I hate Ticketmaster, but what choice do I have? Today, I purchased a couple of tickets to see The Tragically Hip. Each ticket was a fairly reasonable $30.50, and that includes taxes. I don't mind coughing up $30.50 to see a band like The Hip live. A couple of tickets should have cost me $61.00, right?
With Ticketmaster, there are a few gotchas along the way that you have no choice but to pay. For starters, they charge you a $9 "Convenience Charge" for each ticket you purchase. Isn't $9 awfully steep for their service? And it's not like it's $9 for your purchase, it's $9 a ticket so my two tickets cost me an additional $18 for the wonderful convenience of using Ticketmaster.
Furthermore, you have to pay an additional $3.75 "Building/Facility Charge" on each ticket. This amount goes to the Molson Ampitheatre, I assume. I had always believed the facility was paid for by the band and that amount would come out of the $30.50 ticket price. This $3.75 a ticket surcharge added an extra $7.50 to my bill, on top of the $18.00 convenience charge.
At this point, I'm just trying to cut my losses and get out of there before they make me pay some "Sunshine Tax" or "Oxygen Charge", but I still needed the physical tickets in my hand. This is where I really got pissed off. I've used Ticketmaster dozens of times (no choice in the matter, Pearl Jam didn't win apparently) and I've always chosen to pick my tickets up at a Ticketmaster location because this option was always free. Today, I had four options and none were free. I ended up letting them mail me my tickets for $3 because it would have cost me $3 to pick them up myself. As angry as this fact made me, what really made my blood boil was the fact my preferred option would have cost me $5.50 and it would have been the easiest for Ticketmaster. I wanted them to email me the ticket in PDF so I could print it myself. This option should be free because we're the ones supplying the paper and the ink to print the tickets. In fact, they should be paying us for selecting this option. How can they justify charging $5.50 for their system to automatically print the tickets to PDF and email it to me? I'll spend the $3 and let them pick up the tab for paper and ink. Of course, I shouldn't have had to pay anything, but I had no choice if I wanted to see The Hip on Canada Day.
When all was said and done, my $61.00 worth of tickets cost me $89.50. That's about a 1/3 mark-up. 32% was bullshit Ticketmaster surcharges. Keep in mind, our governments got their cut from the original $30.50. $28.50 of my hard earned money went into the pockets of Ticketmaster today and that's just not fair. I hate Ticketmaster.