How Ticket Master promotions really work

I love Cirque du Soleil shows. The combination of human performance, costumes, decorations and the music leaves a long lasting impression on me. Naturally when my friend called me today saying Cirque du Soleil will be in our town this week with their last Chicago area performance I was totally hooked!

He forwarded an email to me with a special online promotion that entitles to a free child ticket with paid adult. The promotion was through Cirque du Soleil members club and delivered by Ticket Master. You essentially were given a special link which brought you to the usual Ticket Master page where you buy the tickets at a discount. Sounds good, right? That is what my friend thought until he went on to order his tickets.

What turned out is that if you use the promotional link computer algorithm at Ticket Master will pick the worst seats and will try to sell those to you even if you instruct it to go for “Best Available”. This usually means you get a crappy section with a view from the side, something you absolutely don’t want to happen when you go with a family or friends.

I called the 800 number on the Ticket Master “contact us” page and spoke to the operator who pretty much confirmed my fears. They do have the ability to override computer selected seating unless it is an online promotion like mine in which case the computer will start with side seats and will move on to the middle only after the side seating is filled.

I am so pissed off. I think Ticket Master must disclose this on the promotion page. It is such an unfair thing to do! I understand the business side of it, they sell out crappy seats at discounted price, but it shouldn’t be offered as something exclusive and presumably done in an “effort to say thanks” to the loyal Club members. Don’t you think so?

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2 Responses to “How Ticket Master promotions really work”

  1. 1 Brad Jan 29th, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Good to know. I love Cirque. Ticketmaster SUX, on many levels.

  2. 2 ldm Feb 2nd, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I went to a concert last Fri. night. Tickets were $20 plus a $4.25 “handling fee.” At Will Call there were no actual physical tickets they just let us in to the show. So what exactly were they “handling?” that’s bs to charge a fee just to print out a list and check if concert goers are on it!

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