OTTAWA, ONTARIO (CelebrityAccess) As Pearl Jam appears to be making nice with its former rival Ticketmaster, the ticketing giant is facing a class-action lawsuit in Canada accusing the company of deceptive practices.
The Competition Bureau Canada filed legal action against TM Jan. 25 after the bureau’s investigation found that Ticketmaster’s advertised prices practice “drip pricing.” In other words, the prices are deceptive because consumers must pay additional fees that are added later in the purchasing process, according to a statement. The legal action comes on the heels of a public statement by the bureau last July that called upon spring and ticketing vendors to review their practices.
“In July, we called on ticket vendors to review their marketing practices,” Commissioner of Competition John Pecman said in a statement. “Today, we are filing an application with the Tribunal to stop Ticketmaster from making deceptive claims to consumers. Together, these actions send a strong signal to online retailers: consumers must have confidence that advertised prices are the ones they will pay.”
The bureau claims Ticketmaster has made these claims on a number of websites, including ticketmaster.ca, ticketsnow.com and ticketweb.ca, and on mobile applications.
Then, yesterday Jan. 26, Merchant Law Group announced a national class action litigation against Ticketmaster and Live Nation.
“On Friday, Merchant Law Group launched a class action litigation which seeks compensation and repayment to affected Canadian residents for all improperly collected fees, due to drip pricing techniques used by Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Canadians always expect to pay the price advertised, whether it’s for buying groceries or tickets to a concert. Ticketmaster and Live Nation collected these fees by advertising a much lower price for tickets, then jacking up the price,” Tony Merchant, Q.C., said in a statement.
“This case is particularly egregious given the dominant position which these companies hold over online ticket sales. When you consider the millions of sales transactions done by Ticketmaster in Canada each year, the magnitude of this class action becomes clear. Our plaintiff, Micheal Lindenbach, estimates that in the last five years, he has paid more than $1,000 overall in drip fees.”
Meanwhile, Pearl Jam has shaken hands with Ticketmaster. TM Exec VP David Marcus is expected to go on a live broadcast of SiriusXM’s Pearl Jam Radio Channel 22 Monday, Jan. 29, according to Alternative Nation. Pearl Jam famously fought with Ticketmaster 20 years ago, balking at its service fees and monolithic control. This summer, the band will be partnering with Ticketmaster to use TM’s Verified Fan service.
“Our number one goal has always been to get Pearl Jam tickets into the hands of our fans,” Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis recently told Billboard. “We are constantly working up ways to improve our ticketing options and level the playing field. Verified Fan is the best solution out there to beat the bots.”
The episode is dubbed “Faithfull Forum: US Tour / Ticketing Edition” with the call-in number 855-9-PEARL-JAM.