Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Ticketmaster Stinks

It really does. If an idealistic professor at an American university ever needs the perfect example to illustrate why monopolies are a bad idea, all he/she has to do is hold up a ticket stub to the fill-in-the-blank concert. One look at the obscene service fees they charge per ticket, not to mention the horribly below-standard website that I bet is the cause of more smashed computers and multiple F-bomb &#%$ rants than anything short of a local news cut-in during the last five minutes of General Hospital -- on a Friday.

I tried getting tickets to one of 5 U2 concerts happening in October in NYC. I couldn't get 1 ticket -- not 1 ticket! -- to any of the shows. I have a cable modem so bandwidth isn't the problem -- the problem is a system that can't handle a high volume of traffic. That's the funny thing, though. How can the amount of traffic be suprising? Do they not expect fans of the world's most popular band to flood the Internet trying to get tickets? Maybe the higher ups at Ticketmaster feel their hefty profits are better spent earning interest than reinvested back into their infrastructure. After all, what are upset customers like myself going to do, stop using Ticketmaster and use another service?

Unless you like getting raped and pillaged by ticket brokers, that is not an option. Unbelievable. And I haven't mentioned Ticketmaster's phone service. This may sound like sour grapes, but the next time I score a pair of tickets over the phone on the day they go on sale, it will be the first. And I've been a concertgoer for 17 years.

What a great business. You operate in a field with steady demand, no competition, you can scrimp on customer service because your customers are held hostage by the lack of options, the government does nothing about it and the only people with the guts to take a stand were a grunge band (Pearl Jam) on the downslope of their popularity.

I don't know .. maybe instead of bashing them I should congratulate them on being brilliant businessmen.

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