January 23, 2012

Charges Added by Ticketmaster to My Recent Purchase of Tickets to See Jeff Mangum at the State Theatre and My Explanation for Each

Ticket "Price": $32.50
This makes sense.  Jeff Mangum, essentially the only member of the great band, Neutral Milk Hotel, went into hiding while dealing with emotional issues possibly triggered by the success of his second album, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. Outside of a few appearances onstage with friends' bands or in support of charity efforts, this marks Mangum's first tour in thirteen years. Given my love of his music, $32.50 is more than worth it.

Facility Charge: $3.00
The concert is in the State Theatre, a building beautiful enough and rich enough in history  that I would probably spend three dollars just to sit there for a couple hours watching an empty stage.  Plus, they spell "theater" the more expensive British way.

Convenience Charge: $12.00
Since I was not already a registered user, it took me about ten minutes to trek through the fields and menus of Ticketmaster's website to purchase a ticket for this show.  Registered accounts can probably buzz through in half that time, if they remember their account password which is hardly a guarantee.  If I had called the State Theatre directly, I have to believe I would have been able to perform this function in roughly the same amount of time, even if I was on hold for a few minutes. If on hold for considerably longer, then the web ordering would be faster.  Twelve dollars faster?  Not in my world. Not when you see what's next.

Order Processing Fee: $7.21
What the fuck?!  Didn't my $12 worth of convenience cover this?  Isn't having my order processed electronically by their fine computers instead of messy humans the only real convenience they provide? If this fee were not itemized explicitly, would Ticketmaster merely charge me for the convenience of not processing my order? What is included in "convenience" if not the fucking processing of the fucking order?

Additional Taxes: $1.30
The government takes a buck thirty.  Yet a big corporation takes fifteen times as much for no value added.  The difference?  I can't elect the assholes at Ticketmaster. 

Service Gratuity: $11.50
No dummies are those Masters of Ticket - with customary tipping rates running 15-20%, they have devised a great way to earn higher gratuities.

Customer Service Compensation: $8.85
You are charged ahead of time for any potential assistance you might need to save you from having to pay for the assistance when it is needed.

Customer Service Convenience Charge: $6.95
Now you can pay for the convenience of being charged for potential assistance before you are actually charged for that assistance, should it be necessary.

Repair / Maintenance Stipend: $3.19
Your ticket may be printed poorly or be insufficiently rectangular.  This money assures customers that Ticketmaster is prepared to reprint your ticket or use a scissors if it should come to that.

Fee Assessment Charge: $5.50
This money is put into an R & D fund to help Ticketmaster research, implement, and effectively obfuscate their cutting edge understanding of gouging.

Order-Out Allowance: $3.99
Ticketmasters work long hours.  They need a late-night burrito / pizza / pork stir fry once in a while.

Delivery Charge: $14.00
Gas is quite expensive.  Ticketmaster knows this, and they really want you to know that putting a stamp on an envelope is an invitation to wasteful use of petrochemicals by someone who will have to deliver that envelope.  This was part of Ticketmaster's 1995 Green Initiative Plan to help raise their customers' awareness of environmental issues.

Class Action Lawsuit Compensation: $23.65
Occasionally, Ticketmaster has to battle with more pessimistic customers who insist on something called "fairness" or the unproven concept of transparency.  This money allows Ticketmaster to fend off these monstrous attacks, and, if Ticketmaster does succumb to their evil charges, you might be entitled to a refund equaling nearly 5% of this charge.  So, this assessment is a big win-win.

Monopoly Assessment: from $90.00 to $130.00
This varies randomly and widely because of the forces of capitalism from which Ticketmaster must be protected.

Ticket Price: $32.50
Other Price: $191.14 - $231.14
TOTAL:  $223.64 - $263.64

It's a bargain at 10% of that price, but we throw in the other 90% without even bothering you about it!  Because we care.

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