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One cure – or at least a treatment – for high Ticketmaster fees turns out to be The Cure frontman Robert Smith, who said he “sick” by the charges and announced Thursday that Ticketmaster will offer partial refunds and lower fares in the future.
“After further discussion, Ticketmaster has agreed with us that many of the fees being charged are excessive,” Smith tweeted. Smith said the company agreed to offer a $5-10 refund per ticket for verified fan accounts “as a goodwill gesture.”
1 OF 2: AFTER FURTHER DISCUSSION, TICKETMASTER HAS AGREED WITH US THAT MANY OF THE CHARGES ARE INCORRECTLY HIGH, AND AS A GESTURE OF GOOD WILL, HAVE OFFERED A REFUND OF $10 PER TICKET TO ALL Verified FAN ACCOUNTS FOR THE LOWEST TICKET PRICE (“LTP”) TRANSACTIONS…
— ROBERT SMITH (@RobertSmith) March 16, 2023
Fans who have already purchased tickets will be automatically refunded, Smith said, and all future ticket purchases will be charged a reduced fee.
The announcement came a day after Smith shared his frustration on Twitter, saying he was “as sickened as all of you by today’s Ticketmaster ‘fees’ debacle. To be perfectly clear, the artist has no way of limit them.”
In some cases, fans say the fees more than doubled their ticket price one social media user sharing that they paid over $90 in fees for an $80 ticket.
Ticketmaster has been in the spotlight in recent months. Last November, Taylor Swift fans waited hours, paid high fees, and endured outages on the Ticketmaster website to try and score tickets for her Eras Tour. A day before tickets were due to open to the general public, the company canceled the sale due to “extremely high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand”.
In a statement on Instagram, Swift said it was “unbearable for me to watch mistakes happen without recourse.”
In January, after that debacle, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Live Nation — the company that owns Ticketmaster — and the lack of competition in the ticketing industry. Meanwhile, attorneys general in many states launched consumer protection investigations, Swift’s fans sued the company for fraud and antitrust violations, and some lawmakers called for Ticketmaster to be shut down.
Ticketmaster did not immediately respond to NPR’s request for comment.