/ Money, Travel & Leisure

Do ticket charges tick you off?

Am I the only one who gets really ticked off when I get charged for printing off tickets I’ve bought for a concert, festival, flight or event? What’s the biggest ticketing fee you’ve been charged?

Sure, I can get my hands on the tickets quicker and the charge can often be cheaper than delivery costs. But I still find it almost insulting that I have to pay for a service that requires me to use my own electricity and printer ink, while essentially saving a company money on postage and packaging.

It always leaves me feeling like I’ve just had an encounter with Dick Turpin.

Why do we have to pay to print our tickets?

I regularly use self-service checkouts in supermarkets and pack items into my own shopping bags, yet I’m not required to pay extra for the ‘privilege’ of doing that. So why do companies like Ticketmaster impose such charges on customers when they buy tickets and print them off?

Ticketmaster has said the charges for its Ticketfast service – about £2.50 on average – covers staffing and technology costs at venues to read and validate tickets. But its website states that all customers pay a service charge which goes towards access control at venues, regardless of how their tickets are delivered. Commenter Lady Margaretta shared her frustrations on a previous ticketing Conversation:

‘I just bought tickets to an event at the O2 via Ticketmaster website and I’m pretty annoyed because I had to pay £2.75 for their “Ticketfast” service. This basically means I paid £2.75 for the privilege of printing off my own ticket, using my own printer and my own ink.’

Ticketmaster is, of course, not the only company that charges its customers to print tickets. Ryanair charges £6 to check-in online and print boarding cards. Anyone who forgets to print one faces a £60 fine for a replacement at the airport. Ryanair said its passengers agree to check-in online and print boarding cards, which lowers handling costs and fares.

Call for transparent ticket costs

I understand that companies have to cover their costs, but it’s bad enough when you get hit by card surcharges without having to deal with this as well. With most firms, the price you see is the price you pay, so why can’t ticket charges be more transparent?

We’d like to see all mandatory charges in the headline price, which we’re on the road to achieving with credit and debit card surcharges. So, don’t be shy, do extra ticket charges tick you off as much as they do me?

Would you prefer it if all charges were included in the headline ticket price?

Yes (94%, 299 Votes)

I don't know (5%, 15 Votes)

No (2%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 320

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Comments

I paid Ticketmaster in October 2012 for a concert next year. I chose to pay to be able to print off the tickets as a couple of years ago Ticketmaster failed to post tickets I bought from them and I had to stand in a queue (for Paul Mccartney in Cardiff) with hundreds of others to be handed the ticket. There was no appology from Ticketmaster with them blaming the show organiser.
After paying for Ticketfast in October and going to print off the tickets the system does not let me saying that this was not possible at the moment. I have now waited weeks and even sent Ticketmaster an email question asking why I could not print off the tickest. Their answer is that the concert promoter has not yet released access. What are we paying for?

i have just bought some tickets from my local odeon cinema, and i had to pay 0.75p per ticket, why is it not on the one transcation why both tickets as they only take one payment.

Martin says:
3 February 2013

One quick mention on the flip side is that a friend and I recently booked a bunch of tickets for 6 matches in the Rugby League World Cup and were pleasantly surprised to “only” have to pay one booking charge on the order. Previous experience had (perhaps telling) led us to steel ourselves for one booking charge per ticket, which is outrageous yet not uncommon in online booking (Vue Cinemas, for instance).

What I would like to know given the constant “tick off” of ticket buyers, and that is putting it politely, is what is WHICH going to do to help try change this?

Norman Downie says:
13 October 2013

I wanted to book tickets at the New Theatre Oxford. Their on-line service is managed by ATG (Ambassador Theatre Group), and the booking process, right at the end of the transaction but before I agreed to pay, wanted a £4 “transaction fee”, plus a “per ticket” charge of £11.70 for 3 tickets. So we will not be going. I hate this attempt at last second hiking of the prices.

Dave says:
13 October 2013

I found that the ATG Theatre Card offering, at most performances, no booking fees, no transaction charges plus ticket discounts at selected performances and at theatre bars, paid for itself after just one booking.

