Get Gephardt | Stories - Smith's Tix Defends Unpredictable Fees
Tuesday, July 2 2013, 10:51 PM MDT
Smith's Tix Defends Unpredictable Fees
By Matt Gephardt
Produced by Michelle Poe
Edited by Aaron Colborn
Photography by Brain Morris
(KUTV) Josh Campbell says he loves to go to concerts. When he heard that one of his favorite bands, Flogging Molly was coming to town, he was pumped.

The concert was happening at SaltAir which does not have a box office. Josh's only option if he wanted to see the show was to buy from Smith's Tix.

Josh got online, going to the website for Smith's Tix to buy tickets. The face value of the ticket was $23, but when he clicked to buy, the price quickly went up. There is a $2 facility fee and a secret "service charge." It wasn’t until Josh clicked all the way through to the checkout page that he learned the real price of the ticket was $34.76.

Josh says that more frustrating is that the fees are inconsistent. We looked through dozens of Smith's Tix live events all with varying "processing," and "convenience" and "facility" and" handling" fees that usually jack up the advertised ticket price. Perhaps the most telling example came from upper bowl Utah Jazz tickets. The ticket is advertised at $8 but the fees add up to $10.75 leaving you paying $18.75 for that $8 dollar ticket.

“It's almost like someone is just randomly picking, okay we'll charge this much,” Josh said. “The fees are just really expensive on top of the ticket.”

Wanting to know what he is really paying for when he pays fees, Josh decided to Get Gephardt to investigate.

Smith’s Tix general manager Dee Dee Hill says that her company is not responsible for the majority of the fees. She says that most of the fees are charged by the venues, the event promoters and sometimes even the performers. But without the fees, she doubts Utah would continue to draw the top tier performers that come through our middle sized market.

“You've got a lot of egos and a lot of people with their fingers in the pie,” she said. “Sometimes even I'm shocked [by the fees].”

Hill says that Smith's Tix does it's best to break down the fees on their website but the definitions are vague and repetitive. For example, a convenience fee is defined as "allowing Smith's Tix to provide the widest range of available tickets while giving you multiple ways to purchase." The processing fee reads kind of the same way, saying that fee covers “the cost to fulfill your ticket request."

As for not disclosing the fees upfront, Hill says that Smith's Tix is not trying to fool anyone.

“It always says fees not included. Any of our advertising says the price of the ticket, fees not included.”

As for Josh, he says if a fee is unavoidable, it's not a fee it's the cost of the ticket. He says the fees should be told to customers up front.

Our investigation found that in several cases, many or all of the fees can be avoided by buying directly from the venue hosting the event. But, that requires that the venue has a box office. It also can be a gamble as popular events may sell out before a customer can make it to the box office.

(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)Smith's Tix Defends Unpredictable Fees

News Photos & Videos - Submit Your Photos Here

More Gephardt Stories

National Mortgage Settlement Payments Delayed to Thousands
GM Dodges Recall Responsibility, Returns On Rented Property and Employee Rest Tied To Dishonesty
Fine Print Reveals a Company is Behind Tax Lien Notices
Computer Scam Alert, Congress Weighs In On E-Cigs and Beef at an All-Time High
Good question: What's the figure eight printed on globes?
Amazon Offers Employees $5,000 to Quit, Most Common I.R.S. Mistakes and Flyers in February Arrive Late
Chimney Sweep Folds with Consumer's Deposit
Heartland Virus Threat, I.R.S. Fields Your Calls and the Big Mac Budget Demonstration
XP Support Gone. What Now?
"Or your money back" Offer not Honored
Get Gephardt: Man Lands in Collections Despite Fully Paid Utility Bills
Good Question: How Were the Aquarium Fish Safely Moved?
GM Wins Crash Test Honors, FTC Cracks Down On Weight-loss Claims and CVS In Hot Water
Two Utah Men Brought Up On Tax Fraud Charges
Home Automation Failures Frustrate Customer
Yahoo Increases Email Security, SLC Marathon Set For April and Microsoft Introduces Its Siri
Wendover Casino Blocks Handicapped Stalls for Promotional Giveaway
New Scam Alert, Chrysler Recall and Amazon Joins the TV Market
Good Question: How do Taxpayers avoid being audited by the IRS?
If the IRS is Unresponsive, Try the Taxpayer Advocate
Mudslide Scammer Alert, Nissan Recall and New Trader Joe's Location in Salt Lake County
Insurance Mix Up Keeps Woman From Lifesaving Meds
E-Book Refund, College Tuition Increases and Unclaimed Tax Returns
Billing Bundle Bungled
Flood Insurance Increases, IRS Cash Crunch and Possible Apple & Comcast Partnership
Good Question: How is the Moment Spring Starts Determined?
Defiance May Soon Pay Off for Couple Fined Over Negative Comments
PS4 Announces VR Headset, Google Makes Smartwatches and 2010 Tax Returns Still Available
GM Spokesperson: Loaners, Rentals Available to 1.6 Million Drivers Impacted by Recall
Google Wins Viacom Lawsuit, Walmart Wants Used Games and Microsoft's Stock Surges
Fake IRS Auditors Attempt to Rip Off Taxpayers
Retailers Asked to Stop Selling Tobacco, NYC Requires Sick Time and New Expiration Date Labels
Good Question: Are E-Cigarette Commercials Legal?
Low Utah Unemployment Rate, Graco Recall Expanded and High Tax Return Average
ACA Marketplace Confusion Leaves Adults Signed Up for Pediatric Dental Care
Target Continues Damage Control, Staples Closing Locations and Facebook Blocks Gun Advertisements
Popular Provo Road-Race Organizer Stiffs Winners
Gov. Gets Wiretap Bill from Sprint, Guns Are Selling Well and F.T.C. Cracks Down
Fur Coat Storage Company Vanishes with Several Expensive Coats
Utah Benefits From Reopening Parks, RadioShack Closing Locations, EPA Regulations and Potential ATM Hacking
Semi-Pro Football Players Question the Disappearance of League Fees
Drought Affects Grocery Prices, Free Checking Disappears and Bill Gates On Top Again
Good Question: "How Do Search Engines Determine Search Result Orders?"
Airlines Cut Bereavement Fares, Internet Usage Goes Mobile and Wells Fargo Cuts Jobs
Stolen Debit Card Used at Days after Victim Shops at Target
Delta Changes Frequent Fliers Program, Sprint in Trouble over Nude Pictures and Min Wage Battle Continues
California Scheme Leaves Utahn, National Hispanics out Hundreds
Target Breach TimeLine, Facebook Email Says Goodbye and House Prices on the Rise
Lifetime Warranty Abruptly Cancelled
Taco Bell Breakfast, Disney Resort Price Increase and New Alumni Tracking Software
Man Injured At Amusement Park Awaits Damages
Credit Restored for Consumer Fined for Negative Online Review
Postal Service Issues, Hot Pocket Recall and Netflix vs. Verizon
Ex-Federal Worker: Someone Forged My Official Gov. Documents
Alarm Customer Moves But Cannot Cancel Service
Improving Medication Information, Groupon Deal and I.R.S. Tax Update
Good question: How are KUTV Contest Winners Selected?
Canceled Flights Cost Big, Tax Refund Spending and Valentines' Day Gift Estimates
Dish Placement Makes TV Service Sketchy
GM Recall, Facebook's Privacy Policy Questioned and Comcast Merges With Time Warner
Advertise with us!


Advertise with us!