Sunday, July 13, 2008

I have seen the devil

... and apparently he now goes by the name Ticketmaster.

Tell me how this is even legal. Concert tickets go on sale on Ticketmaster and very rapidly sell out. Ticketmaster then directs you to look for tickets on TicketsNow, which is owned by Ticketmaster. And lo and behold, there are lots of tickets available there - at hugely inflated prices.
Case in point: Bloc Party tickets which were listed at $27.50 each were strangely never available on Ticketmaster whenever I tried to buy them. I even physically went down to a Ticketmaster outlet, where the clerk initially told me that there were lots of tickets available. When she tried to access them, however, suddenly these were also unavailable. Her coworker overheard our conversation and came over to tell us that she had been having similar issues.
So out of curiousity, I went over to the TicketsNow site and was told I could now buy these $27.50 Bloc Party tickets for ... wait for it ... $247.00 each.
Just because this rip-off is being perpetrated by a huge corporate monopoly instead of some schmuck standing in the rain outside the concert hall, somehow this no longer constitutes scalping? Forgive me for not being the sharpest crayon in the shed, but I fail to see the difference. Except of course that this is done on a grander scale and one barely had an opportunity to purchase the tickets for face value in the first place. I have to reiterate incredulously, how is this even legal?
If Ticketmaster didn't have a monopoly on tickets sales for a lot of concerts I am desperate to see, I would burn that fucker to the ground and piss on the ashes.

Gripe #2: It has now been over one year since I hobbled on crutches up to the management office of our neighbourhood mall (which considers itself to be upscale), to alert them about the big bloody hole in the parking lot in which I had sprained my ankle.
And oh how they expressed their concern and thanked me for bringing this dangerous situation to their attention! Except for the little toady assistant manager at Safeway, whom I still cannot look at to this day. When I initially asked him whom at the mall I should speak to about the ankle-spraining hole, he immediately informed me that once I was outside the store, it was no longer Safeway's responsibility. But that's a whole other rant.
Over one year on, guess what still holds a place of honour in the parking lot? The same damned hole.
I believe that it's time I buy a can of spraypaint and add a little political signage to the parking lot. Something nice and big and bright, so the senior citizens can see it and not end up breaking a hip. I'm thinking something along the lines of:

they said they cared
Any suggestions?

And while I am on a roll, another thing that drives me crazy is when the cashier at *insert an increasing number of store names here* asks me, "would you like to make a donation to prostate cancer?"
No. Why would I want to support prostate cancer? It's a nasty disease. Ask me if I want to make a donation toward research into a cure for prostate cancer, and we can talk.
And just so I don't leave you with the impression that all is bitchiness here at Zombie Central, here is something that made me insanely happy - finding a copy of ABBA Gold at the used record store yesterday! I actually used it for my workout cd this morning and wore a big cheesy grin the whole time.


mellowlee said...

I am totally disgusted with Ticketmaster!!! I knew they were charging a LOT for services fees, etc, but had no about TicketsNow :O( I think I will try going to Zulu Records to try n purchase the Chad V tix!!!! They must be stopped! Hmmmmmm

I imagine a graffiti artist painting a broken body at the sight of the big ankle spraining hole, and outlining it with bright red paint.

Allison said...

"If Ticketmaster didn't have a monopoly on tickets sales for a lot of concerts I am desperate to see, I would burn that fucker to the ground and piss on the ashes.

Ali and I are sitting here laughing hysterically at your wit. Well done.

That is ridiculous. Are you still planning to go to the Bloc Party show?

BeckEye said...

Ticketmaster is despicable. Same thing for Eddie Vedder tickets. They were $79, sold out immediately but there are a shitload of tickets available on TicketsNow. I love how they say "TicketsNow has deals on tickets to match every budget." Yes, whether you're rich or obscenely rich, you can afford to see your favorite artists!

