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Author: Subject: Form Letter for Congress or Senate against Ticketmaster/TicketsNow

Peach Master





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  posted on 2/3/2009 at 09:49 PM
I am sending the following letter to US Senator Johnny Isakson from Georgia regarding Ticketmaster and TicketsNow. I encourage many of you to copy it, if you like, and send it to your Senator or Congressmen...if we make enough noise something will change, it seems the ball is already in motion.

Dear Senator Isakson,

I am very concerned over Ticketmaster's ownership of TicketsNow and the ability for consumers to have a fair shot of purchasing tickets for events and concerts at face value prices. It is a concern that is shared by a Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr a member of the US Congress. I am writing to you in hopes of you taking some action to bring some more attention to this matter and hopefully some resolution to the situation. Please read below to learn more about the situation through the following article and through Rep. Pascrell's letter. I have some other concerns that Rep. Pascrell does not mention that I will share after the article:

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) today requested that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division investigate Ticketmaster's relationship with its subsidiary company, TicketsNow, following the company's handling of ticket sales for the Bruce Springsteen tour that became available on Monday February 2.

"Dear Chairman Kovacic:

I am writing today to direct your attention to a potential conflict of interest regarding Ticketmaster and its affiliate company, TicketsNow. This issue has been brought to my attention through constituent complaints and press reports regarding the online sale of Bruce Springsteen concerts tickets at the IZOD Center in New Jersey and other locations all across the country.

As you know, Ticketmaster is a large ticket sales and distribution company that often serves as a venue's sole ticketing agent. A large percentage of their sales are made online through Ticketmaster.com. In a recent effort expand its business Ticketmaster acquired TicketsNow, a website which specializes in the secondary, resale market for tickets.

When tickets for Bruce Springsteen's new tour went on sale exclusively through Ticketmaster at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, February 2, 2009, scores of fans in New Jersey were met with technical difficulty on Ticketmaster.com that impaired them from making a purchase. Thousands of others who were fortunate enough to get beyond the technical problems were informed that the shows were sold out.

Conspicuously placed on the same screen that informed fans of ticket unavailability was an alternative purchasing option from TicketsNow.com. It offered the same tickets at a value marked up hundreds of dollars beyond their original face value.

I am troubled by how quickly tickets priced exponentially higher became available on the secondary market to thousands of rejected fans, many who also endured unfortunate technical problems on Ticketmaster.com.

I am concerned that the business affiliation between Ticketmaster and TicketsNow may represent a conflict of interest that is detrimental to the average fan. There is a significant potential for abuse when one company is able to monopolize the primary market for a product and also directly manipulate, and profit from, the secondary market.

Additionally, the speed with which tickets were made available on Ticketmaster's official resale affiliate site raises questions about whether TicketsNow brokers were given preferential treatment instead of competing on a level playing field with average consumers to purchase the tickets.

With so many families struggling in this economy, I am outraged by how expensive tickets to ball games, concerts and other shows have become. I understand the economic principles that have driven up the cost of entertainment, but will not tolerate unjust business practices that put regular Americans at a disadvantage.

I respectfully request that your office investigate the relationship between Ticketmaster and TicketsNow to ensure that the procedure for purchasing tickets remains fair to the average consumer. If you require any additional information or have any questions, please contact Arthur Mandel on my staff at (202) 225-5751. I look forward to the favor of your reply.

Sincerely,

Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress"


My other personal concern is that on the same page that informs consumers that a concert is sold out but tickets can be purchased at TicketsNow "a ticketmaster company" ticketmaster also states to check back at ticketmaster.com as the event nears as tickets may become available. This leads me to believe that if TicketsNow is unable to sell the tickets at a premium they will then transfer the tickets back to ticketmaster to sell them at face value. Thus TicketsNow does not even face the normal business risk of other ticket brokers of overpurchasing and being stuck with tickets.

In the last month I have twice attempted to purchase tickets on ticketmaster.com, I logged on at the time when tickets were going onsale and both times had experiences as described above minus the technical difficulties. In all my years of concert and event attendance I have never had such a problem, I am not the only one experiencing it. The only change I see in recent time is Ticketmaster's relationship with TicketsNow, I urge you to lead the charge to investigate this unethical business relationship. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have and further clarify my recent attempted ticket purchasing experiences. I thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Ryan Belair

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/3/2009 at 09:52 PM
Very good idea Ryan. I'll be sending letters to Florida senators.
By the way, very good letter.

 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 2/3/2009 at 09:56 PM
THANKS! I've wanted to do the same thing, but haven't had the time or effort. I'm sending mine off ASAP!

