Live Nation Ticketmaster might have found yet another way to torment its users. After previously vowing to scrap hidden fees altogether, the live event ticketing company appears to be hiding those fees unless a user signs in.

After Live Nation Ticketmaster announced the release of all-in pricing last month, the company has yet to follow through, according to a report from NBC News Wednesday. All-in pricing is supposed to display the total price for a ticket, which includes all of the fees associated with it before a user checks out. The ticketing giant revealed its all-in pricing during a White House meeting this summer during which executives from the likes of SeatGeek, Live Nation Ticketmaster, Airbnb were also in attendance. Upon reviewing 40 live events in various states, extra fees were still hidden behind multiple clicks, the report says.

“What NBC printed was inaccurate and we have already contacted them for correction,” a Live Nation Ticketmaster representative wrote to Gizmodo in an email.

A ticket to Slayyyter’s Club Valentine Tour was advertised as $35 plus an unknown amount of fees but was $48 at checkout.

A ticket to Slayyyter’s Club Valentine Tour was advertised as $35 plus an unknown amount of fees but was $48 at checkout.
Screenshot: Gizmodo

When Gizmodo investigated the matter, we found that the company was seemingly listing the entire price of a ticket on the Ticketmaster platform. However, tickets listed on Live Nation simply list the base price “+ Fees” without clearly indicating what those fees are until a user signs in and goes to check out. In one such case, a ticket as “$35 + Fees” ended up costing $48 at checkout with that price including a $13 “Service Fee” added onto the base price.

Ticketmaster Live Nation said last month that all-in pricing would be rolled out onto the Live Nation platform on September 25. Ticketmaster Live Nation did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for clarity on this investigation.

For more than 90% of events reviewed by NBC News, Ticketmaster listed the price of the tickets without any fees. If users wanted to see the total price, they had to log into their Ticketmaster account or navigate to a filter menu to switch on the option to view all-in pricing. The issue caught the ire of Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who addressed Ticketmaster in a letter Tuesday that was obtained by NBC News and required the company to amend their all-in pricing visibility by the end of the month.

“The existence of this filter shows that Live Nation-Ticketmaster has the technical ability to display all-in prices, but chooses not to display that price to consumers as the default setting,” Sen. Klobuchar said in the letter. “Although Live Nation-Ticketmaster does not set all of the fees charged on its platform, you have a responsibility to be upfront with customers about the full cost of their tickets.”

While excessive fees have been annoying concertgoers, travelers, and sports fans alike for years, the issue truly came to a head in the public consciousness last fall. After singer-songwriter Taylor Swift announced her highly anticipated first tour in five years, dubbed The Eras Tour, Ticketmaster crashed as Swifties flocked to the tour’s presale. While Ticketmaster outages were understandably enraging for fans, many Swifties were also dismayed by the excessive ticket prices—a jarring portion of those prices were comprised of excess fees.

During a Senate hearing—which was chaired by Klobuchar—following The Eras Tour presale madness, Live Nation Entertainment President and CFO Joe Berchtold testified that the company did nothing but improve the artist-fan relationship since Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010. Berchtold further said that Ticketmaster does not set prices, does not decide how many tickets go on sale, and does not set service fees. He also shifted the blame from Ticketmaster and claimed that outages during The Eras Tour were caused by those damn bots.

Source link