.

Ticketmaster Faces Scalping Lawsuit in Canada, Blames "Glitch" For Springsteen Debacle

February 10, 2009 3:52 PM ET

Hours before Live Nation and Ticketmaster revealed final merger plans, an Ontario man filed a class action lawsuit against Ticketmaster in Canada after he was maneuvered to the secondary ticket site TicketsNow while trying to buy seats for a Smashing Pumpkins show in November 2008. In a situation eerily similar to the one that plagued Bruce Springsteen fans last week, the $410 million lawsuit alleges Henry Krajewski was redirected to TicketsNow after failing to buy C$66.50 (Canadian dollars) Smashing Pumpkins tickets; he instead paid C$533.65 for a pair of tix using the TicketsNow site as prompted by Ticketmaster. Ontario is a province where there are laws against reselling tickets on the secondary market at more than their face value, according to Billboard.biz.

During today's merger phone conference, Live Nation's Michael Rapino spoke out against the suit, saying "class action lawsuits have no merit, it's like chasing cars down the road." Referring to Ticketmaster's problems regarding redirects to TicketNow, he added, "There was actually a glitch in the system that had nothing to do with availability of the tickets, it had to do with Visa [credit cards] that couldn't process the data and so it froze the system." Several hours after Rapino made these statements, Ticketmaster issued a revised statement that places the blame on its own software, rather than a specific problem with Visa.

"There were people who misunderstood what we did and we said if anyone who brought tickets at a higher price we'd make them good for that. There was no real controversy here," he said during the conference. "The issue is that there is a secondary market. That has existed for a long time, now it's called secondary, it used to be called scalpers, that is a reality. It has been the reality for a very long time and in which all sorts of practices go on. What Ticketmaster has done in entering the business is try to make it transparent and will continue to make it more and more transparent and make it secure."

Rapino admitted that there have been some "hiccups" in the system, as Phish and Springsteen fans can attest, but "we are adjusting daily to make sure our system can handle our summer load and it will be business as usual."

Related Stories:

Live Nation and Ticketmaster Announce Merger Agreement
Bruce Springsteen "Furious" At Ticketmaster, Rails Against Live Nation Merger
Phish Fans Furious As Live Nation Fails First Major Ticketing Test
Get Ready to Pay Big Fees: Live Nation Ticketing Service Launches
Ticketmaster and Live Nation Battle To Fill Void Left By Labels

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com