Live Nation’s New Fan

To quote Willy Wonka (actually, Portia from The Merchant of Venice): So shines a good deed in a weary world.

A Wolfmother fan handed over roughly $49 for a main stage ticket to go to the Download Festival at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif., October 6th – and Wolfmother was the only band he wanted to see. Everything was cool until Wolfmother’s bassist/keyboardist pulled out at the last second because he had just become a father.

The fan called Live Nation (presumably the SF office) but expected the live events company to say "no way" to his request for a refund.

After explaining his story to a customer service representative, "Robin" told him that although ticket refunds aren’t normally given out, especially for multi-band concerts, an exception could be made because Wolfmother canceled at the last minute. The only thing was, the fan would need to overnight the ticket because sales were expected to stop at the end of business the next day.

The fan said he wasn’t keen on running up a FedEx charge to get a refund. The "customer service rep" called the customer back after talking with her supervisor and said that Live Nation would refund the price of the ticket if the customer agreed to snail mail the ticket "on good faith." The refund was back on the customer’s credit card an hour later.

What Live Nation didn’t apparently know was the customer also happened to be a contributor to the Web site, a blog spot that admits it likes to bash companies and "Watch ’em squirm."

"But we’re compelled to recognize good customer service, if only to prove that we are not wholly sadistic overlords," the Web site said. As for Live Nation, "Good on ‘em! [Their service] is well beyond the call of duty."

Live Nation spokesman John Vlautin told Pollstar, "Our policy is always to put the fan first. That means if a customer has a problem at one of our shows – say their sightlines were bad, there was too much traffic in the parking lot, the show was cut short for some reason, etc. – we always try to make it right.

"Sometimes that’s a full refund, sometimes that’s a ticket to another show, sometimes that’s just a response from a Live Nation executive, etc. Every executive at Live Nation has the power to do what is necessary to make things right with our customers and they are expected to do so."

Vlautin added that Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino will answer customer complaints and inquiries directly every day if he finds time, and expects no less of his employees.