Saturday, August 06, 2005

Ticketmaster is terrible

I'm on the phone with Ticketmaster right now. What a terrible company. Ugh.

So here's the story, quickly: Shonali bought 4 tickets to an upcoming showing of the musical "Wicked" for a friend (b/c the tickets were being pre-sold to Amex gold card holders and Shonali has one and her friend doesn't). But after buying the tickets Shonali realized her friend had mixed up the dates and actually needed tickets for the following week. Shonali asked me to take care of it. I called Ticketmaster. I waited for a long time, frustrating in this day and age for any sort of customer service. I spoke to someone who said, "Your tickets have been mailed and you need them in-hand before I can help you." OK, fine, it's like a paper ticket. I get it, I'll wait.

So I got the tickets earlier this week and I called back today. Again, I have to wait a long time before I'm connected to someone. The gal on the phone is flippant, unsympathetic, and unhelpful. From her, after going around and around a few times (I could have sworn she was chewing bubble gum, filing her nails and rolling her eyes while I talked to her), I find out that there is no such thing as an exchange and that I need to mail the tickets back for a refund and buy completely new tickets if I want to.

Why didn't someone tell me that 6 days ago when I first called when I could have gotten better tickets for the following week?

I have to say that I've always disliked Ticketmaster, their service fees are outrageously high and they've never seemed worth it (in this case, their service fees accounted for about 15% of what I paid -- $10 per ticket!). They don't serve much of a function, at least not to me as a consumer. And to then see them do what very little they do (acting as a middleman for ticket sales) so poorly, well, it's really frustrating. I don't know anything about their business or their stranglehold over their customers, but I do know that there are countless companies today that could do what they do better than them -- how long before Ticketmaster gets toppled?

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