Gotta hand it to the gougers at Ticketmaster: They sure got a set of stones.
For the second time in three months, “Ticketbastard,” as critics call it, has ticked off Springsteen fans — this time by overselling a concert in Washington, D.C., through its ticket-scalping subsidiary, TicketsNow.
TicketsNow told more than 300 customers that their top-dollar premium seats at Washington’s Verizon Center weren’t available.
Of course, several Springsteen fans were beside themselves.
But one of the angriest respondents is one Bill Pascrell (right), a congressman from the great state of New Jersey, who called Ticketmaster and TicketsNow a bunch of shameful, greedy liars.
I’ve known Bill more than 25 years. He is nothing if not fair. God forbid he sees anyone being taken advantage of, however. The Paterson street kid in him takes over.
“TicketsNow is apparently not only in the business of gouging consumers by selling tickets at several times their face value, but also selling tickets that they don’t even have,” he told reporters today.
Despite agreements with authorities in New Jersey and elsewhere following a ticket debacle for Springsteen at the Meadowlands; and despite complaints that similar ticket-gouging tactics have been used for other acts, Ticketmaster keeps raking in the dough.
Those officials have offered full refunds and gift cards of equal value — in essence, doubling the refund for Springsteen in D.C. Or fans could choose better seats from another show. On top of that, the company says it’ll pay your gas (but not tolls) and up to $150 for a hotel stay.
(Choose your punchline: (a) Who knows? They just may leave the cigarette lighter on for you; or (b) “Does anyone here know CPR? “No, but I got ripped off on a Springsteen ticket.”)
That’s nice, says Pascrell, who plans to get his colleagues to agree on a law requiring strict new rules for what essentially are legal scalpers.
“Right now there is no transparency, no checks and balances,” Pascrell told NJ.com. “No one knows what the hell is going on.
“What you have here is worse than a scam. There’s all sorts of legalized scalping going on, and it’s happening right under our noses.”
My money’s on the esteemed Democrat from the bare-knuckles Silk City fast by the Great Falls. If TicketMaster wanted a fight, they got the wrong guy. They could end up going over the Falls in a barrel.