FILE - In this May 11, 2009 file photo, Ticketmaster tickets and gift cards are shown at a box office in San Jose, Calif. Millions of people are eligible for free tickets through Ticketmaster as a result of a lawsuit over ticket fees and other charges. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
Music News

Screwed Again by Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster is a tricky devil. Following the settlement of a class-action lawsuit that resulted in millions of Americans getting vouchers for discounted or free tickets (which were snatched up almost instantly last week), the bane of the concert and sporting event industry got smart.

As reported by The Buffalo News, and verified by reading Ticketmaster’s Terms of Use, any US-based customer who believes she has unfairly overpaid for a ticket can’t sue the company. Instead, the customer and Ticketmaster must go through arbitration within a federal or state court in Los Angeles County, California. For what it’s worth, the arbitration can be conducted by telephone.

There’s absolutely no chance of suing Ticketmaster directly. There’s no possibility of getting a bunch of equally dissatisfied customers together for another class-action suit.

From the Terms and Conditions page:

“We each agree that the arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a representative or class proceeding, and that any dispute resolution proceedings will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class, consolidated or representative action. You agree to waive any right to a jury trial or to participate in a class action. If this specific provision is found to be unenforceable, then the entirety of this arbitration section will be null and void and neither of us will be entitled to arbitrate our dispute.” The bold passage is their emphasis.

Arbitration tends to favor big corporations over individuals, and “the usual legal rules don’t apply,” writes Samantha Christmann.

In other words, “Ticketmaster has a monopoly and a get-out-of-jail-free card.”

Read the full legalese from Ticketmaster here and Christmann’s article here.

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

Amber Healy has 521 posts and counting. See all posts by Amber Healy

One thought on “Screwed Again by Ticketmaster

  • I wonder if this would actually hold up in court? Wouldn’t it be considered “onerous “terms or something?


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