 

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We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace. - Michael Franti

 

A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 2/3/2009 at 10:00 PM
quote:
I am sending the following letter to US Senator Johnny Isakson from Georgia regarding Ticketmaster and TicketsNow. I encourage many of you to copy it, if you like, and send it to your Senator or Congressmen...if we make enough noise something will change, it seems the ball is already in motion.

Dear Senator Isakson,

I am very concerned over Ticketmaster's ownership of TicketsNow and the ability for consumers to have a fair shot of purchasing tickets for events and concerts at face value prices. It is a concern that is shared by a Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr a member of the US Congress. I am writing to you in hopes of you taking some action to bring some more attention to this matter and hopefully some resolution to the situation. Please read below to learn more about the situation through the following article and through Rep. Pascrell's letter. I have some other concerns that Rep. Pascrell does not mention that I will share after the article:

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) today requested that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division investigate Ticketmaster's relationship with its subsidiary company, TicketsNow, following the company's handling of ticket sales for the Bruce Springsteen tour that became available on Monday February 2.

"Dear Chairman Kovacic:

I am writing today to direct your attention to a potential conflict of interest regarding Ticketmaster and its affiliate company, TicketsNow. This issue has been brought to my attention through constituent complaints and press reports regarding the online sale of Bruce Springsteen concerts tickets at the IZOD Center in New Jersey and other locations all across the country.

As you know, Ticketmaster is a large ticket sales and distribution company that often serves as a venue's sole ticketing agent. A large percentage of their sales are made online through Ticketmaster.com. In a recent effort expand its business Ticketmaster acquired TicketsNow, a website which specializes in the secondary, resale market for tickets.

When tickets for Bruce Springsteen's new tour went on sale exclusively through Ticketmaster at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, February 2, 2009, scores of fans in New Jersey were met with technical difficulty on Ticketmaster.com that impaired them from making a purchase. Thousands of others who were fortunate enough to get beyond the technical problems were informed that the shows were sold out.

Conspicuously placed on the same screen that informed fans of ticket unavailability was an alternative purchasing option from TicketsNow.com. It offered the same tickets at a value marked up hundreds of dollars beyond their original face value.

I am troubled by how quickly tickets priced exponentially higher became available on the secondary market to thousands of rejected fans, many who also endured unfortunate technical problems on Ticketmaster.com.

I am concerned that the business affiliation between Ticketmaster and TicketsNow may represent a conflict of interest that is detrimental to the average fan. There is a significant potential for abuse when one company is able to monopolize the primary market for a product and also directly manipulate, and profit from, the secondary market.

Additionally, the speed with which tickets were made available on Ticketmaster's official resale affiliate site raises questions about whether TicketsNow brokers were given preferential treatment instead of competing on a level playing field with average consumers to purchase the tickets.

With so many families struggling in this economy, I am outraged by how expensive tickets to ball games, concerts and other shows have become. I understand the economic principles that have driven up the cost of entertainment, but will not tolerate unjust business practices that put regular Americans at a disadvantage.

I respectfully request that your office investigate the relationship between Ticketmaster and TicketsNow to ensure that the procedure for purchasing tickets remains fair to the average consumer. If you require any additional information or have any questions, please contact Arthur Mandel on my staff at (202) 225-5751. I look forward to the favor of your reply.

Sincerely,

Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress"


My other personal concern is that on the same page that informs consumers that a concert is sold out but tickets can be purchased at TicketsNow "a ticketmaster company" ticketmaster also states to check back at ticketmaster.com as the event nears as tickets may become available. This leads me to believe that if TicketsNow is unable to sell the tickets at a premium they will then transfer the tickets back to ticketmaster to sell them at face value. Thus TicketsNow does not even face the normal business risk of other ticket brokers of overpurchasing and being stuck with tickets.

In the last month I have twice attempted to purchase tickets on ticketmaster.com, I logged on at the time when tickets were going onsale and both times had experiences as described above minus the technical difficulties. In all my years of concert and event attendance I have never had such a problem, I am not the only one experiencing it. The only change I see in recent time is Ticketmaster's relationship with TicketsNow, I urge you to lead the charge to investigate this unethical business relationship. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have and further clarify my recent attempted ticket purchasing experiences. I thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Ryan Belair




I know Bill Pascrell very well, hes my daughters best friend Grandfather, Didnt know he was getting involved.

