Ticketmaster sent an estimated $386 million worth of discount codes to nearly 57 million people. What are your chances of getting free or discounted passes?
Many Ticketmaster users were thrilled over the weekend to discover that they were given vouchers for free and discounted tickets, the fruits of a 13-year-old lawsuit against the company over its fees.
But how and when those vouchers can be used has befuddled people. Here’s what we know.
Q: How do I know if I got vouchers?
A: Anyone who bought tickets using Ticketmaster’s website between Oct. 21, 1999, and Feb. 27, 2013, should have received between one and 17 vouchers. If you log in to your Ticketmaster account, you can check to see how many are available to you.
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Q: What are the vouchers worth?
A: There are three types, each with a different value:
— A $2.25 discount on any ticket.
— A $5 discount toward UPS delivery.
— Two free tickets for general admission seating at venues owned or operated by Live Nation Entertainment, which owns Ticketmaster.
Q: Great! Which of my favorite bands are playing?
A: You can’t use the vouchers on just any Ticketmaster order. The company has selected specific events for which they qualify. The company set up a web page listing which events are eligible, with more than 430 through Oct. 29. You can sign up for email notifications when Ticketmaster adds new events.
The Verge did a little combing and found a couple of concerts in Auburn for which vouchers can be used: Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa, Sept. 2, and Hall & Oates, Sept. 9.
Q: But I’ll definitely get free tickets, right?
A: That’s unclear. The odds are a lot of people will never get the chance to redeem their free-ticket vouchers.
This part gets into the weeds a bit, but if you’re curious, read on. The company said Tuesday it would provide $10 million in ticket vouchers for concerts through May 2017.
How many free tickets become available beyond that amount depends on how many of the $2.25 and $5 discount codes are used. The settlement requires Ticketmaster to pay out $42 million over four years, and no less than $10.5 million per year. Should the use of $2.25 and $5 discount codes fall short of those targets, Ticketmaster would make up the difference by releasing more free tickets.
Q: How many people am I competing against?
A: Ticketmaster sent an estimated $386 million worth of discount codes to nearly 57 million people, according to Steven Blonder, a leading attorney on the lawsuit and a principal at the law firm Much Shelist. Recall that the company is obligated to pay out only $42 million, and it becomes apparent that most of the vouchers will never be redeemed.
Q: Tell me more about the $2.25 discount.
A: Unlike the free-ticket vouchers, you can use these toward any event sold through Ticketmaster.
You can also stack them together if you have multiple codes for a larger discount on a single order, Blonder said.
Q: What was the lawsuit about?
A: In 2003, two men who had bought tickets to Wilco and Bruce Springsteen concerts filed a joint lawsuit arguing that Ticketmaster’s fees were excessive and misleading. The lawsuit was later granted class-action status, and in 2011 the two sides reached a preliminary deal on a settlement that called for Ticketmaster to return money to fans.
“Since the lawsuit was brought, Ticketmaster has changed the way it describes its fees and charges on its website so we get more clarity and transparency,” Blonder said.