Ticketmaster’s Loss Is Your Gain? Settlement Rewards Customers With Discounts, But Benefits LiveNation

Beneficiaries from the $400 million class-action lawsuit against Ticketmaster that was reached last month are due some relief, but in order to reap the benefits, you must spend some dough. Ticketmaster was found to have nickel-and-dimed loyal customers by unfairly charging exorbitant service fees for order processing and shipping costs, according to Billboard.

Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster was originally filed in 2003 when Ticketmaster was part of IAC/InterActive Corp. LiveNation bought the ticket sales and distribution company for $2.5 billion in 2009.

Ticketmaster has been notifying customers of the entitlements, which they can only get if they spend money on more tickets. However, Ticketmaster “denies any fault or liability, or any charges of wrongdoing that have been or could have been asserted” during the case.

“Beginning on or around April 25, 2016, and ending on or around June 18, 2016, Class Members in the Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster Class Action Settlement will be sent via email a notice regarding Discount and Ticket Codes.”

If you are one of the 50 million customers that purchased tickets on Ticketmaster’s site between Oct. 21, 1999, and Feb. 27, 2013, you should have received an email detailing what you are entitled to and the discount codes under the terms of the settlement. If you haven’t received an email or your email has changed, sign into your account starting June 18, to retrieve your discount codes.

  • Customers are limited to 17 discount codes, so if you are an avid concert goer, your award is a $2.25 credit towards 17 future online ticket purchases.
  • Customers are entitled to a $5 credit towards future UPS services.
  • Potentially, two free tickets will be awarded IF class members do not redeem $10.5 million in discount codes. Customers will receive ticket codes for each purchase that could be one of the approximate 100 free tickets redeemable only for LiveNation owned or operated events.

Live Nation has set up a dedicated website for issuing discount codes and notifying customers when new tickets will be available.

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“The events and venues selected will be within LiveNation’s sole discretion and may also include LiveNation clubs such as the House of Blues. Live Nation has the right but not the obligation to make tickets available at venues other than its amphitheaters.”

A condition of the lawsuit is that Ticketmaster had to change the language on its site to inform customers that the company may profit from shipping and service charges while denying that they did anything wrong in the past.

Ticketmaster settles lawsuit with discount codes [AP Photo/Tony Dejak/AP Images]

A Slate article says that these kinds of settlements will soon be a relic — in 2011, Ticketmaster changed its Terms of Use, which requires that customers settle disputes with the company arbitrarily. This means that when you buy a ticket, “you agree to waive any right to a jury trial or to participate in a class-action,” which generally benefits the company, not the customer, says Shawn J. Organ, a lawyer and expert on class-action lawsuits.

“That requirement completely tamps down on any motivation for seeking $5, $6, $7 remedies. What single ticket-buyer, frustrated by an overheated $8 delivery charge (or five), would have bothered to hire counsel and go it alone against Ticketmaster? With class actions, there’s strength in numbers: The Schlesinger settlement is worth $386 million.”

Ticketmaster will also be offering the $42 million in discount codes for the next four years, and seeing as this is the last time customers will see such a benefit, it would be advantageous to take advantage of this settlement; which depending on where you sit, doesn’t seem like much of a settlement at all.

[Mark Humphrey/AP Images]