If I want to sit in the far balcony, I can do so for $160. But if I want to gaze upon Eddie's glorious face, that'll cost me $800 or more. This is exactly the reason he fought with Ticketmaster for so many years in the first place.

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

omg, every time i have to stoop to buying tickets from ticketmaster, i end up getting so enraged.

when i found out they were getting into the scalping business, well.... grrrr...

even now, i am so enraged i can not complete a sentence.

Becky said...

I cannot stand the backwards dealings of big business!
Ticketmaster's secret scalping reminds me how Dove, which launched the "campaign for real beauty", also is behind selling skin-lightening cream in India. It's infuriating! Argh...

But as for the happiness caused by ABBA, I must agree that crazy disco could solve the world's problems if we all just gave it a chance :P

Anonymous said...

Ticketbastard, oh yeah, they're the uber suckage. Imagine the fuss they'd kick up if someone bought their tickets at regular price & turned around & sold them on the street for the same inflated price they're quoting on the 'net on the street... greedy fuckers.

Yanno, I wonder how much $$ the Safeway corporation threw at the paving company who laid the asphalt for that parking lot... I'm sure all the stores in the mall had to ante up a bit? You could always spray paint an arrow pointing at the offending hole with the words "Safeway sez this isn't their problem" & see what happens...

I don't know why, but I'm trying to envision prostrate cancer. Would that be like the deathly growing inability to get off one's ass? I shouldn't joke, yet I'm sickly driven to...

ABBA, huh?
Ok sister. We're moshing in August. ;) I'm kinda bummin' 'cuz you're not going to be here for Bumbershoot in September - Neko Case is gonna be there! I'm secretly looking forward to Stone Temple Pilots though... what can I say, I like the BAD boys...

(smooch smooch dahhhlin')

Westcoast Walker said...

I share your ticketmaster rage - I tried to get Sigur Ros tickets this weekend and of course there were none available within five minutes. The TicketsNow prices averaged about $250 - $300/each - and seeing as I need to periodically buy groceries for my kids I thought I would have to pass.

They are truly evil @*%#!'s by my standards. A suitable torment would be to have Ticketmaster executives locked in a room listening to Barry Manilow on a continuous tape loop, and the only way to stop it would be to successfully purchase tickets from their own site!

bloody awful poetry said...

Wow. That Ticketmaster is utterly disgustingly disgusting! I'm totally with Sean Wraight up there; make them listen to Barry Manilow on a loop and buy tickets from their own site! That is,if they survive the Manilow Loop Of Torture.

ABBA Gold is such an awesome album! I'm so glad my parents force-fed their musicality on me as a defenceless child.

mister anchovy said...

The ticket problem is a big pain for sure. With the exception of the odd show at Massey Hall in Toronto, I've pretty much stopped going to shows at the big venues, and getting tickets so far the stage that the performers seem ant-sized is one of the reasons.

All the more reason to celebrate home-made jam and make music at home. One of the reasons I started playing music was that I felt we had given our music away to the care of corporations when it seemed to me better in the hands of communities.

Steffi said...

Where is the sign up sheet for your army against evil General Zombie?? I am so with you on all these issues, (even though I didn't know the safeway hole and ticketsnow exsisted before now.) I don't go to many concerts due to low funds, so i am even more outraged to find out how much more they will be when I can go, grr...

and it may not be ABBA - but my verification word is pretty boppable and dancable itself - mumptbje...mump-tubee-je...mump-tubee-jee...

Anonymous said...

Your punishment for
Ticketmaster sounds like a charming medieval inquisitional solution. Lovely rant. Woke me up this morning.

But honestly, how are they getting away with this?

and by all means spray paint away. Do a crime scene body outline.

Conky said...

Ticketmaster...ugh...I admire the shit out of Pearl Jam for trying to conquer that giant...they are fuckers. Pretty nice trick though hey, supplying in demand tickets for way more on a sister site. Id rather give my $ to a scalper on the street personally.

