Thursday, 4 March 2010

And what do I get out of it?

I've complained about this before but I'm going to rant again. Why am I charged a booking fee when I buy concert tickets? What do I get out of it? What value is it adding to the ticket buying process that makes it worth paying? And most importantly, how on earth do they decide on the level of the fee?

I recently went online to buy concert tickets and here's a screenshot of the booking fees:

How does that make sense? If I go for the ticketFast method, I spend time at my computer, I do all the work, I spend a fortune on ink (possibly the subject of a future rant), and I pay for the paper. And for the privilege of spending all this time and money, I get charged £2.25. That hardly seems fair!

But then look further down. For the venue to pay someone to stand in the box office, to print the tickets for you and using their ink and their paper, only costs £1.50. How does that even begin to make sense?


Mosher said...

Those aren't even bad booking fees. I think the largest I ever hit was £15 (including non-optional "you'd think it was printed on platinum") postal insurance for a Bon Jovi one a few years ago.

In a way I understand if you're buying them from an agency. The only money they get is from the fee so you're paying them to act as a broker between you and the venue.

But why should I pay a venue to sell me a ticket... for the same venue?

David said...

Not even convinced by the agency argument. If a venue (or whoever) chooses to outsource ticketing to save them time and money, why should I suffer?

Mosher said...

Well, I don't know if they legally have to declare the separate fees. If they don't then they could just bump ticket prices up by a fiver across the board and you'd be none the wiser.

My main gripe is that if the gig is cancelled you don't get the fees back. Playing devil's advocate, the fee goes towards the company delivering your ticket, which they have, so you've paid for the service and received it.

I'd say a booking fee is fine in principle - but that they're just too flipping high. Likewise delivery fees.

David said...

My main grip is I don't see what I'm getting for my money (hence the title of the post). That and the inconsistency.

Why does it cost less to go to the box office when surely it costs the venue more to provide that service than it does for the outsourced ticketing agency. The agents are doing it for a bundle of venues and have (presumably) automated a large chunk of the process. They win on economy of scale and on reduced personnel.

And why does the same agency charge different fees for the same service? I assume it comes down to "what the market will bear". They know Bon Jovi fans will pay over the odds and so charge accordingly.

Amanda Wilson said...

I know, i hate being charged two postal charges for two tickets goin in the one evelope grrrr dont they make enough money selling tickets so far in advance that u forget its time to go. (went to see Stereophonics @SECC beginning of the month however had the tickets for 6 months quietly waiting in the cupboard.

Mosher said...

Amanda - similar but opposite, I hate the way that a lot of festivals will only send the tickets out *very* close to the date of the event. This is a nightmare given the poor mail system as you've no time to query if they've got lost.

Plus, I tend to travel around summer and it means the tickets have to reach home, then get forwarded on to wherever I am or am heading to despite me ordering them 7-8 months in advance.