‘I’m livid’: Complaints mount against online ticket seller as customers get duped

BOSTON — When you search for event tickets online, you’ll quickly see there are a lot of options and not all sellers are the same.

“Be very careful when you click. Know what you’re clicking on,” warned Maryann Wilkey.

Wilkey says she found that out the hard way.

“I had friends who I hadn’t seen in a while. We wanted to do a girls’ trip,” she said.

As part of the trip, they were looking to get tickets to the show: Ain’t Too Proud-The Life and Times of the Temptations. Wilkey said, “We’re all Baby Boomers, so we were looking forward to it.”

Little did she know, she had clicked an ad for a website called ticketsales.com. At the time she thought it the link was taking her to the box office.

She paid $456 for three seats to the show. But as it got closer to the show date, Maryann Wilkey says she became concerned. She said ticketsales.com never sent her tickets or even confirmed the exact seats they were supposed to get.

Efforts to reach the company were unsuccessful and the box office let her know its records didn’t have any seats reserved in her name.

“I’m like, I’m furious. I’m livid that I paid that kind of money to be taken advantage of,” she recalled. With more than 1300 complaints, ticketsales.com has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB has even issued an alert because of a pattern of complaints about the online ticket seller. The complaints allege consumers weren’t aware they were using ticketsales.com, they were misled about charges and fees and that customer service was nonexistent.

Holly Salmons, President of the Better Business Bureau, says some ticket sites aren’t what they seem.

Salmons said, “Make sure you understand… are you purchasing from a reseller or are you purchasing from the original venue or the original authorized site?”

She recommends starting with the venue’s webpage like Maryann Wilkey tried to do. And if convenient, Salmons said going to the box office in person could be the best option.

“You may even save some expenses or save some additional fees by doing that. There are locations, there are venues where they only sell online, but it certainly never hurts to try” she said.

Wilkey’s credit card company eventually reimbursed her for the tickets after a lot of back and forth and an investigation by the bank. Still, it leaves a sour taste in her mouth about ticketsales.com and she wants others to be careful about where they go to buy tickets online.

Many people who complained about the company said they paid more for their tickets than other sites and had surprise fees. We attempted to contact ticketsales.com by phone, email and through its website with a list of questions about these allegations. So far, the company has not responded.

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