Warning about buying tickets online

November 10, 2011 4:19:38 AM PST
Here's a warning about being careful when buying concert tickets online. 7 On Your Side is receiving complaints about ticket brokers and has been investigating this issue.

Concert tickets are expensive and where you buy them matters a lot. Here's your proof.

Henry Chang is a fan of Gordon Lightfoot, so he went online to buy tickets for the performer's show Thursday night at The Flint Center.

"So I look online and I find this website, I think it's called the Flint Center Performance Ticket. I thought it was the official website for The Flint Center," said Chang.

The website is IFlintCenterPerformArtsTickets.com.

If you take a look around, the words "Flint Center" are prominent at the top of the page. There's a picture of the venue to the right. So Chang tells us this is where he buys his tickets.

He bought two tickets for $85 each, then has to pay two service charges at $17.85 each, with a standard delivery for $15.00. It comes out to a total of $220.70. He gets a receipt, but not from Flint Center, but ITicketsCenter.com

"It's a company has actually has designed hundreds of specific websites that are designed to mislead consumers into believing that they're buying from an actual venue when in fact they're buying from a broker with a considerable markup in most cases" Joe Ridout Is with Consumer Action.

The company has many different websites. ITicketsCenter.com said, "We are not trying to mislead anyone. We utilize targeted websites in attempts to present to the user exactly what they are looking for."

And right there on the front page is a discloser. It reads in part, "You are buying tickets from a third party. This site is not affiliated with any box office, venue, team..."

"I do not think that is nearly enough because basically they are setting up an impostor website with the venues name included in the URL. If that is the first thing the consumer sees or types in, to tuck into the fine print that it has nothing to do with the venue whose name is in the URL, isn't nearly enough and is highly misleading in our opinion," said Ridout.

The company says, "...we actually include on every webpage the complete Terms and Conditions which provide further details... These Terms and Conditions are also present on the checkout page and must be opt-in by the user."

And that brings us back to Chang. Believing he paid about double what he should of, he called and requested a refund, but was told that wasn't possible.

Chang: He said, "If you want, you can resell your ticket on the website or whatever."
Finney: So you could do it to someone else?
Chang: Yes.

Chang told 7 On Your Side his story as a way to inform others.

In the old days, tickets had just one price, but in this online world, that is no longer true. So, as with anything else, you've got to shop for price and quality for every single ticket you buy.

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