NY AG Looking Into ‘Speculative’ Springsteen Ticket Listings

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AG Eric Schneiderman expresses concern over Bruce Springsteen ticket gouge.

NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s attorney general is looking into whether “speculative” ticket listings for Bruce Springsteen’s 2016 tour on ticket resale sites constitute deceptive advertising. Concert-ticket Web sites have become a “Jungleland” for Bruce Springsteen fans, as schemers are already selling tickets for his next tour for as much as $7,500 — even though tickets don’t go on sale until Friday. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent letters Monday to StubHub, TicketNetwork and Vivid Seats asking about the practice of offering seats on secondary markets when the seller may not possess the tickets.

The letters also ask company executives to meet with investigators in the internet bureau to answer questions about how they identify and combat speculative ticket sales. Resellers, the letters say, offer the tickets despite not having them on hand with the idea they will purchase them at a lower price from a different source before selling them for profit. “Speculative ticket sales also drive up prices for consumers, and often cause widespread confusion and frustration among consumers, who wonder how tickets can appear on the resale market before tickets are released to the public,” he added. He vowed an investigation. “In many cases, consumers who purchase a speculative ticket do not receive the seats that were advertised and paid for,” he said. “In some cases, consumers receive no tickets at all.” The Boss will embark on a 22-stop US tour starting Jan. 16. His 2012-13 tour pulled in $422 million — and ticket resellers are hoping to get a slice of that pie early by offering the early speculative tickets for massive markups.

In 2009, New York lawmakers called for a federal investigation into Ticketmaster for sending Springsteen fans right to its secondary market site for the 2009 Working on a Dream tour. Schneiderman’s office asked the companies to review the listings on their sites for Springsteen’s upcoming concerts in New York and remove all speculative ticket listings. In a statement, StubHub, which is owned by eBay, said it was reviewing the attorney general’s letter, but that it has “no reason to believe that there are speculative tickets” on its site and that the company offers refunds or replacements for any invalid tickets. Other issues will include how speculative tickets are identified, what steps are taken to remove them from the sites, and if there are any consequences for the sellers. In 2009, Ticketmaster customers complained that the site had pointed them without their knowledge to TicketsNow, then TicketMaster’s online resale site, where tickets were being scalped well above face value.

Friday, Dec. 11 through Ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster charge-by-phone 1-800-745-3000; Ticketmaster Express 866-448-7849; Ticketmaster outlets, and for the Newark show, the Prudential Center box office. Even though both The Post and the AG’s Office were able to find Springsteen tickets on StubHub, the site insisted there were no sales going on there. A spokesperson from Vivid Seats confirmed receiving the letter and said the company shared “the goal of ensuring a positive customer experience in ticket buying”. Since then, Live Nation has pursued the secondary ticket market aggressively, and for many concerts it lists new tickets alongside others that are being offered for resale.

Recently Adele released tickets for sale in Europe using Songkick, a concert listing and ticketing site, and announced that “the resale of tickets will not be tolerated.” According to Songkick and Adele’s manager, that system kept most of the first batch of tickets out of resale markets.

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