Fan Raises TM Blacklist Claims

Ticketmaster may be accustomed to customer complaints about ticket fees but a recent column by the Los Angeles Times’ consumer reporter David Lazarus drew attention to an unusual grievance – blacklisting.

Alexandra Le contacted Lazarus to cry foul over her experience with TM. Le, who’s apparently a huge Lakers fan who attends games on a regular basis, said she was recently looking for tickets to a matchup between the Lakers and the Mavericks.

She searched the company’s TicketExchange site first to no avail, but scored a pair of tickets on the primary TM site for around $440, including fees, and was able to use American Express reward points to knock $68 off the total.

Following the transaction, Le went back to the TicketExchange site and found a pair of tickets in the same row for $125 each – $86 less per ticket than she’d paid. Cue buyer’s remorse.

Le said she called up Ticketmaster customer service and explained her situation. The rep apparently offered to refund the face value of her tickets “as a favor” but said nothing could be done about the AmEx rewards points. So Le said she’d contact American Express about the points. And that’s where the story gets weird.

Le claimed the TM rep then replied: “I don’t want to upset you, but I will warn you that if you complain to American Express, you could be blacklisted from using Ticketmaster.”

She asked to speak with a supervisor and said she was told they wouldn’t offer her a refund.

“He said that they were doing me a favor,” Le told the Times. “If I was going to call American Express, they wouldn’t help me.”

Le ended up calling AmEx, which refunded most of her reward points and credited her account $25. She also said she contacted the Better Business Bureau.

A spokeswoman for Ticketmaster told Pollstar that the company does not have a blacklist.

If disputed charges arise with TM and accounts go unpaid, customers may not be able to purchase tickets until accounts are paid in full, she explained. While service reps are allowed to explain those issues to customers, she said she was told very emphatically that the term “blacklist” was never used during the incident.