Ticketmaster’s intention to “do a better job” with transparency about “convenience fees” – listing them at the start of the purchase process – came over the transom via Twitter.
Irving Azoff, Ticketmaster's head honcho, posted a tweet to that effect on Sunday, and it conveniently became the basis for the inaugural blog post the next day for the brand's new corporate blog, Ticketology, which copped to the most-detested part of its dealings with customers — service fees.
The post attempts to make nice with customers with a missive that begins, "We get it — you don’t like service fees. You don’t like them mostly because you don’t understand what the heck they are for. We’ll try to do a better job in this space over the coming months of helping you understand our business, and how our fees compare to others in the industry."
But as Wired points out, Ticketmaster's new system still doesn’t explain the breakdown of fees, nor does it auto-update the total price for multiple tickets – but keeps listing single ticket prices.
Azoff responded on his Twitter feed to that issue, including noting that Ticketmaster “can’t boil all fees down to a per ticket fee until we know how many tix are bought and shipping method chosen, so it has to happen later.”
This pesky add-on cost is the #1 complaint from music fans, who object to the surcharge popping up late in the ordering process. The service fees, split between Ticketmaster, venues, promoters, artists, managers, tour managers and others, can add up to 45% to the basic transaction.
Critics feel that Ticketmaster should require clients to list “all-in” prices. Azoff’s response: “So if you want ticket prices to go down, stop stealing music.”
Wired argues that it's a step in the right direction, but “If Ticketmaster really cared about transparent pricing, we wouldn’t even know these fees were there. Ticketmaster should insist on all-in pricing, rather than offering it on a case-by-case basis.”
So an attempt at transparency, but for a muddled policy, that still likely won't appease customers.