Robert Smith, the band’s co-founder and lead singer, tweeted to fans on Mar. 16 that he was “as sickened as you all are” by exorbitant fees on Ticketmaster ticket sales. The British rock band had deliberately kept ticket prices low—“I felt like I was spending 1989 money today to buy these tickets,” one user tweeted—and only opted for the Verified Fan program, which allows them to partake in an advance sale. The intention of the program is to fight scalpers, who use bots to purchase tickets in bulk to resell them at higher prices.
But despite the band’s best efforts to keep tickets affordable, Ticketmaster added various fees that, in some cases, exceeded the cost of the ticket itself. Outraged fans started sharing the evidence on social media. For instance, one screenshot showed a $11.65 service fee and $10 facility charge per ticket, plus an overall order processing fee of $5.50, being levied for those using Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program. The total cost for four $20 tickets amounted to more than $172.
After the band frontman’s pointed protest, the ticketing company agreed to the refunds. By the end of day yesterday, Smith said the company would debit money into accounts of ticket buyers, and lower fees on future sales.