Mike Dale says:
27 January 2014

VUE cinema at Westfield charges .75 pence per ticket. All VUE cinema tickets have to be done electronically these days so VUE is making an additional profit per ticket on already quite high admission prices.

L K J says:
19 February 2019

Exactly – When its one transaction do they want to charge a 0.75p booking fee per person?
I now just go to the cinema and queue up and buy my ticket there, so adding time and increasing their staffing costs.

Elisabeth says:
6 February 2014

Twice in two days I have come across this “Fulfilment charge” when purchasing tickets. In the latest case, I emailed the company selling the tickets for clarification and received a rather bizarre email, that I think was possible meant for someone internal in the company or if it was for me didn’t even address my query. Is there any where we can offical lodge our complaints about these charges?

COMMON EXPLANATION – We charge a fulfilment fee to contribute towards the cost of delivering our tickets to you, whether it is through the post, electronically or collecting at the venue. This fee is a one-off charge that covers the processing and delivery of the entire order, not each ticket.

The fulfilment fee is charged to help contribute towards other operational costs and overheads associated with ticket fulfilment e.g. ticket stock administration and inventory control, ticket stock/stationery, collection facilities and postage and/or packaging costs if it applies to the event.

The fulfilment fee will not be payable if a ticket is purchased and collected at the box office at the same time.

Helen says:
27 February 2014

Hi,I have bought two tickets to see,Russell Howard ,at first direct,the ticket price was 93 pounds each , plus vat, and 8 pounds to send me the tickets 205 pounds in total, I have just recived the tickets and it says 27,50 on each of the tickets, does any one know why this could be,please could you let me know if any ideas on this,

GET ME IN! is a leading UK based online ticket marketplace dedicated to the resale and exchange of live event tickets. Based in London and employing over 40 people, the company was launched in 2003. They have also launched websites in Germany and the Netherlands. GET ME IN! became a Ticketmaster company in January 2008.

Helen says:
27 February 2014

Sorry for got to sat, I bought the tickets from get me in which are a ticket master company,

FYI we’ve published a debate about secondary ticketing sites like GetMeIn if you want to join in: https://conversation.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/buy-tickets-secondary-ticketing-viagogo-getmein-ebay/

Kitty Fisher says:
11 August 2014

The tales above are as nothing compared to the rip off from Encore Tickets. They added a whopping 26% to each of the 4 £65 tickets my friend got to see Thriller Live! – charging us £82 for each ticket. Then they had the nerve to say they were regulated by STAR (Secure Tickets from Authorised Retailers) and buying tickets from them was safe!!

Do NOT buy your tickets from Encore unless you have money to burn.

BobbyEssex says:
2 April 2015

The answer is simple to this “Great Highway Robbery” Just contact your local Trading Standards Office and Complain!!!

If they get enough complaints on one subject, they have to investigate, and issue a response.

So come on COMPLAIN and get these Robbers charges exposed!! Otherwise their next charge/fee will be a Breathing one, or a Booking in daylight charge, you get my drift??

WSSLondon says:
22 June 2016

Frustrating that this is still happening in 2016! Second time I’ve bought tickets and seen this laughable ticketfast fee which apparently is made up of a 2.75 “order processing fee” – that is on top of the 2.95 I paid as a “booking processing fee”. All to print my tickets at home, which other agents allow me to do for free. Just complained to Trading Standards, but considering that people have been complaining for at least two years I don’t hold out much hope….

If you get the tickets posted, you often face the same charge (which makes no sense as it cannot be the same cost to them). Plus, you get charged the same amount for each ticket they put inside the envelope (again, it cannot cost £3 to send one ticket, but £6 to send two tickets in the same envelope, or £9 for 3 etc.)

They already charge a “booking fee” – irrespective of whether you book online through an automated system or over the phone (again, those costs cannot be the same).

Worse still, they hold back tickets and move them onto their resale websites (they own a few of them) so that they can charge more.

Pat Dyer says:
11 June 2019

I bought 2 ticket at a cost of £167 pounds but the ticket value was £46.00 felt very ripped by Ticketmaster