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A cure – or cure, at least – for Ticketmaster’s high fees turns out to be The Cure frontman Robert Smith, who said he was “disgusted” by the charges and announced Thursday that Ticketmaster will offer partial refunds and lower fees in the future.
“After further conversation, Ticketmaster has agreed with us that many of the fees charged are unduly high,” Smith tweeted. Smith said the company has agreed to offer a refund of $5 to $10 per ticket for verified fan accounts “as a gesture of goodwill.”
1 OF 2: AFTER FURTHER CONVERSATION, TICKETMASTER HAS AGREED WITH US THAT MANY OF THE FEES CHARGED ARE UNDULY HIGH, AND AS A GOODWILL HAVE OFFERED A REFUND OF $10 PER TICKET TO ALL VERIFIED FAN ACCOUNTS FOR THE PRIZE LOWEST TICKET (“LTP”) OPERATIONS…
—ROBERT SMITH (@RobertSmith) March 16, 2023
Fans who have already purchased tickets will receive their refunds automatically, Smith said, and all future ticket purchases will incur a lower fee.
The announcement came a day after Smith shared his frustration on Twitter, saying he was “as sickened as you all are by today’s Ticketmaster ‘fee’ debacle. To be very clear : the artist has no means of limiting them.”
In some cases, fans say the fee more than doubled their ticket price, with a social media user sharing that they paid over $90 in fees for an $80 ticket.
Ticketmaster has been in the spotlight for the past few months. Last November, Taylor Swift fans waited hours, paid high fees and weathered outages on Ticketmaster’s website to try and score tickets for her Eras Tour. A day before tickets opened to the general public, the company canceled the sale due to “extraordinarily high demands on the ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet this demand”.
In a statement on Instagram, Swift said it was “excruciating for me to see mistakes happening without recourse.”
In January, following that debacle, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Live Nation – the company that owns Ticketmaster – and the lack of competition in the ticketing industry. Meanwhile, attorneys general in numerous states have launched consumer protection investigations, Swift fans have sued the company for fraud and antitrust violations, and some lawmakers have called for Ticketmaster to be dissolved.
Ticketmaster did not immediately respond to NPR’s request for comment.