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Friday, August 5, 2011

Beware of secondary ticket sellers!

Before I go on a rant, I have to say that “Jersey Boys” was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The singing was beautiful – the actor portraying Frankie Valli sang like an angel. And the staging was ingenious, sparkling, fast, fun, fantastic. Best of all was the WAY THE GUYS DANCED as they sang. We tried to duplicate it after the show – impossible. Pretty good for a bunch of white guys.

However, I am so mad. I got royally ripped-off by a secondary market ticket website. I paid $109 for a $25 ticket. And so did my husband, Mike; my friend Lynn; and her friend, Beth.

But let me back up to last March. For Mike and me, attending a Broadway-type theatre production is a rare event. But when my friend Lynn asked, “How would you like to go see ‘Jersey Boys?’” I was tempted. I was always a big fan of The Four Seasons.

The show was a GO after some discussion with Mike and with a friend who had seen the show in Vegas and was planning to see it again in Milwaukee because it was so good.

I agreed to purchase the tickets. I went online, found the “Jersey Boys” page, and clicked on whatever ticket ordering icon my eyes fell on. I absent-mindedly thought it was Ticketmaster.


My order was dated March 23 for an August 4 show. The tickets finally arrived on August 1 by FedEx (lucky I was home to sign for them!). A day later, I got an e-mail asking if I received the correct tickets. Shoot, I didn’t have time to check. I was at work every day and evening from the time the tickets were delivered to the night of the show.

So we got to the show and we were wondering why our tickets said “Purchased by Wanda Johnson” and “25.00.” Is this Wanda the sales clerk? Is “25.00” some kind of routing number? There’s no dollar sign in front of it.

The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts box office couldn’t help us because they didn’t sell us the tickets. Our tickets said “Ticketmaster,” so I called them. But they had no record of my name or charge card number.

Eventually, we wound up sitting in the very last row of the center loge. Not horrible seats, but not what I expected. I thought I ordered seats further forward in the center loge. And indeed, we were sitting in $25 seats – not $109 seats!!

When I got home that night, I dashed off an e-mail to the company I bought the tickets from; it calls itself “Online Ticket Orders.” Today I also mailed a letter to their address in North Carolina. Finally this afternoon, I called them. The service representative was extremely snippy (he probably deals with angry customers all day) and assured me that before I even could have ordered the tickets last March, I had to have pressed a button that said I agreed to their terms and conditions – which includes the fact that THE FACE VALUE OF THE TICKET MAY BE LESS THAT WHAT I PAID FOR IT.

Boy, have I learned some lessons:

1.       Only buy tickets by phone or at the box office.

2.       Always read the small print.

3.       Ticket brokers make a lot of money.

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