The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
If you’ve been on Ticketmaster recently to purchase tickets, you’ve likely been overwhelmed with an abundance of frustration, sadness, anger, or all of the above. Ever since its website remodeling, the Ticketmaster system and its newfound “Official Platinum” tickets have been notoriously horrible and unfair. Ticketmaster was once a platform of equal opportunity for all fans, but now it caters to bulk resellers, bots, and rich people. One of the most frustrating things about Ticketmaster begins with its presale events, for which you need to sign up with a given email and phone number in order to enter the raffle for a verified fan presale code. The issue with this system is that scalpers have advanced technology that allows them to create mass numbers of Ticketmaster accounts to be entered in that raffle. As such, by the time you bypass 2,000 plus bots who bought tickets in packs of four, there is nothing left for you at face value. Ticketmaster claims, “verified Fan doesn’t guarantee that everyone who is verified will get a ticket, but it does level the playing field so that more tickets go to fans who intend to go to the show — and not to ticket bots.” Despite this attempt to comfort fans, this statement could not be further from the truth. The truth is that scalpers are getting better at obtaining presale codes, flooding the queue, and snatching as many tickets as possible to resell for 5-times face value on Stubhub. Guess what: Ticketmaster doesn’t care. The only thing Ticketmaster cares about at the end of the day is selling the most amount of tickets for the most amount of money. Also, what’s the point of a presale if Ticketmaster sells all the face value tickets so there’s none left during the general sale? Once again, Ticketmaster is doing an incredible job of catering to the bot accounts that hoard all the presale codes.
This leads me to my next criticism: Official Platinum tickets. The description for “Official Platinum” tickets according to Ticketmaster is as follows: “the prices are adjusted according to supply and demand, similar to how airline tickets and hotel rooms are sold.” The goal is to give the most passionate fans fair and safe access to in-demand tickets, while allowing the artists and everyone involved in staging live events to price tickets closer to their true value. I love that they say their goal is to give the most passionate fans access to tickets. No, you’re giving the richest fans access to tickets — it’s genuinely vile. With the implementation of Official Platinum tickets, it became blatantly obvious that Ticketmaster could not care less about the fans. The gag is that these Official Platinum tickets are not added on top of the normal tickets, they are taken from the pool of normal tickets in cases such as general admission. For example, I was attempting to buy pit tickets today for a show that was $150 face value, and after I got through the long, scalper-infested queue, there were only Official Platinum pit tickets left for $850. Ridiculous! These prices are comparable to VIP tickets (such as LaneOne) but without the benefits! It is quite literally a normal ticket that Ticketmaster has scalped — nothing more. The only difference between your Official Platinum ticket and a normal ticket is that you got screwed over by the system.
Another thing that is incredibly frustrating is the infamous error codes on Ticketmaster. The website is so glitchy now that it’s essentially impossible to get tickets on top of the bots and presale mess. Specifically with pit tickets, the website would list pit tickets that didn’t exist or weren’t available, thus giving hopeful fans the “error code 0011”. This typically occurs long after the general sale, but an issue that commonly occurs during the general sale is the message that “this purchase could not be completed on this device,” which doesn’t make sense because I’ve gotten this message several times on the same laptop that I always purchase tickets on. You have one of two choices: join the queue on another device or refresh and rejoin the queue. Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation.
Hey, Ticketmaster! Maybe if you did something about the bots and abolished Official Platinum tickets, we could go back to full arenas again, rather than having sparse spots throughout the venue where seats obviously didn’t sell because they were 6-times face value! Do better.