Ticketmaster has agreed to an out-of-court settlement with the New Jersey attorney general’s office over its sale of tickets to upcoming Bruce Springsteen concerts at the Izod Center in the Meadowlands.
Fans who tried to buy tickets online several weeks ago complained that within seconds of the tickets going on sale online, the Ticketmaster Web site was directing people to a subsidiary called TicketsNow, which acts as a re-seller of tickets at a much higher price.
Some 2,200 complaints were made to New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs over the Web site and what many felt was a “bait and switch.”
Ticketmaster has agreed to refund the difference for fans who bought at the higher-priced TicketsNow site. Also, 2,000 tickets for the shows will be made available for purchase in a random drawing for everyone who actually filed complaints with the state.
Ticketmaster has agreed for the next year, at least, it will not show a link from its primary Web site to the TicketsNow site. After, any proposed link will need personal approval of New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram.
The company also agreed that it will no longer buy internet advertising that would steer people searching for Ticketmaster, on Google, for example, over to the higher-priced TicketsNow site.
Though Ticketmaster is not being fined, it agreed to pay $350,000 to cover the state’s cost in this investigation.
Milgram also revealed that talks have begun for more Springsteen concerts later this year, and if those who filed a complaint don’t win the lottery for some of the extra seats being made available for the May concerts, then they will get a $100 gift certificate plus the right to buy tickets to one of the future concerts.