Who would have thought going to see a Michael Buble concert would leave someone damp, cold, and disappointed. But that is how one concert-goer felt after having his first experience with TicketMaster’s paperless tickets.
The TicketMaster paperless ticket scheme requires the purchaser of the ticket, not the holder, to provide a photo ID and the credit card used to buy the ticket. For years we have tried to protect fans from the hassle that comes with TicketMaster’s paperless tickets. But despite our ongoing battle, paperless tickets are already hassling sports fans and concert-goers across the US.
Richard Darr is the latest victim of the paperless ticket when he received tickets to Michael Buble’s Nashville concert. However, what should have been easy ultimately required Richard to get soaked in rain, make dozens of frantic phone calls, and drive to grab a friend’s credit card and photo ID — all in the minutes before the concert began.
It all started when Richard’s friend, who was going out of town, offered Richard his tickets. This is usually simple enough: friend hands tickets to Richard, Richard enjoys the concert. Easy as pie, and something we have all done dozens of times. But because of TicketMaster’s paperless tickets, this otherwise easy process transformed into a logistical nightmare.
While Richard had the paperless ticket, without his friend’s photo ID and credit card, the ticket was useless. When Richard tried to get into the concert, it was a no-go. Richard pleaded with the usher to let him in. Richard showed a printout of his “paperless tickets.” But the usher demanded that Richard’s friend, the original owner of the ticket, show up with his photo ID and credit card in hand.
Because of TicketMaster’s paperless tickets, parents are having difficulty giving tickets to their children, businesses find they can’t gift tickets to clients, and people whose schedules change at the last minute must throw away otherwise good tickets.
What was Richard to do? With only minutes left before the concert, Richard hopped in his car and drove to find his friend. Richard collected the friend’s photo ID and credit card used to buy the tickets. In the end, Richard got in to the concert. But the experience was not the special experience he expected.
Unfortunately, Richard’s story, which appeared in the Tennessean, is not an isolated incident. Because of TicketMaster’s paperless tickets, parents are having difficulty giving tickets to their children, businesses find they can’t gift tickets to clients, and people whose schedules change at the last minute must throw away otherwise good tickets.
While many of us continue to fight against TicketMaster’s paperless tickets mandate, too many fans are being left outside when the music starts playing–because they didn’t have the ID and credit card of the original purchaser. We need state legislators to take up the call to protect their citizens from these problems. Otherwise, more fans will be left standing in the cold.
- Restricted paperless ticketing hits sour note at arena events (tennessean.com)
- Minnesota Takes on the TicketMonster (netchoice.org)
- Fighting the Ticket Monster (netchoice.org)