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Brilliant Disguise: Ticketmaster to Pay Springsteen Fans For Fraud

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on February 22, 2010 3:44 PM

Bruce Springsteen fans won't be dancing in the dark anymore. For many of them who overpaid for their concert tickets last year, their check is in the mail. 

It appeared that Ticketmaster had a hungry heart.

In a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Ticketmaster has agreed to refund Bruce Springsteen tickets to consumers who bought the tickets in 2009 from Ticketmaster's resale Web site, TicketsNow.

The FTC alleged that Ticketmaster used bait-and-switch tactics to sell these tickets to consumers, when they went on sale on February 2, 2009. 

What a brilliant disguise.

The ticket purchasers first went to the Ticketmaster site where they received "no tickets found" messages. They were then directed to the reseller's site and were sold tickets at a much higher price-sometimes triple or quadruple the face value.

To add fuel to the fire, Ticketmaster also failed to inform buyers that the tickets on TicketsNow were not necessarily available.  They advertised the tickets but those tickets were not necessarily "on hand." Rather, they were not secured to be purchased and were being sold speculatively. People paid the money to purchase the tickets and the sales proceeds were kept by Ticketmaster for over three months, when Ticketmaster had no reasonable basis for believing that the tickets would ever be provided to the buyers.

Luckily for the Springsteen fans, they are getting their money back. According to the settlement, fans will be refunded the difference in price of what they paid on TicketsNow and the actual price on TicketMaster. 

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