All Hail The Dark Ticket Overlord

1 07 2014

The Dark Master

Ticketmaster, you are an evil, merciless, overlord with an insatiable lust for money. And our souls.

It all started innocently enough. I just found out that one of my favorite indie performers was finally coming to South Florida, I couldn’t miss out on seeing her one-of-a-kind show. Again.

I was thrilled that last minute general admission tickets were only $25 each. And then the fees started and I my credit card and I were sucked into a dark spiral of despair.

A $10 service fee per ticket? (That’s 40% of the total ticket cost.)

What is included in this service that is apparently worth $10? An express manicure so that my nails and cuticles look their best when handing over said tickets and when applauding at the show? Access to the VIP Ticket Redemption Line at the show which includes a free shot of Goldschläger on the way in? Perhaps you are entered in a raffle to win a free iPad? (Everyone gives away free iPads.)

In any case, I can understand how the novel, cutting edge technology of buying something on the internet is worth the extra dollars. It’s very labor intensive. First there’s searching for and selecting the seats. Then typing in all of my information, then you are pressured to create an account and enter more information and then there is some very tedious button-clicking and – wait a minute. I’m doing all this work with no payment, yet other are profiting from my labor. Isn’t there a word for that? Wasn’t it banned in the US in the 1860s? I digress.

Standard gratuity for human beings that do service work like servers, masseuses, bartenders and hookers is only 20%. But that’s not even guaranteed. The patron has the right to tip whatever he or she wants. Whether it’s 10%, 25%, a passive aggressive note on the check itself, or the used lottery ticket, stray button and lint from your pocket.

So then add to that twenty bucks $5.65 for an Order Processing Fee and $2.50 for the privilege of printing at home. Almost $6 for maybe a full second of work? That’s $360/hour and most certainly six figures per year. I can’t think of anyone who makes that kind of salary – except maybe Beyonce. And then obviously you need to pay to print the tickets at home because hey – BUYING tickets electronically is easy. But redeeming tickets electronically is currently still an unsolved mystery of the universe like black holes, black jelly beans and time travel.

So my $50 tickets end up costing $78.15. Whew – got the confirmation email (shouldn’t there be a fee for this as well?) Now I can breathe a sigh of – hang on, what’s this?

It’s a gift from one of the Dark Master’s minions congratulating me on the insurance policy, which I apparently purchased for $14, insuring my intangible tickets, for the next four days. What a bargain!

I remember wishing I had intangible ticket insurance the LAST time my computer got hacked by terrorists and a couple of jihadists used it to access an EDM concert and attach a bomb to the subwoofer so that the stadium would explode when Skrillex finally ‘dropped the bass.’ (Fortunately their plan was thwarted by Jack Bauer and Jason Statham.)

So I guess now I understand why it’s called the omnipotent Ticketmaster. We are all slaves to its monopolous and unwavering will. Quick, you fool, open your wallet! The Dark Master demands a financial sacrifice or he will rain down lightning and fire and locusts upon us all! (Or just keep us from groveling at the feet of our favorite entertainers – which is a far worse fate.)



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