In a new class action lawsuit filed on Tuesday, ticketing giant Ticketmaster is accused of engaging in illegal listing practices and intentionally misleading its customers with its “platinum ticket” offer.
Ticketmaster regularly finds itself in embarrassment in the public square and facing justice for its practices deemed dishonest, even illegal, by many people. The new class action petition, filed by Montreal law firm LPC in Laval Superior Court, decries a practice “in clear violation” of the Consumer Protection Act. According to the request, not directly announcing a second concert when a first show goes on sale would serve to “squeeze as much money as possible out of the real fans” who are desperately trying to get their hands on it. on squares.
By not letting buyers know that there are in fact twice as many tickets available, ticketing causes a scarcity effect that drives prices up, higher when demand is higher. Fans are flocking to tickets for the first concert unaware that they might get cheaper ones when the second goes on sale.
The request describes the case of a consumer who purchased tickets for the P!nk show at the Bell Center, scheduled for next fall. According to court documents, the consumer first bought three tickets to the American singer’s November 1 show in late February.
He was offered “official platinum seats” on the ticket platform, which Ticketmaster describes as his best seats, thus justifying an inflated price by dynamic pricing (the higher the demand, the higher the fares go). Yet the tickets purchased at nearly $350 each were 14 rows before the very last, in the farthest section of the stage. The consumer also realized soon after that other “platinum” tickets adjacent to hers were selling for about $60 less. “Partially Obstructed View” seating is also sold as “Platinum Seating”.
Finally, when the second concert went on sale, the consumer realized that better placed tickets were offered for an additional $6.89.
The use of these practices is “systemic”, says the petition, since other cases have been identified. Consumers who purchased tickets for the Drake concert in Montreal saw after their purchase that a second concert was announced and that they could have obtained much cheaper tickets. Additionally, lower-positioned seats are listed as “platinum” while some in more forward sections are “regular” priced, the petition notes.
In the case of the admirer of P! nk, the setbacks did not stop there. The consumer decided to buy the slightly more expensive seats for the second concert, which would give her a better view of the show. She thought she could easily resell her first three tickets. Wanting to make sure she sold them, she wanted to set an affordable price, but ran into a resale price floor of $345.01 imposed by the platform. This minimum is required when it is stated that “tickets in this section sell for as low as $231.00”. “Obviously, Plaintiff will never be able to sell her tickets at $345.01 or more when tickets in the same section are selling at $231.00,” the claim notes.
Several artists, including Robert Smith, the leader of the group The Cure, whose tour was put on sale recently, took the floor to denounce the practices of Ticketmaster.
On the side of the fans, the discontent resounds each time the tickets of an important concert are put on sale. Despite several lawsuits against the American company, Ticketmaster remains the largest box office in the entertainment market.
We tried to reach Ticketmaster by email, at the end of the day on Tuesday, without success.