 

____________________
"PAIN HEALS...CHICKS DIG SCARS...GLORY LASTS FOREVER!"


 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 2/3/2009 at 10:09 PM
Great idea Ryan. We need to blitz. Also a good idea to contact local media. Every area has a local consumer advocate on the local news. Get letters out to those people also. TM is criminal.
 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 08:04 AM
^^Stop complaining and take action^^

 

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We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace. - Michael Franti

 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 08:35 AM
Perhaps some of you more computer savvy types might want to send Congressman Pascrell some of the links to this site that talked about how the Ticketmaster handled this year's Beacon sales. Seem to me that for high demand events, that Ticketmaster is pulling a large number of choice tickets and shifting them over to TicketsNow. Of course, one thing people can do (but probably won't) is to not buy tickets till closer to the the date of event. My guess is, is that if TicketsNow has a large bloc of tickets that aren't selling, that many of these tickets will go back to Ticketmaster to be sold at "face value". Better yet, BOYCOTT the events, and let whoever is promoting these events KNOW that the reason why you're BOYCOTTING is that the promoter chose to use Ticketmaster/TicketsNow to sell his tickets, and that you has a potential attendee of event, don't like the way Ticketmaster/TicketsNow does business and treats it's customers. Once some of these promoters start losing some "serious money" because of people staying away from there events because of how Ticketmaster/TicketsNow does business, then THEY will start start RAISING HELL with Ticketmaster/TicketsNow to make sure that THEIR CUSTOMERS have a REASONABLE CHANCE of getting GOOD SEATS at FACE VALUE on the date that these events go on sale. Just my .02 cents.

[Edited on 2/4/2009 by sibwlkr]

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 08:48 AM
Thanks y'all. Remember that you can easily email your politicians so if is just a matter of looking up their websites, copying and pasting, and changing a few names and you are done. Not a great deal of time and effort is needed and hopefully it makes a difference.

Ryan

 

True Peach



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 08:56 AM
Good work, Ryan! Youdaman! Time for all of us to do something other than gripe about TicketMaster!

 

____________________
Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.
People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.

Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 09:06 AM
Thanks Rusty.

DancingRhonda wisely pointed out to me that their is a group on Facebook "1,000,000 against Ticketmaster" (unfortunately they are only 2,500 strong now), I joined and posted this over there in hopes of reaching others who are ready to act, please join if you are on Facebook...numbers matter.

Ryan

 

Peach Head



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 09:19 AM
Lets keep this thread at the top of the forum
everybody needs to see this and write, call or email their representatives!

 

Peach Head



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 10:08 AM
I just emailed my congressman and my senators and Bill Pascrell:

Dear Congressman,
I am writing to ask you to support Congressman Bill Pascrell's efforts to investigate the practices of Ticketmaster. I had the same experience as the Bruce Springsteen fans when buying tickets for the Allman Bros and the Dead in January. Barely 2 minutes after tickets went on sale they were all sold out but were available from Tickets Now. On an Allman Bros website there is a forum where everyone complains that the same thing happened to them. I have been buying tickets for concerts from Ticketmaster for many, many years and this is the first time this has happened. Obviously this is business as usual now. If this is not illegal then it should be.
Please support Congressman Bill Pascrell in calling for a federal probe of these unethical practices.
Thank you,

Feel free to copy and paste this..not as eloquent as the other letter on this forum..but short and to the point..if we dont do something about this now then getting tickets will always be this way..lets flood congress with emails!

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 10:36 AM
New development....
This morning it was announced that Ticketmaster and Live Nation are combining. I had hoped competition would modify Ticketmaster's actions and pricing, but Ticketmaster has eliminated the threat by buying the competition.

Mr. Eric Holder is our new Attorney General. If antitrust laws have any meaning whatsoever, here is a perfect situation for our new Attorney General to demonstrate the priorities of the anti-trust division of the Justice Department. If this doesn't qualify for action, hard to imagine what would.

It would also be interesting to see the list of campaign contributions Ticketmaster makes.

 
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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 10:52 AM
^^

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 11:17 AM
Good deal Gail, thanks.

Bup I'll work on getting my letter to Eric Holder, good idea, thanks.

Ryan

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 11:21 AM
A Ticketmaster spokesman said only a few fans reported problems. HAHAHAHAHAH yeah right.

 

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If we practice and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole world will be blind and toothless. -Mahatma Gandhi.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 11:26 AM
Thanks to Ryan and Rhonda! I am disgusted with the TM/TicketsNow situation and will definitely be sending off a letter and adding my name to the list of TM dissidents.

 

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"Come on down to the Mermaid Cafe and I will buy you a bottle of wine, and we'll laugh and toast to nothing and smash our empty glasses down..."

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 11:37 AM
Thanks Gail.... I tweaked yours a little when I sent it.....

Dear Senator,

I am writing to ask you to support Congressman Bill Pascrell's efforts to investigate the practices of Ticketmaster. I had the same experience as the Bruce Springsteen fans when buying tickets for the Allman Bros in January (except for the technical glitches). Barely 2 minutes after tickets went on sale they were all sold out but tickets were available from Tickets Now. On an Allman Bros website there is a forum where everyone stated that the same thing happened to them. Very few if any of the real fans were able to get tickets. The fact that Ticketmaster gets fees for the initial sale and then 15% of a highly inflated price in the secondary market makes this practice unethical and anti-competitive. The fact that many of these tickets found their way in the hands of ticket brokers and not the real fans should be investigated.

