Battle against ticket scalpers could leave some fans unable to use purchased tickets
(KUTV) If you buy a ticket to a concert you'd expect that ticket to get you into the venue to see a show. But a new attempt to cut down on ticket scalping could leave fans who bought legitimate tickets stuck on the outside looking in.
It's no secret that professional ticket scalpers can be a thorn in the side of both fans and artists. Scalpers go in and buy up all the seats, leaving frustrated fans with no choice but to buy the seats at some marked-up price.
As Get Gephardt has reported, some artists are trying new tactics to try and make sure fans aren't gouged. But now Get Gephardt got the call from a Bruce Springsteen fan after she was told her expensive ticket might end up being worthless.
Laura Grzymkowski calls herself, "Jersey Girl," so, naturally, she loves "The Boss."
"I've listened to him all my life," she said.
She is such a huge fan that she didn't hesitate when she learned his tour was bringing the man from Jersey to the west coast. Alas, he wasn't coming to Utah. The closest place he had a show scheduled was the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. She marked her calendar so she could hop on and get a ticket the day they went on sale.
But Grzymkowski is not unique in her fandom, as she logged on and discovered the show sold out only hours after tickets became available for purchase.
She turned to Vivid Seats, a website that allows people to resell show tickets. She found one and paid $300 for a ticket.
But after the ticket showed up, she read the fine print and realized he ticket may be worthless. In order to even be allowed to use the ticket, Grzymkowski must present both the ticket, and the credit card used to purchase the ticket, at the door.
"I don't have the credit card that was used to buy the ticket because somebody else bought it," she said. "My fear is that I'll get there and I'll be turned away."
Grzymkowski called Vivid Seats.
"They tell me, 'ticket's good. You're good to go. We guarantee it."
But both the arena and Ticketmaster told her otherwise.
"Ticketmaster told me they stand behind the statement on their website, however they stop short of telling me that I will be turned away."
Without clear answers, Grzymkowski was left with a dilemma: should she pay for a flight to Oakland and a hotel on the chance she can get in, or should she cut her losses and try to get her ticket refunded?
Springsteen's publicist did not return calls or emails from Get Gephardt.
Ticketmaster did. A spokesperson said that requiring fans show their credit card is designed to stop ticket scalping and that Ticketmaster just does whatever the artist tells them to do which, in this case, is requiring the purchasing credit card be presented for entry.
So is Grzymkowski out of luck? Not necessarily.
Ticketmaster said that only certain sections of the Oakland concert were credit card entry only. Still, Ticketmaster refused to say if Grzymkowski's section was one of those.
She would just have to risk it if she wanted to go to the show.
It's a risk Jersey Girl decided to take -- and it turns out it did pay off. She said the person checking tickets at the door ended up letting her in with just the ticket.
Now, back home in Utah, she said she understands why artists are trying to make it harder for ticket scalpers, but she worries requiring credit cards for entry punishes the fans.
Get Gephardt wanted to ask Vivid Seats why they were selling tickets that could be worthless but the company wouldn't respond.
So, be warned: Before you hand over your money to some ticket scalper, you'll want to check with the venue and make sure you won't also need a credit card to get in.