TM: Scalpers Botched Boss Onsale

Bruce Springsteen fans may be feeling déjà vu following a recent Ticketmaster onsale the company claimed was stalled by scalpers.

For the second time in three years, a ticket launch for Springsteen in the Garden State was fraught with technical difficulties, leaving some fans fuming.

Soon after tickets for the Boss’ upcoming concerts at the Izod Center in East Rutherford and the Prudential Center in Newark went on sale the morning of Jan. 27, Springsteen’s Facebook page began to light up with complaints.

“So disappointed …Was on Ticketmaster exactly at 11am when tickets went on sale for the Pru Center(NJ) and waited an hour in query then the system came up with an error message,” a fan wrote. “I just wasted an hour of my time for what???”

Others seemed irked over the quantity of tickets available on secondary sites so soon after the launch.

“I gave up 3 hours this morning trying to get tickets for my family to experience something special. Now I see the thousands of the tickets on StubHub for hundreds & thousands of dollars,” another fan said.

In a TM statement on Springsteen’s website, the company explained it had experienced “highly abnormal traffic patterns” that morning.

“We are investigating the source of the problem and are working to resolve it as quickly as possible, but tickets are selling so please stay patient,” the statement said.

And following the investigation, it appeared TM had identified a reason for the ticketing snafu – scalpers.

“Early indications suggest that much of this traffic came from highly suspicious sources, implying that scalpers were using sophisticated computer programs to assault our systems and secure tickets with the sole intention of selling them in the resale market,” the company said, noting its site had experienced two and a half times the normal traffic for a major onsale.

Rep. Bill Pascrell, who previously introduced federal legislation to monitor ticketing, announced plans to reintroduce the measure, aptly dubbed the BOSS Act, in light of TM’s onsale issues.

“While many fans were unable to get tickets today, many brokers were able to get their hands on good seats for Springsteen and put them up on secondary ticket sellers’ web sites where they were sold at higher prices,” Pascrell said in a statement. “Whether today’s problems are due to honest mistakes or dishonest market manipulation, regular folks who wanted a little entertainment were not able to get what they wanted at a fair price.”

Ticketmaster faced serious backlash in Jersey over a Springsteen ticket debacle in 2009 during which many fans claimed they were redirected during an onsale to the company’s subsidiary TicketsNow resale site. TM was hit with a complaint from the state Attorney General’s office and a class-action lawsuit and the company settled both.