Ticketmaster + Concert + I'm out of town + eBay = I'm hosed?
July 16, 2007 10:16 PM   Subscribe

Ticketmaster + Concert + I'm out of town + eBay + will call= I'm hosed?

Awhile back, I bought a couple of pretty good tickets to a Police concert. I then got a sweet summer job on the opposite side of the country from where I live, so I obviously couldn't attend the show. I sold the tickets on eBay for face value (scalping is illegal in my home state). In the auction, I clearly stated that although I didn't yet have the tickets in hand, I would make sure the winning bidder got them in time for the concert.

The tickets never showed up at my house. I contacted Ticketmaster about a week before the show and explained what was going on. Ticketmaster told me they would leave the tickets at will call under the guy's name who won the auction and gave me the information he needed to pick up the tickets (confirmation number and the last 4 digits of my CC). I sent that information on to the winning bidder. Problem solved.

Except that I just got an email from the guy who won the auction saying that he went to the concert (which was tonight) and wasn't able to get the tickets from will call and he wants me to refund his money. What should I do? I'm just not sure how to proceed.
posted by jtfowl0 to Work & Money (11 answers total)
Can you give Ticketmaster a call and find out why this happened from their perspective? Or even if it happened... you never know!

I'm not sure what your responsibilities are in regards to eBay—it seems like you tried your best, but obviously the buyer won't see it that way. In Australia at least, you're not offered ANY protection if you're buying concert tickets on eBay, to dissuade people from scalping tickets— in which case, your buyer would be SOL. Good luck.
posted by indienial at 10:31 PM on July 16, 2007

It's fairly clear.

The buyer paid for tickets you did not deliver, you owe him a refund at a minimum.

You can try to get a refund from Ticketmaster, but the eBay buyer shouldn't have to deal with that.
posted by Argyle at 11:13 PM on July 16, 2007

It's fairly clear.

Uh, whatever.

Probably the most difficult thing you need to is figure out if the tickets were actually picked up at will call. If they were picked up, you're obviously being scammed. If you they weren't picked up, you need to figure out why not. Was the buyer late for the show, too stoned to find will call? The fact that you do not specify the buyer's reason for not being able to pick up the tickets makes it difficult to recommend a course of action.

The fact that you are dealing with a stranger is a problem. There doesn't seem to be a way to challenge whatever they tell you happened that night. I suppose the only way to deal with the situation without running the risk of having an irate shit knocking down your door is to figure out if the tickets were picked up, and if they were not, refund the buyer their money and consider this a lesson learned. By letting a third-party assume responsibility for the delivery of the tickets, you're making yourself liable to the end buyer if any failure (or claim of failure) occurs.
posted by phaedon at 11:46 PM on July 16, 2007

Let me add that I'm not familiar if Ticketmaster offers insurance, or an insurance option, in case tickets for a particular concert are not picked up. I would imagine they do not, but it's worth calling them to find out.

Also, if the tickets are through and through "in the buyers name", I'd say your prospects are good that it's this guy's fucking responsibility to pick up the tickets. I can see where things get complicated if the buyer initially bought these tickets under the impression that they would be delivered to his house.

If this is the case, I don't think Ticketmaster bears any responsilbility. They try to get you the tickets in the mail, and if they can't do it on time, they have you pick them up at will call. The fact that you expected these tickets to come at a particular time, and that they did not, does not necessarily mean Ticketmaster is responsible in any way, for your failure to deliver the product to someone else.
posted by phaedon at 11:58 PM on July 16, 2007

does the buyer say why he couldn't get the tickets? or did he just say that he couldn't get them? it sounds like to me you did as much as you could do.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 4:49 AM on July 17, 2007

First, you have to consider how “big a deal” this is to you. Are you worried about getting negative feedback on Ebay? Are you worrying about this guy dragging you into small claims court? &c. (Or, worst case, as phaedon mentioned, “an irate shit knocking down your door...”)

If this is really that big of a deal, then you need to do everything you can within reason to find out if those tickets were actually picked up. Simple due diligence.

Contact the will call booth at the venue this was at and try to get any information you can, preferably in writing.

When all is said and done, and should the fact the tickets were not picked up turn out to be true, then, yes, a refund would be nice. Although, as phaedon mentioned, collecting on the service the ticket provides might be the responsibility of the purchaser.

I wish you the best in getting this sorted out.

Disclaimer: IANAL. YMMV.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 6:05 AM on July 17, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for all the comments so far. The buyer has not provided any reason for why he was unable to pick up the tickets--he says that he "waited at the will call window and the tickets never showed up". I'm not sure what this means--I have emailed him requesting more information.
posted by jtfowl0 at 6:48 AM on July 17, 2007

Keep us updated. I want to know what "waited at the will call window and the tickets never showed up" means. Is it possible he thought someone was going to meet him outside the will call window?
posted by Dec One at 7:04 AM on July 17, 2007

that sounds like a load of crap to me. every will call window i go to either has the tickets or doesn't. you don't 'wait for them to show up.' i think you're being scammed.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 7:07 AM on July 17, 2007

Does the other person have a clean feedback record? How about yours?

Colloquial Collision has some other important considerations to take into account.

My general response on most items is to make sure that I've covered all the normal scamming bases (delivery confirmation, insurance, etc.). If I've done those and something happens, I'll usually just refund the money to protect my reputation.

Your situation is a bit different though, and you should definitely try to get more information from both the will call booth and the buyer. From the way you describe it currently, it sounds like the buyer may have thought someone was going to magically stop by the will call booth to drop off his tickets, and he was just supposed to meet them there.
posted by drezdn at 11:45 AM on July 17, 2007

I have, in the past, had to wait at the will call window for some time while Ticketmaster assbags located my tickets. This is not to say that the buyer is necessarily on the up and up (and I have no idea how the tickets failed to "show up,") but dealing with will call isn't always as cut and dried as everyone here is making it seem.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 12:43 PM on July 17, 2007

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