Gnome Your Enemy

Mooning-Garden-Gnome2Tickmaster is a website service that sells tickets. (Yes, this is a bona fide typo but I’m not fixing it. -Ed.) They offer a “fan guarantee” chock full of neat-o sounding stuff. I just looked and only counted three fine print asterisks on a bulleted list of eight items. Certain exceptions apply.

Wow. Is that a festive and fun fan guarantee or what?

Some people who purchased tickets through the official Ticketmaster website may have been signed up for a “rewards” program that costs $9 a month. According to Consumerist.com, the attorney for the plaintiffs in a suit against Ticketmaster claimed 93% of program participants never redeemed a single coupon.

This week Ticketmaster settled a $23 million lawsuit alleging that customers were signed up for the program without realizing it costed $9 month which was charged to the same credit cards used to make ticket purchases.

The settlement has been approved by a U.S. District Court judge and, it goes without saying, Ticketmaster did not admit any wrongdoing. Like me, apparently they love to pay $23 million to make problems go away. Hell, I’m always out doing that. Perhaps that’s one reason why I don’t have a lot of money on me. You know my motto. “Never leave home without $23 million.”

The average rewards member lost about $72 because it apparently took about eight months for them to notice the mysterious recurring charge on their statements. “Hey. What’s this giant sucking sound in my account?”

About 1.2 million people who signed up between September 2004 and June 2009 are eligible to file claims as part of the settlement and could receive up to $30. What the hell, it only went on for almost five years. That’s a pretty good run in ecommerce circles.

This sort of thing reminds me of the time my wife booked travel plans from a snarky gnome and we got hit with similar “membership” charges. To this day we don’t know what benefits were part of the program. They never told us.

With all this in mind, I am pleased to announce the new Gigantor Abyss Rewards Program (GARP). According to the world of GARP you provide your credit card information and I respond with a personalized notice of acceptance. The guru will fee you now and, as an added bonus, there’s no waiting room. Membership has its snivileges.

2 responses

  1. I bought tickets through the website for the first time in years this week. After my extra $14.85 fee and about to hit buy I noticed there is still a lengthy section (on the timed page) that you have to read through to see if you want to “guarantee” your purchase. As if paying the money and the not-refundable disclaimers and 3 pages of jargon where not sufficient you can still pay them another fee to secure the transaction. Now the function is for users to OPT-IN not the click here to OPT-OUT nonsense.

    It seems the only reward program is now Amex card holders can redeem their points for the full price of a ticket purchase.

    All total: Still nonsense.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. Obfuscation usually has a nefarious purpose. You can quote me on that. 🙂

      All my life I was taught that the secret to business success is taking care of your customers so they’ll become loyal and provide you with repeat business. In the online world this doesn’t seem to hold true. Attack the customer’s wallet with everything you’ve got. Who gives a crap if they hate your guts?

      Like

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