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Robert Smith of The Cure says Ticketmaster will partially refund fees


LONDON — British rock band The Cure are the latest to become entangled in a ticket price debacle with entertainment company Ticketmaster.

The band’s outspoken frontman Robert Smith announced in a Twitter tirade on Thursday night that he had secured a partial fan discount on ticket fees from Ticketmaster for their upcoming North American tour, after saying he was “as disgusted as you all are” by the price hikes.

Ahead of some tickets going on sale on Wednesday, the band said on its official website that it deliberately “priced tickets to benefit fans” in an effort to “lock up resellers and limit inflated resale prices.” Ticket prices started as low as $20.

“The Cure has agreed to all ticket prices, and other than a few Hollywood Bowl charity seats, there will be no ‘platinum’ or ‘dynamically priced’ tickets for this tour. See you there! ” they wrote.

However, fans hoping to catch the 30-date ‘Shows of a Lost World’ tour of cities from Boston to Tampa complained online that reasonably priced tickets were inflated after processing fees and tickets were added. administration, with fees often exceeding ticket prices. themselves.

A fan tweeted that four tickets costing a total of $80 resulted in a service charge of over $90 and called the extra charge “ridiculous.”

In response to outrage from fans, Smith, in a series of signature-style all-caps tweets, promised to follow the platform.

“I am as sickened as all of you by today’s Ticketmaster ‘fee’ debacle. To be very clear: the artist has no means of limiting them. I asked how they are justified,” he said. tweeted Wednesday.

“We had final say on all of our ticket prices for this upcoming tour,” he said. addedto prevent costs from being “instantly and horribly skewed by resale”.

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

“After further conversation, Ticketmaster has agreed with us that many of the fees charged are unduly high and, as a gesture of goodwill, has offered a refund of $10 per ticket,” on certain verified fan transactions and a refund of $5 per ticket for others. Fans who had already purchased tickets would get an “automatic refund” there addedwhile future ticket sales would incur lower fees.

Ticketmaster did not comment publicly on the matter and did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Washington Post.

Fans of The Cure have welcomed the news online.

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

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

Representative Bill Pascrell Jr. (DN.J.) tweeted his support Thursday for the result. “Congratulations to Robert Smith and The Cure for withstanding Ticketmaster’s exorbitant fees. Now Congress must show the same backbone and finally reform the ticket market. »

It’s not just the Swifties. Ticketmaster also enrages Eurovision fans.

The latest run-in comes as Ticketmaster has been in hot water for the past few months after fans of various artists complained about fees and malfunctions.

The problem was highlighted last year when Taylor Swift fans reported widespread problems purchasing tickets for her “Eras” tour, prompting Ticketmaster to cancel the public sale. The company later apologizedclaiming that an “impressive number of bot attacks” and “unprecedented traffic” on their site has led to problems on their website.

Swift called the case “excruciating”, while in a sign of further bad blood, some of her fans filed a lawsuit against the company alleging fraud, misrepresentation and multiple antitrust violations, which Ticketmaster deny.

Also in Europe, fans hoping to attend the annual Eurovision Song Contest were furious earlier this month after reporting technical issues with Ticketmaster, which they say left them without a ticket.

The company is under pressure from US regulators to prove it provides the best service to fans and artists, after consumer groups and senators on both sides of the aisle accused the company of using its power to “monopoly” to dominate the ticketing and live-events industry – which the company fiercely denies.

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

“I know how unfair it is when a company overcharges you and gets away with it. Not anymore,” he said, outlining plans for an unwanted charge prevention law. “We will cap service fees on tickets to concerts and sporting events and require companies to disclose all fees up front,” he added. “Americans are tired of being gambled for suction cups.”

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On its official website, the company said its customers — including venues, sports teams and event promoters — “determine the number of tickets to sell and set the nominal price,” and service fees, processing and delivery “are determined in conjunction with our customers.”

However, he pointed out that sometimes “ticket and fee prices may adjust over time based on demand,” such as for airline tickets and hotel rooms.

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

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