Ticketmaster Issues Partial Refunds After the Cure’s Robert Smith Says “Unduly High” Fees “Sickened” Him
This Ticketmaster backlash is just the latest controversy surrounding the live entertainment giant.
Ticketmaster has agreed to issue partial refunds for fans who bought tickets for The Cure’s upcoming tour and pledged to ensure that purchasers of the band's tickets in subsequent days will incur lower fees after frontman Robert Smith took to Twitter to express his frustration.
Smith says the band, which is best known for ‘80s new wave hits like “Lovesong” and “Just Like Heaven,” intentionally tried to keep its concert tickets affordable. However, when ticket sales started Wednesday, the fees charged by Ticketmaster in some cases amounted to more than the ticket price itself. One fan tweeted that they paid more than $90 in fees to Ticketmaster for $80 worth of tickets.
Smith mentioned earlier in the week that the band had opted to use Ticketmaster since its Verified Fan program aims to deter scalping and ensure fans could obtain tickets at a fair price, but acknowledged that the platform isn’t perfect. Then, on Wednesday, Smith took to Twitter, writing that he was “as sickened as you all are by today’s Ticketmaster ‘fees’ debacle.”
“To be very clear: The artist has no way to limit them. I have been asking how they are justified. If I get anything coherent by way of an answer I will let you all know,” he said.
A day later, Smith had an update for fans on Twitter. “After further conversation, Ticketmaster have agreed with us that many of the fees being charged are unduly high, and as a gesture of goodwill have offered a $10 per ticket refund to all verified fan accounts for lowest ticket price (’LTP’) transactions,” he wrote. “And a $5 per ticket refund to all verified fan accounts for all other ticket price transactions ... All tickets on sale tomorrow will incur lower fees.”
This Ticketmaster backlash is just the latest controversy surrounding the live entertainment giant. The company’s controversial “dynamic pricing” technology has been especially controversial, with critics saying it effectively amounted to price gouging after many Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen tickets recently sold on the platform ended up costing fans thousands of dollars. Several notable lawmakers, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), have said Ticketmaster is a “monopoly” and called for the breakup of its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment. In January, the president and CFO of Live Nation was called before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer for the company’s ticketing policies.