Read the horrors of TicketMaster’s “privacy policy” in David Lazarus’ A ticket full of fine print on SFGate.com. (“There’s no privacy at all.”)
If you’re concerned about TicketMaster’s monopolistic business practices, don’t just hang up. Take a few minutes to contact people that can make a difference:
- The U.S. Department of JusticeAskDOJ@usdoj.gov
- DOJ ? Antitrust Division: Report Possible Violations
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Contact Your Senator
- Contact Your Representative (you’ll need your 9-digit zip code.)
- American Antitrust Institute
- TicketMaster Customer Service
You may want to include something to the effect of:

Ticketmaster’s exclusive arrangements with promoters and venues are unreasonable restraints of trade, and its use of those arrangements to prevent promoters and venues from dealing with artists amounts to a group boycott, in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.
Ticketmaster is also a monopolist, having acquired and perpetuated that position through its acquisition of Ticketron, TicketWeb and various other regional ticket services and the use of long term exclusive contracts. In acting to preclude artists from distributing tickets to their own concerts other than through Ticketmaster, Ticketmaster is unlawfully exercising that monopoly power in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act.

Other articles of interest on TM:
- Pearl Jam’s 1995 testimony before Congress regarding Ticketmaster
- Trash City: Why Ticketmaster Sucks
- Stories about Ticketmaster from the Media and the Net
… and there are literally millions of other articles out there. Don’t stand for it, do something.

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