Ticketmaster has been served a class action lawsuit over allegedly price gouging tickets for Drake’s upcoming tour.
The Montreal-based law firm LPC Avocat Inc., which focuses on the protection of consumer rights, argued in the suit that the ticketing giant “intentionally misleads consumers for their own financial gain.”
According to the filing, which was obtained by the Toronto Star, a Montreal man bought two ‘official platinum’ seats for a Drake show at the Bell Centre, which is set to take place on July 14, for $789.54 (£469.46) each. The following day, a second show was allegedly added to Ticketmaster for July 15 with the same seats costing $350 (£208.11) less.
LPC Avocat Inc. alleged that Ticketmaster knew in advance that the second Drake show would be added but “concealed” the information in order to “squeeze out” as much money as possible from fans. It also alleges that the ‘official platinum’ seats were ordinary seats sold “at an artificially inflated premium in bad faith.”
“Ticketmaster unilaterally decides which tickets it advertises and sells as ‘official platinum’ based on a given event,” read the application for the lawsuit. “The result is that most, if not all, of the tickets advertised and sold as ‘official platinum’ are neither ‘premium tickets’ nor ‘some of the best seats in the house’ and are, in fact, just regular tickets sold by Ticketmaster at an artificially inflated premium in bad faith.”
The firm is seeking “compensatory damages in the aggregate amount of the difference between the prices charged for ‘Official Platinum’ tickets and what their regular price ought to have been,” as well as $300 per customer (£178.38) in punitive damages.
Ticketmaster has not publicly commented on the allegations.
The ticketing giant has been in the headlines frequently in the past few months for its controversial “surge pricing” scheme that was introduced last year, which inflates ticket prices based on demand.
The company recently came under fire for its handling over the ticket sales of The Cure’s North American tour. The band had opted out of surge pricing to keep costs for fans down, but ticket buyers reported that the fees Ticketmaster were charging were higher than the ticket price itself.
Frontman Robert Smith said he was “sickened” by their actions and later revealed that he had spoken to the ticketing system to issue small refunds to fans who had purchased tickets.
Yesterday, Neil Young also weighed in on the debacle, writing on his website: “It’s over. The old days are gone. I get letters blaming me for $3,000.00 tickets for a benefit I am doing. That money does not go to me or the benefit.”
A group of Taylor Swift fans also filed a class action lawsuit against Ticketmaster for its handling of the ‘Eras’ tour pre-sale, which saw thousands of fans reporting lengthy wait times, website outages, and hyper-inflated prices on resale sites (including Ticketmaster’s own). The ticketing company later admitted it buckled under the “historically unprecedented demand” they faced from Swift’s fans before cancelling the general sale.