Ticketmaster Settles Lawsuit Over Fees

Ticketmaster on Friday settled a class-action lawsuit over the processing fees the company charges customers who purchase tickets online or over the phone. The lawsuit accused the company of defrauding customers by charging an extra processing fee when customers used the company’s websites or paid for tickets by phone. The two customers who filed the class action in 2003 will be awarded $20,000 each in the settlement, plus anyone else who bought tickets from Ticketmaster between October 21, 1999 and October 19th, 2011 will be eligible for a refund of sorts.

Ticketmaster agreed in the settlement to allow a credit of $1.50 on future Ticketmaster purchases, up to a maximum of 17, for any customers who are eligible. Separately, the company is honoring a $5 credit on up to 17 future purchases for customers who paid for expedited UPS delivery of their tickets. Ticketmaster has set up a website which customers can use to claim their coupons by typing in the email addresses used to buy tickets and enter a current address to have the coupons sent to.

Unfortunately, the settlement does not affect any changes to Ticketmaster’s hefty service fees. It does require the company to change some of the language on its website to describe the fees, but the fees themselves will still be charged when customers buy tickets for concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment events.

Despite agreeing to change the wording on its website, Ticketmaster released a statement disputing the lawsuit’s assertion that its fee descriptions were misleading. “Ticketmaster attempts to earn a profit for its services, and it will continue to charge fees for the services it provides,” the statement read. “Nonetheless, as part of the settlement, Ticketmaster has modified its disclosures to emphasize that there is a profit component in these fees.” The final approval hearing for the settlement has been scheduled for May 29th, 2012.