A Long Island, NY man has filed a class action lawsuit against online ticket selling website Ticketmaster. The man says Ticketmaster inflated ticket prices by adding a fee that was impossible to avoid whether the tickets were purchased at the box office or online at the company's website.
Almost everyone has had the experience of sticker shock when faced with the exorbitant fees charged by online ticket sellers on top of today's already high ticket prices. To add insult to injury, these fees are often labeled as "convenience" charges when having to pay for them is anything but. Many wish someone would do something about this but feel defeated because they have no choice or voice in the matter.
Enter David Himber. Himber, who resides in Long Island, New York, wanted to purchase three tickets to go see one of his favorite groups, Rascal Flatts, perform at his local venue. Himber lives about 20 minutes from the concert's location, Jones Beach Theatre, so when he went online to buy the tickets, which were advertised as costing $49.50 each, and saw that each one carried an extra online convenience fee of $15.25, he decided he'd rather drive directly to the venue's box office and buy them at face value than pay an extra forty plus dollars to buy them online.
When Himber got to the venue, however, he was told that he was required to pay a $6 fee on top of the $49.50, making the price of each ticket $55.50 instead. Himber asked where he could actually purchase the tickets at their stated $49.50 value if not at the box office and not online. The answer was, surprisingly, nowhere.
That's essentially the basis for Himber's newly filed class action lawsuit against Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster, which he says engages in this practice thousands upon thousands of times per year at Jones Beach Theatre and the many other venues it operates across the nation. Himber wants injunctive relief to stop the practice, lawyer's fees and up to $500 in damages for each ticket purchased for a price in excess of that which was advertised for the entire represented class, which includes anyone who has had the same experience as him when purchasing Ticketmaster tickets.
"Since it is impossible to avoid a charge of at least $6 for buying a ticket, the true price of each ticket was $55.50," the lawsuit asserts, concluding that "The practice of advertising one price for a ticket and then charging a higher price when people arrive at the box office is deceptive and injurious."
Or, as Himber's lawyer for the suit Abraham Kleinman, succinctly put it, "The advertised price is available to nobody."