I have been buying tickets for concerts from Ticketmaster for many, many years and this is the first time this has happened. This seems to be business as usual now.

Please support Congressman Bill Pascrell in calling for a federal probe of these unethical practices.

Thank you,

 

____________________

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 03:50 PM
Over 50 people have joined the Facebook group since this morning...that is some decent progress.

bumping this topic up

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 03:54 PM
Good luck. This is alot deeper and complicated that you perceive.

Ticket Revenues - That's where the profit is for promoters. Essentially all the profit. Live Nation could not continue to share this revenue with Ticketmaster. In order to make the stock go up, Live Nation had to establish its own ticketing entity. The fact that it doesn't work well is irrelevant. Where else are you going to go? The scalper? Oh, Ticketmaster owns its own. And it does resell its own tickets on TicketsNow. Yes, acts are scalping their own tickets despite Ticketmaster's denial. So, the consumer gets screwed. What else is new?

But when Ticketmaster is scalping its own tickets, it is guaranteeing the spread to the act. Yes, the vaunted act. The greed starts there. If you want to blame anyone, blame the act. That's why the fees are so high. Because of the kickback to the act. And the need for profit by the promoter, after it's been forced to pay so much for talent.

 

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I will never again consider abandoning my principles to strike a bargain

 

Peach Bud



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 03:59 PM
I'm not sure exactly what the Dead used to do, but didn't they sell tickets to their shows only thru their organization? Maybe the Brothers could look into this. I don't even want to buy from ticketmaster anymore.
 

Peach Bud



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 04:19 PM
They still do. It's mail order for face value. I just used it in Novmember for Ratdog tix. Got good seats from it to. http://www.gdtstoo.com Other bands have similar. DMB has the "Warehouse". The bands are the ones who need to take action. They are allowing the fans to get screwed IMPO.
 

Peach Master



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 04:46 PM
Statement from Bruce Springsteen on this situation - found it as an update on Facebook

A Letter to Our Fans:

We know there was much confusion regarding Ticketmaster and TicketsNow during last Monday's on-sale dates. We were as confused as you were, as we were given no advance notice of the major changes in the Ticketmaster-TicketsNow world. (Bear in mind that we are not clients of any ticketing company, and that all those arrangements are between venues and ticketing companies.)

Last Monday, we were informed that Ticketmaster was redirecting your log-in requests for tickets at face value, to their secondary site TicketsNow, which specializes in up-selling tickets at above face value. They did this even when other seats remained available at face value. We condemn this practice.

We perceive this as a pure conflict of interest. Ticketmaster is there to ensure that we have a good, fair sale of our tickets at their face value plus normal ticketing charges. TicketsNow is supposed to be a secondary site where people who already have tickets may exchange, trade, and, unfortunately, speculate with them. We have asked this redirection from Ticketmaster to TicketsNow cease and desist immediately and Ticketmaster has agreed to do so in the future and has removed its unwanted material from their and our site.

We know the many cynical arguments some make in favor of the Ticketmaster system: There are rumors that some artists or managers participate in Ticketmaster charges--we do not. There are rumors that some artists or managers are receiving a percentage of the amount above face value at secondary outlets like TicketsNow--we do not. Some artists or managers may not perceive there to be a conflict between having the distributor of their tickets in effect "scalping" those same tickets through a secondary company like TicketsNow--we do.

While many of you have sent notes to us and your local promoters, you may also send accurate informational letters to Albert Lopez of Ticketmaster [Albert.Lopez@ticketmaster.com] and he will try to address your questions.

A final point for now: the one thing that would make the current ticket situation even worse for the fan than it is now would be Ticketmaster and Live Nation coming up with a single system, thereby returning us to a near monopoly situation in music ticketing. Several newspapers are reporting on this story right now. If you, like us, oppose that idea, you should make it known to your representatives.

The abuse of our fans and our trust by Ticketmaster has made us as furious as it has made many of you. We will continue to do our utmost now and in the future to make sure that these practices are permanently curtailed on our tours.

Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and the entire Springsteen Tour Team

 

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Partick Thistle - The world's greatest obsession.

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 05:05 PM
Interesting, thanks Jim.
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/4/2009 at 05:09 PM
Thanks for posting that, Jim. Nice to know that Bruce and Co. addressed this nightmare that is TicketMaster (and what looks to be total disregard for anti-trust law).

[Edited on 2/4/2009 by lolasdeb]

 

____________________
"Come on down to the Mermaid Cafe and I will buy you a bottle of wine, and we'll laugh and toast to nothing and smash our empty glasses down..."

 
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