New ticketing policy presents major issues
Paperless tickets, or properly known as “credit card entry tickets,” are the newest style of ticketing on the market. They can be purchased from big-ticket companies, such as Ticketmaster and Live Nation. One may be wondering what a paperless ticket is and how it works. Once an individual purchases a paperless tickets, when going to concert or event, the ticket is presented to the nearest will call and is presented with the credit card and a form of ID for verification. After this timely process, entry is permitted.
According to Ticketmaster, the reasoning for introducing the paperless ticket is to stop scalpers from selling tickets in the secondary market. Ticketmaster has also stated that it will benefit fans because this type of ticket can never be lost. However, one of the unforeseen consequences of the digital ticket is the of worry forgetting or losing your ID and credit card to present at the desk.
How does this affect fans? For starters, fans will no longer have a physical, “in-hand” ticket. Fans that purchase paperless tickets will no longer have the ability to trade, sell or give away tickets to friends and family. This makes gifting tickets much more difficult by forcing the owner to transfer the ticket from your credit card to another person’s card. Fans may have difficulty recuperating losses if something comes up and fans are no longer able to make the event. Paperless tickets may consequently dictate when a group can enter an event. If one person purchases tickets for a group, the ticket holder must be present for all of their guests to enter. This process is intended to cripple the scalping industry.
Scalpers are a creative bunch that is motivated purely by profit. Therefore, scalpers will always find ways to get around the system. This type of ticket, which is being used by many big artists and sports teams, is a way for the big ticketing companies to make money off of the tickets we purchase. This policy is also hurting the legitimate secondary ticketing market as well. Companies, such as Ebay and Stubhub, have seen losses in profit. Big-ticket companies have devised a way to only be able to resell tickets on their sites. Reselling that goes through Ticketmaster, although free, tacks on several charges for resale such as a buyer’s fee and commission.
If the intention of paperless tickets is to convenience fans and to limit scalpers, why are they charging buyer’s fees? One speculation is that it is an effective method to over-sell tickets to an event without having to worry about over crowding. There may be a solution. S.T.A.R.T, Students Together Against Restrictive Ticketing, is a student run grassroots organizations that wants to stop paperless ticketing and start giving people the right to do what they want with the tickets they purchase.
Eitan Sufian is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in public health. David Garibaldi is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in information technology. Katie Champion is a School of and Science junior.