Tickets purchased through Ticketmaster will now incur an additional $18.95 ‘fee handling fee’, which will be paid on top of the existing processing fee ($6.95), handling fee ($11.50), seat allocation fee ($7.95), because-we-fucking-can fee ($18.20), cost-of-listing-all-the-fees fee ($8.45), doing-our-fucking-job fee ($10.50), print-the-ticket-on-your-own-printer fee ($14.25) and executive-end-of-year-vacation-fee ($29.95).
Ticketmaster defended the new fee decision, saying $126.70 was a reasonable price to pay for a service which costs essentially nothing to deliver. “It’s true, the cost of generating a ticket is basically zero – it’s just a piece of code on a website. But remember, we have to employ an entire team of people to calculate, administer and continuously update our fee structure. That doesn’t just pay for itself,” a spokesperson said.
He said the Ticketmaster website also had associated costs. “A lot of people don’t realise how much goes into developing a website that crashes every time there’s an entirely predictable surge in demand. We have to release a statement every time an international artist or football final goes on sale saying there’s no way we could have known it would increase website traffic. That in itself costs money. We don’t charge a fee for that, but we probably should”.
He rejected claims that the company’s sole responsibility was to enable the sale of tickets. “No, that’s a common misconception. It’s collecting fees”.
In response to the new Ticketmaster fees, competitor Ticketek will also introduce a similar ‘fee management fee’, as well as a ‘we’re-a-duopoly-so-you’re-fucked-either-way’ fee.