Ticketmaster Settles Lawsuit

You’ll need a ticket

This week, Ticketmaster, after a decade long class-action lawsuit has reached an agreement with the plaintiffs. Ticketmaster will pay out $400 million dollars to settle overpricing on such items as order-processing and shipping costs. The settlement will only concern people who purchased tickets from the website on October 21, 1999 through February 27, 2013.  The catch, however, is they are going to be in the form of credits. One such credit is for $2.25 for an online ticket purchase and the other, a $5.00 discount code to be used toward a future UPS charge.

While Ticketmaster is settling the decade long suit, they are already in the process of trying to protect themselves from being on the losing side of any future class-action suits.  As many companies have been doing over the past decade, they are now requiring customers to keep their disputes out of court and in arbitration. In fact, in 2011, Ticketmaster asserted this in terms of use section and put the arbitration clause in said section. In addition, Ticketmaster has clearly stated that when buying a ticket “you agree to waive any right to a jury trial or to participate in a class action.”

The only issue with this decree is that arbitration matters, according to many legal experts tend to favor companies rather than individuals. For example, with regards to Verizon, only 65 of 125 million individual people took the company to arbitration from 2010-2014 and lost their cases.  Using this example, many experts indicate that one person being overly charged by $5-$8 may not seem like a lot but when you times it by 50, 100, 125 million people, the strength is in the numbers and that filing in court gives these individuals the best opportunity to be righted from a company’s wrong.

In closing, I do pose the important question that Ticketmaster and other companies have now created with their terms of use and that is even though an individual “waives” their right to sue when they purchase that product, if they do feel misled by a company, should they be allowed to pursue a lawsuit rather than arbitration?