Enough Tickets For Eugene

Getting an error message while trying to purchase concert tickets is bad enough, but in Eugene, Ore., the error included massive overcharging for Elton John tickets.

Thanks to miscoded software in the University of Oregon’s ticketing system, a total of 4,000 error messages were recorded during an onsale for an upcoming John show.

Tickets went on sale Dec. 3 for John’s Feb. 17 concert at Matthew Knight Arena. The show sold out quickly.
However, the error messages caused “hundreds or thousands of music fans” to receive charges for multiple ticket purchases, according to Eugene’s Register-Guard.

“It appears there were issues with coding,” University spokesman Phil Weiler told the paper, noting the software problem was fixed before the show sold out. “There were definitely people who experienced problems and we regret that sincerely.”

The charges were “authorizations,” which temporarily freeze funds in checking and credit card accounts until the merchant either clears a transaction or the authorization drops off the account. In many cases, authorization holds generally fall off bank accounts between 1-5 days whereas holds may last as long as 30 days when it comes to credit cards.

Still, many fans were not pleased with the situation.

Tom Cox told the Register-Guard he received an error message three times when trying to purchase four tickets through the arena’s website, MatthewKnightArean.com.

Cox went to the Ducks ticket office at Autzen Stadium. He was told the show was sold out and his ticket purchases didn’t go through.

“My credit card was hit three times for $400 each time,” he said. “This is unbelievable.”

A similar situation affected Rob and Shannon Whitney after they tried to purchase tickets through the website. The couple’s bank account appeared overdrawn with about $1,200 in authorization holds.

“It locked my account up,” said Rob Whitney. “So, basically, I can’t pay my rent today. I can’t pay my cable bill.”

Mike Duncan, University of Oregon’s senior associate athletic director for facilities, events and operations, told Register-Guard there was no way to know how many fans were affected because some individuals received multiple error messages.