icketmaster's plan to go paperless, starting with Miley Cyrus' fall tour, will help Ticketmaster more than music fans, said Jon Healey in the Los Angeles Times. The new "paperless" tickets can only be redeemed at the door by the person who bought them, with the purchasing credit card and a photo ID. If you can't go, too bad—you can't even give the tickets away. That's a pretty big "power grab."
Actually, "Ticketmaster’s plan makes sense," said Yinka Adegoke in Reuters. It brings the company "into the '90s," when airlines started going ticketless, a change that resulted in better service. For starters, this should "thwart scalpers," and kill one of Ticketmaster's "more unpopular surcharge practices": charging customers for the convenience of printing their own tickets.
I'm not sure what's better for concertgoers, said Scott Jagow in Marketplace, "having scalpers snap up" hot tickets and resell them at a profit, or "paying face value to Ticketmaster with all the fees tacked on?" Ticket resale companies have made up their minds, though: StubHub is using "scare tactics," like warning that paperless tickets could make 13-year-old Cyrus fans prey to perverts with credit cards. "Man, the concert-ticket business is a nasty one."
You don't have to tell that to the first casualties of Ticketmaster's new sales strategy, said Oren Yaniv in the New York Daily News. The company posted the wrong map for Cyrus' concert venue on Long Island, leading hundreds of unlucky fans to pay more than $100 a pop for seats in "stadium Siberia." Because the tickets are paperless, the fans are stuck with the "lame seats," with no recourse.
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