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The cure for Ticketmaster? Band says it has secured reimbursement of fees for fans.


LONDON — British rock band ‘The Cure’ are the latest to be caught up in a debacle involving entertainment company Ticketmaster’s ticket prices.

The band’s outspoken frontman Robert Smith announced in a Twitter diatribe late Thursday that he had received a partial fan discount on ticket prices from Ticketmaster for their upcoming tour of North America, after saying he was “just as was sick as you all” hikes through the price.

Ahead of selling some tickets on Wednesday, the band said on their official website that they purposely “priced tickets to help fans” in an effort to “block scalpers and limit high resale prices.” Tickets on sale ranged from as low as $20.

“The Cure have agreed on all ticket prices, and other than a few Hollywood Bowl charity seats, there are no ‘platinum’ or ‘dynamically priced’ tickets for this tour. See you there!” They wrote.

However, fans hoping to attend the 30-day “Shows of a Lost World” tour in cities from Boston to Tampa complained online that reasonably priced tickets were inflated after processing and administrative fees were added, with costs often exceeding the price of the tickets. himself.

One fan tweeted that four tickets costing a total of $80 charged a service charge of more than $90, calling the extra charges “ridiculous.”

In response to the fan outcry, Smith vowed to follow up on the platform in a series of signature tweets in all caps.

“I am as sickened as all of you by today’s Ticketmaster ‘fees’ debacle. To be clear, the artist cannot limit them in any way. I have asked how they are justified,” he said tweeted Wednesday.

“We had the final say on all of our ticket prices for this upcoming tour,” he said addedto avoid costs being “immediately and horribly distorted by resale”.

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A day later, Smith had news from Ticketmaster, who he said had agreed to partial refunds.

“After further discussion, Ticketmaster has agreed with us that many of the fees being charged are excessive, and as a gesture of goodwill, Ticketmaster has offered a refund of $10 per ticket,” on some verified fan transactions and a refund of $5 per ticket for others. Fans who had already purchased tickets would receive an “automatic refund”. addedwhile future ticket sales would entail lower costs.

Ticketmaster has not publicly commented on the matter and has not immediately responded to requests for comment from The Washington Post.

The Cure’s fans welcomed the news online.

“My hats off to you and the band for really caring about your ticket prices… You offered incredible prices on your tour tickets for us fans and we appreciate that,” said an individual.

“You’re awesome – hoping other bands follow in your footsteps!” said another.

Representative Bill Pascrell Jr. (D.N.J.) tweeted his support Thursday for the outcome. “Props to Robert Smith and The Cure for standing up to Ticketmaster’s outrageous fees. Now Congress must show the same backbone and finally reform the ticket market.”

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The latest run comes as Ticketmaster has been in hot water in recent months after fans of several artists complained about surcharges and outages.

The issue came to the fore last year when fans of Taylor Swift reported widespread problems buying tickets for her “Eras” tour, prompting Ticketmaster to cancel the public sale. The company afterwards apologizedsaying that a “staggering number of bot attacks” and “unprecedented traffic” to their site led to problems on their website.

Swift called the affair “unbearable”, while some of her fans, in a sign of further bad blood, filed a lawsuit against the company for alleged fraud, misrepresentation and multiple antitrust violations, which Ticketmaster denies.

Also in Europe, fans hoping to attend the annual Eurovision Song Contest were outraged earlier this month after reporting technical problems with Ticketmaster that left them without a ticket.

The company is under pressure from US regulators to prove it offers the best service to fans and artists after consumer groups and senators from both sides of the aisle accused the company of using its “monopoly” to control ticket sales and live events. dominate. industry – something the company strongly denies.

President Biden, during his State of the Union address in February, also called for a broader end to “junk fees” to ensure that “companies stop ripping us off.”

“I know how unfair it feels when a company overcharges you and gets away with it. Not anymore,” he said, outlining plans for a Junk Fee Prevention Act. “We will limit the service charges on tickets for concerts and sporting events and ensure that companies disclose all charges in advance,” he added. “Americans are tired of being played for suckers.”

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On its official website, the company said its customers — which include venues, sports teams and event organizers — “determine the number of tickets to be sold and determine the nominal price,” and service, processing and delivery charges “are determined in conjunction with our customers. .”

However, it outlined that sometimes “ticket and surcharge prices can be adjusted over time based on demand,” similar to airline tickets and hotel room tickets.

For now, frontman Smith acknowledged that the system remains “far from perfect.” and that “the reality is… some fans are going to miss the system we’re using.”

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