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One cure — or at least a treatment — to high Ticketmaster fees turns out to be The Cure frontman Robert Smith, who said he was “sick” by taxes and announced Thursday that Ticketmaster will offer partial refunds and lower fees going forward.
“After further conversation, Ticketmaster has agreed with us that many of the fees being charged are unnecessarily high,” Smith tweeted. Smith said the company agreed to offer a refund of $5-10 per ticket for verified fan accounts “as a gesture of goodwill.”
1 OF 2: AFTER FURTHER CONVERSATION, TICKETMASTER HAS AGREED WITH US THAT MANY OF THE FEES TO BE CHARGED ARE UNNECESSARY AND AS A GOOD WILL HAS OFFERED $10 PER ) TRANSACTIONS…
— ROBERT SMITH (@RobertSmith) March 16, 2023
Fans who have already purchased tickets will get their refunds automatically, Smith said, and all future ticket purchases will incur lower fees.
The announcement came a day after Smith shared his frustration on Twitter, saying he was “as sick as you all are of today’s Ticketmaster ‘fees’ debacle. To be very clear: the artist has no way to limit them .”
In some cases, fans say the fees more than doubled their ticket price, with one social media user share that they paid over $90 in fees for an $80 ticket.
Ticketmaster has been in the spotlight in recent months. Last November, Taylor Swift fans waited hours, paid high fees and endured outages on the Ticketmaster website to try to score tickets to her Eras Tour. A day before tickets were to open to the public, the company canceled the sale due to “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet this demand.”
In a statement on Instagram, Swift said it was “unbearable for me to see mistakes happen with no recourse.”
In January, after that debacle, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing looking at Live Nation — the company that owns Ticketmaster — and the lack of competition in the ticketing industry. Meanwhile, attorneys general across many states launched consumer protection investigations, Swift’s fans sued the company for fraud and antitrust violations, and some lawmakers called for Ticketmaster to be broken up.
Ticketmaster did not immediately respond to NPR’s request for comment.