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Letter to Ticketmaster® - 8/6/2002

Dear Ticketmaster®:

Oh, you know what I'm going to say. Why do I even bother? Well, too late to turn back now.

What makes you think, you bastards, that it's by any stretch of the most insane imagination reasonable to tack on $10 in extra fees to an $18 concert ticket? Sure, you have a monopoly. Sure I don't have any other choice but to buy it from you. Sure, I went ahead and bought it, at least partially because I was amused by what a ridiculous barrel you had me over. But it isn't really funny, I was laughing out of despair over the business practices we consider perfectly reasonable in this glorious country. Oh, I know, if I don't like it I can get out and move to Afghanistan, where there likely is no Ticketmaster® to fleece the all-too-suspecting public. Did you know, by any chance, that it's against the law for a private citizen to charge more for a ticket than it's face value quite clearly declares it to be worth? I guess it's good to be big, good to be faceless, good to be incorporated. I guess it's good to be able to rape with impunity, but you know what? Even if I could, I wouldn't. Why? Because it's wrong, that's why. I don't need another incentive. I don't mean God says it's wrong, I just mean anyone with the slightest bit of awareness or discernment knows it's wrong. And that's the way it is with your fees, you bastards.

And, of course, it isn't enough to tell me with a straight face what your fees are going to be (I know, that's another so-called "justification," that I can't gripe if you tell me up front how painful it's going to be). No, then you have to let Entertainment Weekly and Sports Illustrated piggyback. Once your operator knows that I'm susceptible she has to offer me free magazines which I can cancel anytime I want, but if I don't I'll automatically be started on a subscription. I guess that's supposed to be a consolation prize, but it really turns the already unpleasant experience into a gang rape, doesn't it? Oh, I know the magazine hijinks work, because people are busy, and forget to cancel when the free period is up, and then end up paying for it. And you know why this works? Partially because "free" is the magic open sesame for all charlatans, but you want to really know why? It's because, in general, the public is more honest than you, you bastards, so they pay for things even though they were tricked into ordering them automatically.

And then, even though the magazine ruse doesn't work on me, in desperation your operator has to try one last thing, doesn't she? She has to offer me $20 in savings off Ticketmaster® products if I agree to be transferred to a "specialist." This is so I'll think to myself "well, I paid excessively this time, but this could save me money over the long run." This would never work if I hadn't been so ill-used thus far, so way to turn my misfortune to your advantage once again. Here's the thing, though: I don't want to talk to your proctologists, you bastards, and I wouldn't be talking to you if I didn't have an innocent desire to hear a little music and no other choice. Take your fees and your magazine offers and shove them. Your specialists should be equipped to show you how. Many thanks for the ticket, you bastards.


John Rose

Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved.