Ticketbastard owes you money

"Pay to the order of Iron Balls McGinty, One Dollar and NINE CENTS."
But you have to continue doing business with them to get it:

Ticketmaster's $400 million settlement over jacked-up fees for things like "order-processing" and shipping costs has been approved and finalized, more than a decade after the class-action suit -- Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster -- was originally filed.

To collect on the settlement, fans will have to spend more money on tickets.

You are one of the 50 million class members if you purchased a ticket on Ticketmaster's website from Oct. 21, 1999, through Feb. 27, 2013. If you haven't received an email notice yet, buyers are told to check their accounts on or around June 18 to retrieve discount codes -- one for each transaction during the class period, with a cap of 17 -- that are good for a $2.25 credit on a future online ticket purchase. [...]

As part of the settlement, Ticketmaster changed the language on its website to clarify that order-processing and delivery charges may include a profit for the company. That said, Ticketmaster "denies any fault or liability, or any charges of wrongdoing that have been or could have been asserted" during the case.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2003, when Ticketmaster was part of IAC/InterActive Corp. Live Nation bought the ticketing firm for $2.5 billion in 2009.

That's a really good trick: they managed to drag out the lawsuit for thirteen years and when they finally "lost", they get to pay their damages in coupons. And bury a new disclaimer in the click-through.

They should have an itemized line item on the checkout page for "Contribution to Our Lawyers' Swimming Pools."

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6 Responses:

  1. peter royal says:

    My immediate reaction to this was that they are incentivizing me to buy tickets to popular events and then reselling them since I have a baked-in profit of $2.25.

    How perverse.

    • dave glasser says:

      I think you're confusing that with the way that they incentivize you to buy tickets to popular events and then resell them because they run their own in-house scalping service.

  2. David K. says:

    I'm thoroughly exhausted with companies who "pay" by just continuing the same business that got them slapped with a lawsuit to begin with. I'm starting to think that the representing law firms are giving kickbacks to the people who have standing to bring these lawsuits. They're the only winners. In fact, maybe I should start thinking about a class action suit I have standing to bring, and shop it to the highest-bidding firm.

    • Yes, but...

      I think I agree with you that class actions enrich lawyers and, like, a handful of consumers. While I don't know if there are actual 'kickbacks', it wouldn't surprise me in the least if the whole experience was 'free' to the people bringing the claims.

      But I can't think of any other way to stick it to a large organization that does small evils. There is no way in hell that I would bother going through court -- not even small-claims -- to get $5 back from Ticketmaster. But, I'll be first in line to take them for a nickle if it means they think twice the next time they think charging a $5 fee to kick you in the nuts is a good idea.

      Now, let us talk about how Ticketmaster -- and pretty much every other service in the country -- has a class action waiver in their Terms of Use. That, combined with a mandatory binding arbitration clause, means they now are effectively untouchable.

      That seems pretty damn criminal to me.

      • Other Jamie says:

        They aren't, legally, kickbacks, of course.

        What happens is that negotiated settlement agreements typically pay lawyers and "named plaintiffs" in cash so that they agree, and class participants get an invitation to give the settling company more money.

        It occurred to me that if I'm ever in a position to be a named plaintiff, I'd demand that attorneys' fees be in the same form as all class participants, so that if, say, a firm wanted to be paid in 74800 $10 off coupons for home window cleaning, they could negotiate that. Otherwise, cash.

        And then I'd end up with no lawyer, but it would be entertaining.

    • Rena says:

      Yeah, it's great how they can go "to make up for our product being shitty, here's more of the same shit!"