Safeway: I ranting letter to Head Office regarding the hole and potential lawsuit usually kicks them in to gear....maybe you will get some free macaroni out of it!?

What is with the 39847583475 letters word verification? JESSSSUZZZZZZZ

JustRun said...

Ugh, Ticketmaster makes me homicidal. It's just ridiculous. And even if you do get available tickets, the fees are so steep you'll enter your credit card number feeling scared and violated like the new boy in prison.
Yes, it irritates me, too.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I love the idea of a police outline body, Mel! Except mine would probably end up look like an amoeba.
Good idea, getting your tix at a record store. That's what I am going to try to do as much as possible too.

Alas, no, Al, I shall not be going to the Bloc Party concert at those prices. Which saddens me greatly.

It's a pity that I am neither rich nor obscenely rich, Beckeye. If I was, I would buy out the evil Ticketmaster and kick some asses. As it is, we obviously need Eddie to put on his superhero costume again and swoop in to save the universe. Speak to him about that, will you?

Not only are they screwing us with a broom handle, 688, they are taking away our very ability to communicate. This must be stopped!

Becky! Nice to see you back on the blogs!
I had no idea about Dove selling lightening cream in India. How two-faced, especially in light of the every woman is beautiful campaign.
We all need a little ABBA disco goodness to put the world in proper perspective, I think.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I keep scratching my head, trying to figure out how this Ticketmaster scam can possibly be legal, Mish. Maybe I'll ask them to explain it to me. Heh
I like your idea on the graffiti. I could get in and out pretty quickly with that message. That is, if I can overcome my prostrate problem.
Hey STP were just here for Virgin Fest. You should have come up for that. Bumbershoot (great name) sounds like a fine show. And by that time I will be suffering serious Radiohead and Mish withdrawal! Can't wait to see you!!

Wow, it's a good thing you work for the powers of good rather than evil, Westcoast Walker! That would indeed be suitable punishment. I'll bet we would see a few heads explode.
It's a shame that you are expected to feed the children periodically when you could be seeing Sigur Ros instead. I wonder how much of that vastly inflated ticket price actually goes to the artist.

Sometimes your parents' cruelty turns out to be a good thing in the end,BAP. I hadn't heard a few of those songs for decades, and I swear they sound even better now.
Oh that was Westcoast Walker who had the death by Barry Manilow idea, but he and Sean are both clever men.

If I ever learn to play more than a pair of spoons, I might just have to try some home-made music, Mister Anchovy. And with the exception of a very few select bands, I do not go to arena shows either. There is absolutely no point.

I already took the liberty to sign you up for the army against evil, Steffi. I figured you would volunteer anyway.
Concert prices are getting way out of control, I think. I know a few bands who make a point of keeping their prices down to make them more accessible, but it would appear once Ticketmaster gets involved, that's all moot.
mumptbje to you too!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I really like the idea of a crime scene outline, Leazwell. I'm just not sure how long it would take me to draw. A woman of my vintage getting nabbed for graffiti is a trifle unseemly.

You know that if one of us tried that Ticketmaster/TicketsNow trick, we'd be in prison fast than you can say conflict of interest. We need to get Pearl Jam back in our court on this.
Hmmm, threatening Safeway with legal action? Well I do like macaroni...

Don't drop the soap when you are dealing with Ticketmaster, that's for sure, Justrun! How is their evil allowed to run unfettered?


I have hated Ticketmaster for years for their price gouging (especially during front of the line sales) and had no idea Ticketsnow was part of them. That just makes my blood boil! I think you should get some sort of petition going on Facebook and take it to the media.

I laughed out loud at Toady little Safeway asst. manager! How does that man have a job? He's like someone from Mr. Roger's Neighbourhood.

I say we don the black hoodies and head over there at midnight to paint the body outline. You spray and I'll be your lookout. But first you must tell me where this hole is. I'm surprised I haven't taken a tumble in it myself.

mellowlee said...

I love the way Urban Blonde thinks! Wish I could come, I even have a black hoodie ;O)

Gifted Typist said...

one of my fave bob dylan lyrics:

Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king

from Infidels
For gripe #1

Yes, doesn't ABBA make everyone happy, whether they like it or one.

It's the crack cocaine of pop music

John Mutford said...

They did a story on this...W5 maybe? If memory serves (and apparently it doesn't), TicketsNow was buying up all the TicketMaster tickets with bots. But, instead of getting pissed off, TicketMaster was impressed with their market savvy and so, bought them out.

Serah said...

wish me luck I have a visit with the devil this afternoon. trying to secure tix to the raconteurs for my cousins bday. this would be her first concert ever. i'm very behind, so thinking i'll be shut out. still hopeful.

Beth said...

I frickin' despise TicketMaster. I get nauseous reviewing all the various fees the bastards charge — even $2.50 for a PDF ticket!

Anonymous said...

When I was in Regina a couple days ago radio news was talking about that ticketmaster thing with elton john tickets. Apparantly tickets for shows sold out in a few short minutes and then after that anybody who tried was immediately forwarded to ticketsnow which had lots of tickets...hmmm.

justacoolcat said...

My favorite lines about Ticketmaster comes from the Simpsons.

Burns: And to think, Smithers, you laughed when I bought Ticketmaster. [imitating Smithers] "Nobody's going to pay a 100% service charge".

Smithers: It's a policy that ensures a healthy mix of the rich and the ignorant, sir.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's on the north side of the parking lot, right in front of Safeway, about 5 parking spots from the shopping cart corral, Urban Blonde. Be wary!
I would love to make a big stink about Ticketmaster, but your suggestion would involve my opening a Facebook account, and I don't need another internet addiction.

Mel, we will wait for you! Don't forget your hoodie!

Bob knew of what he spoke there, Gifted!
The ABBA/crack comparisons are certainly valid. I've been craving a hit of ABBA all day.

And even with all the media scrutiny, Ticketmonster is still allowed to carry on like this, John? They are unstoppable! Time to get Rex Murphy or somebody on this.

I'm sending you good tix procuring vibes, Serah. Just stay away from TicketsNow. You will not like what you see there.

If they could charge you for the oxygen that you use while you are on their site, I am sure they would, Beth. Better still, they would buy up all the oxygen in the world and sell it back to you at 1000% markup.

And if they are charging $247.00 for tickets that were originally $27.50, can you imagine how much Elton John tickets are being scalped for, Kelly? I'm guessing somewhere around the $4,000,000 mark.

hahaha, I have just got to work on the rich part of that equation, and I am there, JustA. But there is nothing like a good Simpsons' quote to make us forget our woes.

Serah said...

NO tickets at vendor. Online was successful.
TicketsNow will be an issue once I get around to picking up tix to Cold War Kids. How insane can they mark up tix that are $17.50?? I guess we'll find out.

Will said...

Keep ranting ... I need it. Those Ticketmaster fools always find new and innovative ways to be completely evil. Amazing. I wonder if they planned it that way. Their mode of branding is to have everyone hate you. Unbelievable. The customer is always wrong. Fuck Ticketmaster.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Good job finding some online, Serah. I will be really curious to see what the markup will be on those Cold War Kids tickets though. Please keep me posted.

The customer is always wrong. That IS a unique marketing strategy, you have to admit, Will, and strangely enough it seems to be working. How do you sell tickets to shows that your bands are in?

Johnny Yen said...

Ticketmaster is known around these parts as "Ticketbastard." There are shows in Chicago that you must pay the Ticketbastard fee even if you buy the ticket at the box office! It got even worse when they bought out their only rival, Ticketron, in 1991.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

And now that they have also bought TicketsNow, they have the monopoly on the online scalping venue as well, Johnny Yen. It's the perfect lose-lose situation for consumers.