Ticketmaster is again arousing the ire of concertgoers after fans of the popular ’80s British band The Cure complained on social media about having to pay processing fees that exceeded the face value of the tickets.
The Cure priced tickets for its upcoming North American tour as low as $20 after pledging to make the shows affordable for fans. The group also wrote on its website that it worked with its ticketing partners to thwart scalpers and avoid inflated resale prices.
Despite those efforts, some tickets were going for more than double their base price on Wednesday after fans added up the costs of Ticketmaster’s facility charges, service and order processing fees.
Cure frontman Robert Smith tweeted that he was “sickened” by the Ticketmaster fee “debacle” and had no control over the site’s charges. “I have been asking how [the fees] are justified,” he wrote. “If I get anything coherent by way of an answer I will let you all know.”
TicketMaster did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
However, Smith tweeted Thursday evening that Ticketmaster “have agreed with us that many of the fees being charged were unduly high,” and said the company was offering refunds to “verified fan accounts” of either $5 or $10, depending on what type of ticket was purchased.
Smith claimed that all remaining tickets that go on sale beginning Friday would “incur lower fees.”
Ticketmaster has long drawn criticism for its sales practices. In December, the service faced a widespread backlash, as well as a lawsuit, when it canceled a public sale of Taylor Swift tour tickets after sky-high demand caused its website to crash. And in February, concertgoers bemoaned technical difficulties in using Ticketmaster and long lines after trying to snag Beyonce tour tickets.
The flood of complaints over the Swift ticket debacle also attracted scrutiny from lawmakers. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel earlier this year held a hearing over whether Live Nation Entertainment — the company that owns Ticketmaster — and several other ticket service providers violated laws to preserve competition and should be broken up.
The Justice Department is also investigating whether Live Nation has abused its power over the multibillion-dollar concert industry.
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