The Cure frontman Robert Smith says he persuaded Ticketmaster to partially refund the “unduly high” fees added to tickets for their US tour – in some cases more than the price of the tour. ‘a note.
The 63-year-old singer shared his frustration with the pricing on Twitter, telling his followers he was “as sickened as all of you” by the extra charges, and would contact the ticketing giant – which is the biggest ticket in the world – sales market – to search for answers.
Using his caps-lock font, he wrote, “I asked how they were justified. If I get anything coherent in response, I’ll let you know.”
English rock bandknown for hits such as Boys Don’t Cry and Friday I’m in Love, had kept prices low on its tickets – with some as low as $20 (£16) – in a bid to keep them affordable amid the living crisis cost.
However, shortly after the tickets went on sale, fans shared screenshots of Ticketmaster shopping carts, showing varying fees depending on location.
One fan reported a service fee of $16.75 (£13.87) in Massachusetts, while another fan reported paying a fee of $15 (£12.42) in Toronto.
A person who purchased a $20 ticket showed the various fees – an $11.65 service fee and $10 setup fee, plus a $5.50 global order processing fee – all amounting to more than the face value of the note.
The tickets were being sold through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program, which allows fans to sign up for advance sales in an effort to prevent tickets from being bought by touts and bots and resold at a massive markup.
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Following his initial tweet on Thursday, Smith posted an update for fans: “After further conversation, Ticketmaster has agreed with us that many of the fees charged are unduly high and, as a gesture of goodwill, have offered a refund. $10 per ticket to all verified fan accounts for lowest price (“ltp”) transactions.”
He said any fans who purchased more expensive tickets would receive a $5 per ticket refund for any show on the band’s US tour.
He also said refunds would be automatic for anyone who had previously purchased a ticket, and all future ticket sales would incur a lower fee.
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Smith previously said the group, which was formed in West Sussex in 1978, chose to use Ticketmaster in order to combat “scalping” – a term that refers to traders who buy large numbers of tickets and resell for profit.
He said they had declined to participate in the company’s dynamic pricing and Platinum ticket schemes because they did not want ticket prices to be “instantly and horribly distorted by resale”.
Musicians including Taylor Swift, Duck, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartneyAnd Harry Styles have all previously used the dynamic pricing system, which sees ticket prices increase based on demand.
However, there had been a backlash from the system after individual tickets ended up selling for thousands of dollars.
In the United States, Ticketmaster is under investigation after its system was overwhelmed by demand for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour in November last year.
At the time, Swift called the situation “atrocious”, while US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for the separation of Ticketmaster and Live Nation, which merged in 2010, saying they had a “monopoly” on the live music industry.
Sky News has contacted Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, for comment.