Concert ticket deals sting secret code buyers
The sale of concert/event tickets is a challenging task, one not for the faint-of-heart nor for agencies that don’t quite know what they’re about. Nor is it always fun for the buyer of those tickets.
When major concert announcements are made, there is usually a secondary detail that is almost as important as the name For Moose Jaw Express of the performer/group — and that is when tickets will be available for the buying public.
In years gone by, two methods were available to buyers: a phone-in option or going in person to stand in line for hours to get the best seats in the house. With the major venue located outside Moose Jaw, the option was limited to having a fast dial-up finger, or even slower, ordering via mail and hoping there would be tickets in stock by the time the letter reached its destination.
Technology has changed the buying options, with online sales being the most efficient choice — as long as internet servers don’t crash because of intense buying interest or horrors, power failures affecting Wi-Fi op- erations.
While some buyers might not like it, the pre-sale of tickets for loyal listeners, season ticket holders for hockey teams in the venue or for fan club members of the featured group, is a bit of a reward for those people who fit into these categories. There’s always a “secret” code provided to those individuals, so interlopers aren’t able to take advantage of the early bird opportunity.
Ticket sellers are naive if they think the “secret” code is being kept a secret. Friends share with friends who aren’t in the select circle and those friends share with even more friends, so that when tickets go on sale to the general public, the seat choice has been thoroughly picked over and picked up.
I admit to taking full advantage of the pre-sale opportunity for several concerts in Moose Jaw and elsewhere. But even with the code in hand, it is sometimes difficult to get the preferred seats by the time I scroll through all the required fields necessary to prove who I am and that I am entitled to buy two seats a few rows from the stage (hoping no one is rude enough to stand up in front of us.)
When I heard one of my favourite groups was returning to Moose Jaw, I was right there on pre-sale day, computer ready for me to hit “buy” and complete my transaction. By the time I managed all the steps, the best seats on the floor were 10 rows back, but two aisle seats were available. Lucky me to get them and it was only five minutes after pre-sale began.
The tickets were quickly printed and stashed away in my safe place to wait nearly seven months for the concert date.
Then one day on the same week as the show, the venue offers a deal for the very concert for which I and hundreds of others paid full price. Buy three and get the fourth ticket free is the enticement — almost like buy three tires and get the fourth one free. Only there’s never a rush to buy tires and no lineups or secret codes for winter tires.
And unlike buying a dress or shirt, there is no return policy for concert tickets. If it were a dress I could return it for a full refund and then turn around and buy it at the sale price — tacky maybe but I know it is done. Friends in retail have told me so and therefore I know it happens.
No such luck at the concert box office. The early birds got the worm, but the worm suddenly isn’t all that tasty. So instead of enjoying the concert to the fullest extent, I will glance at the folks in neighbouring seats and wonder if they are among the stung early birds or johnny-come-lately buyers who got the four-for-three deal. Venue operators: is that any way to treat your loyal buyers? Just business, you say? Pity.