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Monday, 18 July 2011

CONCLUSION - Airbourne - 30 July 2011 - Shepherds Bush Empire - DOWNGRADED TICKETS

Following my last update on the Airbourne situation (see here) Live Nation refused to communicate with me any further. Any attempt to resolve the situation has simply been ignored. After I had received the original promise that our tickets would be honoured (as standing tickets) I had purchased one further (through Ticketweb/Ticketmaster) in order to add another person to our group going to the concert. So, since Live Nation have refused to speak to me and offered only a seated separation of our entire group for the evening as an acceptable alternative to standing all together, we were left with no other option but to take the refund. I like Airbourne, but not so much that I would sit and watch them by myself knowing my friends were dotted all around the venue.

Having had to return the tickets to Stargreen (who incidentally took almost a month to refund the money after I had chased them five times*) I contacted Ticketweb to try and have the single ticket (a standing ticket no less (!) bought months after my original purchase through Stargreen) refunded under these unusual circumstances (not an altogether unreasonable request). It took them three days to reply and guess what? They wouldn’t refund the ticket under any circumstances. I was also asked, in the same email, to complete a customer satisfaction survey. The survey was hosted by Live Nation. The penny then dropped. Ticketmaster and Live Nation are one and the same. So to add insult to injury they wouldn’t even refund one ticket considering how much they had lied and screwed us (the fans) over and despite the fact that I called them on it. They know what they are doing is wrong and obviously believe that turning their backs on us is acceptable business practise.

It’s hardly surprising therefore that after a little digging, to find that Live Nation and Ticketmaster are no strangers to this kind of controversy. Have a read of this article on the subject. With particular reference to the quote from Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League, “we remain concerned that these two companies, with a history of anti-consumer behaviour, will abide only by the letter and not the spirit of the settlement agreement.” The concerns that Sally and many other people had voiced so vehemently before the merger are clearly demonstrated by this, albeit minor, incident.  I for one think that it’s disgusting that we are left with very little option than to line the pockets of these dishonest and deceitful charlatans.

* Stargreen aren’t entirely blameless in this situation. Having tried to initially sort this problem out they had no interest in doing so. I was given a clear cut choice, (a) take the refund or (b) take the seats. No discussion. Apparently, “there is nothing that they can do” in these situations. Considering the way I have been spoken to and dealt with by these people over the last few months it makes me laugh when I read on their website, “If you have questions about your order, sorry but we can’t deal with them on the Internet. Please telephone – our office staff are friendly real people and don’t bite.” Could’ve fooled me. It has so far taken weeks and you need to chase them constantly to try and get a refund at all, a process that takes less than a minute. Avoid using them at all costs.

More reading on the subject:

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