Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2009 Yankee Tickets Go On Sale For The General Public Today - Beware Of The Bait And Switch

Today at 10:00 AM the general public finally gets their crack at Yankee tickets without any preconceived notions of licensee status, lottery winner or anything else. All you have to do is be a human being (or a cleverly written computer program that knows how to read CAPTCHA), and you can log on to Ticketmaster.com to see what is left after the three separate presales. The good news for everyone not lucky enough to have been included in a prior presale is that the Yankees have created pools of tickets available for each presale. In theory, there should be close to as many Opening Day tickets for today's sale as there were for the other presales - or at least an incrementally lower number of tickets available.

That being said, everyone clicking away at Ticketmaster this morning should be aware of bait and switch tactics that we were alerted to by a tipster. This story is pretty unbelievable, but the screen grabs are there to prove it.

A well-off friend of one of our readers happily plopped down over $900 for a single ticket in section 24B, Row 5 for Opening Day against the Indians. Apparently these tickets are directly above the visitors dugout and $900 was in his budget. More power to him. This is the ticketfast confirmation of the purchase:

Order confirmation number redacted for his safety

Excitedly, he clicked on the "pick up your tickets" link, but to his dismay he was shown that he was assigned a ticket in a different section. Suddenly, his ticket was no longer directly above the dugout, but in section 24, and four rows further back. Here is what currently shows up in his Ticketmaster order history:

Sadly, this isn't even the worst part of the story. Not about to let this go, the poor guy who dropped nearly a G, only to have his tickets switched went back into ticketmaster to investigate. He searched for similar tickets and found that Ticketmaster had the audacity to put his original seat back up for sale, and was now charging $2,625:

As we mentioned, this entire story is almost too far-fetched to believe. However, when following the progression with the screen grabs, it is apparent that all of this actually happened. It looks like Ticketmaster made some sort of error selling that original ticket as a single seat, or selling it for the $900 price. Instead of alerting the customer, they just decided to switch out his ticket and put them back for sale - for $1,600 more.

So, what is this guy supposed to do now? It is likely that he splurged for a $900 ticket because he would be on top of the dugout for the first game ever in the new Yankee Stadium. Now he is sitting in the ridiculously priced box seats all alone and not even where he wanted to sit. It is unlikely that Ticketmaster's useless customer service will understand this complicated situation, so an easy resolution is not in the cards. Can anyone offer suggestions on the next steps to take for this poor guy?


Anonymous said...

You could probably file a class action. This meets all the basic requirements: Numerosity (even if it happened only a few times per game, that's thousands of potential class members); commonality (there's really just one issue); typicality (everyone's probably gotten screwed in much the same way); and representativeness (self-explanatory). Plus, no one can really sue on their own, as it's cost-prohibitive. But a class is cost-efficient. In fact, it's just for situations like this that we have class actions.

Erik said...

Don't know if there is any remedy for this ticket buyer, but i logged onto the ticketmaster system at 9:30 central time and was able to get a pair of non-obstructed bleacher seats for the July 6 game. I was also looking for a pair for July 5 but those tickets all seem to be gone. Either way, I'm happy to be paying face value for one game at the new stadium. Only disappointment is that the tickets will be on ticketmaster stock, not yankees stock.

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