Mezzo Forte Wednesday – SeeTickets and Others Ticketing Agenices

SeeTickets are scum. It’s official. It has been stated so. They are thieving bastards who can make any amount of money they want to on any ticket they want because, much like Sainsburys or Tesco, people KNOW them. They appear to be reliable and safe. They have stacks of people working for them and are putting the smaller places (like Bristol Ticket Shop, for example), wildly out of business.

How is it fair that SeeTickets can state quite openly on their website:

British Sea Power – Komedia, Bath – Face Value – £12.50. You pay – £14.25. Transaction Fee – £1.50

(And that’s not even including Postage) Thus meaning for two dedicated souls to attend a performance by one of their favourite bands, £30 is exchanged, instead of the £25 it morally should be. I can buy tickets from the bloody venue! Or online, or over the phone – SeeTickets is not needed. They really are scum, and if they make £5 profit from two tickets, and the venue sells out for such a performance, that means SeeTickets have made thousands. On one gig. If they are not needed, then how is this possible? Also, transaction fees appear to change from gig to gig – if there is a £1.50 transaction fee on a gig in Bath, this means there will be a £4.80 fee for gigs in London. And the London tickets also cost more. How is it possible to justify that?! THAT BUYS A PINT AT THE GIG.

Why is it physically impossible to actually GET the tickets FOR the FACE VALUE? This hardly happens for anything other than contemporary music gigs, and it’s insanely not cool. And why state the face value of the ticket if it has no relevance to begin with? They might as well write “Face Value is this, but we wish for huge bonuses, so really, it’s this“. And what is a Handling Fee? I don’t understand why they need so many separate fees. It makes no sense. Why not just absorb all fees into the ticket price and then say “It’s this”, thus taking the sting out of all the fees put together.

Aside from SeeTickets and others stealing money for no apparent reason, the former are also lacking greatly in customer service and good service in general. Obviously this ranges from employee to employee, just like anything, but in a recent article read, one customer ordered SIX tickets to a gig, but SeeTickets quadrupled this, thus making an order of 24 (when the maximum amount allowed to be ordered is apparently only 6 per person anyway…), and when phoning the company to state what had gone wrong and that he only needed 6 tickets, not 24, SeeTickets promptly cancelled all orders – but the money had already been drained from his bank account. And by the time he went to, somewhat angrily, re-order tickets later, the gig had already sold out. It has also been frequently reported on that they have sent out tickets late to gigs (seriously, what the fuck is the point in doing this?) in the past (and probably in the future too), and to one irate customer stated “Put it in perspective, it’s only a band. My friend died last month.” Freaking AWESOME customer service.

How the choose to deliver their tickets is another point of contempt. They use a courier service called SMS, and so often they will send their courier thus and he/she will rock up to your house at 3pm. Who, unless you’re a student, is in at 3pm? SeeTickets appear to assume that all gig-goers are jobless, and when they are unable to deliver tickets, they don’t end up at the sorting office like EVERYONE ELSE WHO USES RECORDED DELIVER. No no, you have to rearrange the delivery, for another day that you won’t be there, and this process has to be carried out a few whole days before the event or it won’t get there on time. On one previous occasion, I had to travel to Bath at 6am, spend the whole day waiting at my house for the tickets to arrive around 4.30pm, and then zoom to Southampton for a gig. All because they just couldn’t possibly deliver to where I was actually living (during the summer holidays) at such short notice. Bastards. Similarly, if the tickets cannot be delivered in time, customers have been told to pick them up at the venue – which should be ok and all that, but why should they have to pay postage if such a thing is going to happen?

There are alternatives to SeeTickets, although some of these still offer up some controversy – WeGotTickets appears to be on a 50/50 with customers, in that some say they’ve never had any problems, some say it is as bad as SeeTickets. WGT offer “Less in the way of fees and fuss,” apparently.  Obviously the ideal is to book through the venue, and this can usually be done in person, on the phone or online – although, as recently discovered, it does not help if the venue (Bath Komedia) does not have a physical box office.

Out of everything I’ve read, I’ve found thousands (almost the amount SeeTickets make on a single concert!) of people stating their woes and anger with the company, and only a handful (which is what Bristol Ticket Shop, or Stargreen, for example, could make morally and realistically on a gig) saying they’ve had good service. So if they provide bad service and extortionate prices, why do people continue to use them? There are some cases, like Glastonbury for example, where the only place you can get tickets IS SeeTickets, and the price added on then seems to get lost in the overall fee, as it is so big. But if people would just be aware that there are alternatives, we can go straight to the venue (through person, phone, internet – whichever), or through a smaller local ticketing agency, then the fees will be minute (if in existence), everyone can afford a pint, you would feel less cheated, and, best of all, people doing an unnecessary job would not be funded to continue down that road. A great day for everyone no? People do not seem to be people to them, just a way of making money. And when it’s a huge thing like the future of music at stake, how is it morally right to make such huge profits out of a delicate industry of a wonderful art form?


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