Sharks fan upset over online ticket sales

September 17, 2009 5:59:55 PM PDT
If you ever buy something and then return it, you know many stores will only give you store credit. But what if you buy tickets to a sporting event and then sell them online? One fan was quite disappointed when he didn't get cash.

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If you own season tickets, you may run into the situation where you can't attend every single home game. Now one Bay Area team has a website where fans can sell their extra tickets, but be warned you won't get money for them.

Nobody could have been a bigger fan of the San Jose Sharks than Joe Scoppettone, except maybe his 11-year-old daughter, Samantha.

The father and daughter duo have been going to home games since Samantha was born.

Samantha keeps all her ticket stubs and collects player autographs. She loves the game so much she even started playing it herself.

"At first it was hard, I always kept on falling," said Samantha.

Samantha plays center for the San Jose Junior Sharks and she won a trophy for scoring the most goals.

"I'm the captain of my hockey team," said Samantha.

Their love of the hometown team was solid as ice -- until now.

"It does sadden me, however, we'll still support hockey. We'll just go to games in a different arena," said Joe.

What went wrong? It started when Joe wanted to trade his club level season tickets for less expensive ones, but he didn't like the seats the team offered and so he canceled altogether. But when he tried to collect the $1,600 credit on his sharks account, the team said no.

"For them to tell me as the customer that I don't have a right to my own money, doesn't make sense to me and it's unfair," said Joe.

Joe had piled up the credit last season by selling some of his game tickets on the Sharks' "ticket trader" website.

The way it works is that the sharks keep 10 percent of sales and the ticket sellers keep the rest. But the Sharks said the proceeds are credits and there are no refunds. But Joe says he wasn't asking for a refund.

"Somebody else is buying the tickets, so it's a sale. I'm not getting a refund for anything," said Joe.

He contacted everybody he could think of in the Sharks organization, but the policy stuck.

"I was so frustrated with the organization that I decided to go ahead and send an email to 7 On Your Side," said Joe.

So 7 On Your Side contacted the Sharks and the team said the policy is clearly stated on the website and says, "credits can only be applied to future season tickets."

However, because Joe wasn't buying future season tickets, the team reconsidered and agreed to refund his money.

Malcolm Bordelon San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President of Business Operations said: "In cases of extenuating circumstances such as Mr. Scoppettone's, our sales staff works hard to find a mutually agreeable outcome for all parties involved."

Now Joe has his money back, but no more home games. Still Samantha says she'll be back on the ice again herself.

"I'm going to move up next year so I might not be as much as a star as I used to be on my team," said Samantha.

The sharks say the credit only policy has been in effect since the ticket trading website began three years ago, and it has worked well. The team did not have to return Joe's money and 7 On Your Side thanks them for stepping up in Joe's case.

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