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Tired of All Those 'Extra Fees' On Concert Tix? So are Canadians.

A Canadian Government Organization is taking legal action.

January 29, 2018

I'm guessing that many of you have no doubt experienced the excitement and anticipation of a favorite performer coming to your town, and making the necessary arrangements to buy tickets. You make note of the posted ticket prices and the date of sale and you're all ready, except that when purchase time comes, you're hit with all manner of extra 'fees' that drive up the price of the ticket to the point where a consumer goes, "what the hell just happened?! The ticket cost just increased by like, 20%!" While action in the U.S. has been slow to address this issue, our friends to the North in Canada are moving swiftly and confidently, and it's being alleged that companies are “making deceptive claims to consumers when advertising prices for sports and entertainment tickets.” The Competition Bureau, the Canadian government's organization to oversee and enforce fair business practices recently issued a press release stating that "Ticketmaster’s advertised prices are deceptive because consumers must pay additional fees that are added later in the purchasing process. This practice, which is known as “drip pricing”, results in consumers paying much higher prices than advertised. Ticketmaster’s mandatory fees often inflate the advertised price by more than 20% and, in some cases, by over 65%."  In initiating the legal action and advocating for the consumer, the Bureau's Commissioner stated, "these actions send a strong signal to online retailers: consumers must have confidence that advertised prices are the ones they will pay.” Responding to the allegations, a Ticketmaster spokesperson offerred that the "company will “[continue] to work closely with provincial governments to enhance consumer protection.” “Ticketmaster remains committed to getting tickets into the hands of fans and has long practiced transparency to enable informed purchasing decisions,” the statement says. “Ticketmaster continues to work closely with provincial governments to enhance consumer protection and provide the best ticketing experience for fans.” It is hoped that the legal manuevering will "stop Ticketmaster from making deceptive claims to consumers." We'll be watching closely to see how this progresses and what impact, if any, there might be for event ticket buyers in the U.S. Rock On!