Robert Smith Forces Ticketmaster to Refund Overpriced Fans Who Bought Cure Tour Tickets

The Cure frontman Robert Smith had his head at Ticketmaster’s door in a series of tweets about price gouging and market manipulation, so Ticketmaster is now refunding $5-$10 to “verified fans” who received tickets, although some refunds will be much larger.

Tickets for The Cure’s “Shows of a Lost World” tour, the band’s first full US tour in seven years, went on sale Wednesday. But sales turned out to be a disaster for Ticketmaster: Ticketmaster’s extra fees in some cases exceeded the cost of the tickets themselves, as well as some kind of Byzantine “verified fans” process that pushed people out of the queue, even if they jumped through all the difficult hoops that Ticketmaster prevented. And throughout this fiasco, The Cure vocalist Robert Smith has been tweeting about the extreme displeasure of Ticketmaster and their parent company Live Nation Entertainment with an all-caps insistence. billionaire tech bro begs government for help.

I’m in love with Robert Smith on Friday as he really got Ticketmaster to back off and offer (marginal) refunds to overpriced fans. NPR reports that Smith convinced Ticketmaster to refund customers who were hit by giant phantom “service fees,” “service fees,” and “order processing fees.”

Going forward, The Cure hoped to keep certain seat levels available on this tour, insisting that some tickets cost as little as $20. Ticketmaster has added many new fees to these locations, causing the fees to exceed the cost of the ticket. The New York Times explains the ticket refund by saying that “the lowest-priced ticket purchasers will automatically receive a $10 per ticket refund, and all other ticket buyers will receive a $5 refund.”

Though it should be noted that Ticketmaster has remained silent on the matter and has not commented on either NPR or the Times. (Their Twitter was tweeted furiously about Drake ticket sales all dayso it doesn’t mean they’re all out of the office or anything.) Until these refunds are actually made, we can’t discount the possibility of further Ticketmaster crap.

The tweet below is not from Robert Smith or The Cure (it’s a fan account), but it highlights the separate issue of ridiculously inflated third-party resales. It shows tickets to a show in Boston, Massachusetts on a “swap at face value” platform with a premium of up to $1250 per seatAnd that’s before paying for services.

He did receive a response from Ticketmaster, who said that “fans will refund any expenses in excess of the original ticket price. We support the group in their decision to use a face value exchange and this will apply in our market.”

I’m not a programmer, but… could you just set up a “swap at face value” to prevent selling for more than face value?

$5-$10 is still a pretty measly return, but it’s at least a move in the right direction. Someone finally set a boundary with Ticketmaster and Live Nation Entertainment who are getting more and more arrogant, creating mandatory financial hardship for all ticket buyers within this monopoly they have established.

Of course, Taylor Swift spoke out when Ticketmaster ruined sales and overcharged fans for an upcoming tour, but The Cure’s Robert Smith seemed to bring some relief to fans. However, these bizarre new hurdles of “Capital One Cardholder Presales” and “Verified Fan Presales” are still pushing hard to establish a new normal where standard concert tickets are far more expensive than even Broadway tickets. Five or ten dollar compensation won’t change that

And if people with normal incomes are ever able to go to a concert again, we may have to count on Justice Department investigations or Senate Judiciary Committee monopoly hearings to disrupt what is becoming big live concert business.

Connected: Treatment tickets went on sale today and it was a disaster for the ticket clerks [SFist]

Image: GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND – JUNE 30: Robert Smith of The Cure performs on the Pyramid stage on the fifth day of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 30, 2019 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Jan Gavan/Getty Images)

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