Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Yankee flex ticket plan fiasco revisited

It comes as no surprise that there is some ugly follow-up to the flex ticket plan fiasco that I had described in a previous blog post. It turns out that I wasn't just a bitter and spurned potential ticket buyer when I described the system errors I was experiencing. We have the following report from a new member to our message boards, venting about his experience with the New York Yankees and their ticket sales department:

Hi all,

I bought the 20-game flex plan. That was when, about 4-6 weeks ago? So I made plans and arranged my whole summer around these 20 games I was supposed to go to. Yesterday I find out that the Yankees have credited my credit card back for the money I spent (well, most of it). Apparently they can't fulfill the request. No particular reason given. Here's the kicker - it cost me $1297.00 and they only refunded me $1242.00. They're charging me a service charge!! THEY SCREW THE WHOLE THING UP AND THEY WANT TO CHARGE 'ME'!!!
Obviously, this is outrageous for a couple of reasons...

First of all, when you click purchase and enter into that binding agreement to purchase the tickets, the Yankees shouldn't have the option to just say "oops, our system messed up, we can no longer fulfill your request". It was fairly predictable that demand for these tickets was going to be extreme. The Yankees even acknowledged that fact, sending out emails boasting about a new, fair ticket system that would help streamline the process. By slotting people into certain time frames based on seniority, season ticket anniversary date, etc, they were hoping to prevent these problems. It looks as though it was an utter failure, as loyal fans who signed on to purchase tickets at their specified time and thought they scored tickets are now being told the Yankees can't fulfill their request. It is despicable, and the Yankees should be held accountable in some way.

Next, the Yankees should OBVIOUSLY refund the entire amount. They ought to apply some sort of ticket credit for future Yankees games, but Yankee fans should know better than to hold their breath for something like that. For the Yankees to keep a service fee when all they did was provide a disservice to their customers is a travesty. I'm certain that these unfortunate customers will be able to fight the Yankees/ dispute the charges with their credit card companies. However, why should these customers be inconvenienced time and time again? They already spent the time making sure they got online to purchase the tickets, only to be told a month later that they couldn't fill the request. Now, they have to spend time fighting the service charges that they were charged for a lack of service? No way.

The Yankees have already faced ticket service charge litigation in the past. After the Yankees lost early in the 2002 playoffs, Eliot Spitzer forced the Yankees to refund 90% of the service fees they had charged. One would believe that the Yankees are still forced to follow this procedure to this date.

I am simply sick of these disgruntled middle-age caucasians who run the ticket office offering NOTHING in the way of customer service. This kind of mistreatment of paying customers needs to be brought to the forefront and FAST. I would recommend calling 718-293-6000 and raising your concerns, but I know for a fact you will get a short, angry response and no resolution to your problem if you even get through (most of the time the lines are busy).

Hopefully enough people will read this blog entry that were affected and there will be some sort of group that can band together and write into the newspapers or someone with a bit more influence than myself. I don't want the Yankees to get away with treating their loyal fans like this. It makes the team look bad to out of towners and it obviously sucks for us here.

As always...

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