I’m in the process of getting cheated by an online ticket broker. I’m trying to fight back, and I want to share my story so it doesn’t happen to you…
It all started before my trip to Pittsburgh last week. I’d heard that PNC Park opened half an hour earlier for season ticket holders, so I basically needed to get a hold of season tickets for the two games I was going to be there–NOT those awful print-at-home tickets or box office tickets.
I thought about using StubHub–I’d ordered from them a dozen times and never had a problem–but I needed to make SURE that the tickets I got were season tickets. I needed to find a ticket broker who could actually see the tickets I was going to buy and confirm on the phone that they were indeed season tickets.
I went online. Did a Google search. Found a few ticket brokers. Called a company called Coast to Coast Tickets and told the sales rep what I needed: one season ticket for the game on August 12th and two season tickets for the game on August 13th. After some initial confusion on his part about what a “season ticket” actually was, he told me that he WOULD be able to fulfill my request. It was going to cost a lot of money–$62.48 for the first game and $104.96 for the second–but I decided it was worth it.
I told the sales rep that I absolutely NEEDED to get the tickets by August 11th because I was going to be leaving first thing in the morning on the 12th.
“No problem,” he said.
Then I asked if all three tickets could be shipped together. That way, I explained, I wouldn’t have to pay two FedEx shipping fees. At first the sales rep said no. Then he called back five minutes later and said yes.
But wait. I got a call from another sales rep half an hour later and was told that there was no guarantee that the tickets would be season tickets.
“In that case,” I said, “I need to cancel the order.”
I had to explain (once again) why I needed season tickets, and then the order was canceled…or so I was told.
I immediately went on craigslist, posted an ad, and later heard from a Pirates season ticket holder who said he’d meet me outside the stadium on August 12th and hook me up with season tickets (which he did…sort of).
Fast-forward to August 14th. I got home from Pittsburgh, and what did I see? Two FedEx envelopes containing printed-at-home Pittsburgh Pirates tickets.
I called Coast to Coast Tickets and explained the error and asked for a refund. They said they had nothing to do with it and told me to contact a company called Northside Tickets. Northside, I was told, was the company that actually processed my “order” and charged my credit card and mailed the tickets. I took another look at the FedEx label, and sure enough, it said “Northside Tickets.”
I called Northside. They said I had to take it up with Coast to Coast. I called Coast to Coast again. They said I had to take it up with Northside. I asked to speak to a manager. I was told that the manager had to review the paper work and that she’d call me back within a few minutes.
She never called.
I called back two hours later. (This is Coast to Coast Tickets we’re talking about.) I asked for the manager. The manager was unavailable…so I got lectured (again) by the sales rep about the company’s terms and policies and how all sales are final.
“You don’t understand!” I said. “There never should’ve BEEN a sale!”
“Well, sir, you’ll have to take that up with Northside Tickets.”
I threatened to report them to the Better Business Bureau. Then I threatened to write a big blog entry for my “thousands of readers” about how they sucked. (During the baseball season, I do actually get several thousand hits per day…sometimes.)
Where do we stand?
I’ve already filed an official complaint with the BBB, and this is the blog entry. (Duh.)
Coast to Coast Tickets sucks. Don’t EVER use them. Don’t use Northside Tickets either. I’m not sure how responsible they are, but I can tell you that the confusion definitely started with Coast to Coast because that’s who I called first.
Earlier today, I called my credit card company to dispute the charges. The “investigation” could take 30 to 90 days, so this will be an ongoing fight.