The Cure frontman Robert Smith says he convinced Ticketmaster to partially refund the “unduly high” fees added to tickets for their US tour, which in some cases amount to more than the price of a ticket.
The 63-year-old singer shared his frustration with the pricing on Twitter, telling his followers he was “as disgusted as all of you” at the extra costs and would be reaching out to the ticket giant – which is the world’s largest ticket-market. sale – to chase answers.
Using his caps lock font, he wrote, “I asked how they are justified. If I get anything coherent in response, I’ll let you know.”
The English rock bandknown for hits including Boys Don’t Cry and Friday I’m in Love, he had kept the price on tickets low – with some as low as $20 (£16) – in a bid to keep them affordable in the face of the living crisis cost .
However, shortly after the tickets went on sale, fans shared screenshots of Ticketmaster’s shopping baskets, showing varying fares at different venues.
One fan reported a $16.75 (£13.87) service fee in Massachusetts, while another fan said they paid a $15 (£12.42) service fee in Toronto.
One person who had purchased a $20 ticket, showed the various fees – a service fee of $11.65 and a facility fee of $10, plus an overall order processing fee of $5 .50 – which amounted to more than the face value of the ticket.
Tickets were being sold as part of Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program, which allows fans to sign up for advance sales in an effort to prevent tickets from being bought by touts and bots and resold at a huge markup.
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Following his initial tweet on Thursday, Smith released an update to fans: “After further conversations, Ticketmaster agreed with us that many of the fares charged are unreasonably high and, as a gesture of goodwill, have offered a $10 refund for ticket to all verified fan accounts for lowest ticket price (“ltp”) transactions.
He said any fans who purchased more expensive tickets would receive a $5 refund per ticket to any show on the band’s U.S. tour, and that refunds would be automatic for anyone who had already purchased a ticket.
A message posted to The Cure’s website on Friday read: “Following Wednesday’s fan-verified sale and further conversations, Ticketmaster has agreed with us that many of the fees charged for shows are excessively high and, as a gesture of goodwill, We have offered refunds… All tickets on sale today will be subject to lower fees.”
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Smith previously said the band, which formed in West Sussex in 1978, chose to use Ticketmaster to combat “scalping”, a term which refers to merchants who buy large numbers of tickets and resell them at a profit. .
He said they had refused to participate in the company’s dynamic pricing and Platinum ticket programs as they did not want ticket prices to be “instantly and horribly distorted by resale”.
Musicians included Taylor Swift, Drake, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartneyAND Harry Styles they have all previously used the dynamic pricing system, which sees ticket prices rise in line with demand.
However, there was backlash to the system after individual tickets sold for thousands of dollars.
In the US, Ticketmaster is being investigated after its system was overwhelmed by demand for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in November of last year.
Swift described the situation as “heartbreaking” at the time, while US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for the breakup of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, which merged in 2010, claiming they had a “monopoly” over the live music industry.
Sky News has contacted Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, for comment.