Ticketmaster has hit back over criticism of the way it handled the onsale for the Stone Roses’ comeback shows, insisting the company never puts tickets directly onto its resale site.
The world’s biggest ticket company endured so much flak that it released a company statement saying, “At no stage during the major ticket onsale period were Ticketmaster directing consumers to [resale site] Get Me In.”
Many of the complaints came from fans who were unable to buy £55 ($87.80) tickets for The Roses’ comeback shows in Manchester’s Heaton Park June 29-30. Meanwhile, Get Me In – Ticketmaster’s secondary site – had plenty of them at up to 20 times face value.
Ticketmaster says there were 200,000 fans queuing when the site opened at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 21, and it “experienced some issues” responding to the level of demand.
“We apologise for any disappointment caused, acknowledging that this is far from the experience we usually deliver,” the statement read. “Ticketmaster was one of a number of ticket agents selling for these performances and where demand for tickets far outstripped the number available this has inevitably led to a large number of disappointed fans.”
The Ticketmaster denial came at the end of a week when the UK’s ticketing business – including such well-known secondary sites as Viagogo –faced what could amount to the biggest public protest on the subject since the government decided not to regulate the market in 2008.
Various postings on Twitter have described the situation as “a scandal,” “blatant touting” and “disgraceful,” with the most common complaint being that some secondary sites must be receiving a ticket allocation in order to have them available within a minute of the onsale.
One posting on the “Mumbles And Grumbles” website said tickets for many shows were appearing on secondary sites so quickly that it was doubtful if an original buyer would have had time to have completed the initial purchase – let alone put the ticket up for resale.
Two weeks before The Stone Roses onsale, BBC’s “Watchdog” program handled similar complaints from fans wanting tickets for Coldplay and One Direction.
“We spotted One Direction tickets with a face value of around £30 ($47.88) on GetMeIn.com priced at £1,439 ($2,297), and on Viagogo –the biggest ticket resale site – at £2,179 ($3,478),” the TV programme’s website said, pointing out that some secondary sites were collecting as much as 25 percent commission on the transactions.
On Oct. 24, a columnist in The Times argued that it’s time the Competition Commission and Office of Fair Trading carried out a detailed investigation into the activities of the UK’s ticketing companies.