KALAMAZOO, Mich., and WASHINGTON – Michigan Citizen Action joined with the Fan Freedom Project today to issue a consumer alert about restrictive ticketing policies in effect for the April 12 Bruce Springsteen show at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Because of these policies, which have been rarely used in Michigan, tickets for many of the concert’s best seats are not transferable. The restrictions ban fans from buying tickets as gifts or transferring them to other people should they not be able to attend the show. This policy applies to seats in sections 101, 102, 112, 114 and 126 in rows AA-J, according to information Michigan Citizen Action obtained from the Palace box office.
“Fans should be very cautious when they choose their seats for this concert,” said Linda Teeter, executive director of Michigan Citizen Action. “Most fans in our state have not experienced the problems associated with such restrictive ticketing policies. We don’t want any fan to drive all the way to the Palace only to find these unfair policies shut them out of the concert.”
Tickets for the Palace show go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“Bruce Springsteen is one of the most popular and iconic American artists of all time, and fans need to be smart when buying tickets,” said FFP Consumer Advocate Elizabeth Owen. “The devil is in the details, and if you are buying tickets as a gift, or with a group of friends, you may be surprised to know that for some seats on this tour, that won’t be possible.”
The Fan Freedom Project’s Six Tips for Buying Tickets are:
1. Read the Fine Print: Just because you bought the ticket doesn’t mean you are free to share or give away those tickets however you like. Ticketmaster is selling some seats to shows in Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, Michigan and California using restricted paperless tickets (see below), which are non-transferable. These tickets require buyers to present their purchasing credit card and photo ID at the venue to gain admittance, instead of receiving a physical ticket ahead of time. If you are buying tickets to go with group of friends or family, you have to wait for your whole party to arrive to enter instead of distributing the tickets in advance and meeting at your seats.
And since paperless tickets are non-transferable, forget about giving them as a gift.
Ticketmaster recommends that you buy gift tickets with the recipient’s credit card and reimburse them.
For a list of artists and sports teams that use restricted tickets, please visit the Fan Freedom Project’s FAQ
2. Use Reliable Sellers:
Beware of fly-by-night ticket sellers. If you're unsure whether a company is legitimate, check its ratings with the Better Business Bureau
and on consumer review sites such as Yelp!
If purchasing from a ticket broker, check to see if they are members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers
, whose Code of Ethics requires members to adhere to basic consumer protections.
3. Check Guarantees: Check your ticket vendor’s guarantee policy. For example, websites like Stub Hub, TicketsNow, Ace Tickets and All-Shows guarantee every ticket sold on their sites, and will replace them or provide refunds to consumers if they receive the wrong tickets, their tickets are invalid or an event is cancelled. Craigslist and other online classifieds sites do not offer such guarantees; it’s “buyer beware” when shopping this way.
4. Pay Attention to URLs: When buying tickets directly from a venue, check the website’s URL to ensure that an imposter doesn’t dupe you. For example, Katy Perry fans were recently tricked by a website that sold tickets to a free concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Remember, even if a website looks like the official site, it may be bogus.
5. Know the Rules: Some venues limit the number of tickets you can buy. Most stops on the Wrecking Ball tour feature a two-ticket per customer limit for general admission tickets, a four-ticket limit in paperless sections, and a six-ticket limit elsewhere.
A Radiohead fan recently reported purchasing a block of tickets to share with friends. She ordered more tickets as a wedding gift, but found herself over the four-ticket max that the venue set for the show. She is now fighting with the ticket company and venue, as they are threatening to cancel her tickets.
6. Buy with a Credit Card: Regardless of where you buy tickets, be sure to use a credit card so you can dispute any unfair or unauthorized charges. Before entering your credit card information online, be sure the site has "https://" at the beginning of the website address. This means the site is encrypted and safer for use.