Sphere Ticket Issues Still Not Resolved
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2023-06-20)
We were hoping to not have to bring up ticketing for the Sphere again. Unfortunately daily, we are still hearing from people who are unhappy with what has been happening when it comes to ticketing. Fans are out thousands of dollars in some cases, and are starting to get quite upset that the issues with tickets are not being resolved.
Many of the issues stem from the previously reported overhang issue. Fans in the 100s sections, with seats from row 30 and further back, were contacted and told they had a reduced view. The view they will have of the band is likely to be one of the best in the house, but the overhanging seats in the section above, means the screens on the interior of the Sphere will be blocked, and will reduce what can be seen of the show. Ticketmaster reached out to many of the fans with two options, either a refund on the tickets, or the opportunity to buy tickets for a new set of shows in December.
But not all fans have been contacted. A few have shared that they have seats in these affected sections and have not received any notification. And upon contacting Ticketmaster themselves have been told that a refund is not an option. Fans are having to escalate conversations in order to get anyone to discuss the option of refunds. And some are still being told that the refunds are only applicable to the October shows, and not the other shows initially sold without these seats being marked as a reduced view. (The last eight shows added in December all clearly marked the view issue on these tickets, and sold them without Platinum pricing.)
Those who opted for a refund are no better off in some cases, as many have not received a refund for the money paid to date. These ticketing issues were identified on May 12, and fans were given until May 16 to decide whether to keep, cancel or change these bookings. As of Friday, it has been one full month since these decisions had to be made, and refunds that were said could take up to 30 days, are now overdue. (Ticketmaster Fan Support shares that refunds can take up to 30 days to process, which was also in the confirmation email some received when asking for a refund. Ticketmaster often starts the conversation by claiming a refund is not possible.) Those that have managed to get a refund have had to reach out to Ticketmaster directly several times to get these processed.
When these issues first became known, a spokesperson for Sphere Entertainment Co., which owns the Sphere told news organizations, “As soon as we realized there was an issue, we worked closely with Event Organizers to reach the affected ticketholders with several make good options. We look forward to Sphere’s opening with U2 and their incredible run of shows they have planned for fans this Fall.” While several options had been presented, few have been followed up.
Another problem identified is the ability to sell GA tickets back through Ticketmaster. Fans were told “Fans will still have protection against unforeseen circumstances. Those who purchase tickets and are no longer able to attend their show will be able to sell their tickets at the price they paid using the Ticketmaster Face Value Exchange.” You can sell your tickets via Ticketmaster at the same price you paid for them. Which is great idea, but someone needs to turn that option on. It’s been six weeks since initial ticket sales. An additional 20 shows have been added, people have bought tickets that no longer suit their plans, and there is still no option to resell these tickets. No one ever said when the Face Value Exchange would open, but fans are waiting not-so-patiently for it to start at this point.
Finally fans who bought ADA tickets are facing their own issues with tickets. Those who bought a “placeholder” ADA request are waiting for their seats to actually be assigned. The process appears to be that Ticketmaster is refunding the “placeholder” requests, and then making a new second charge for the same amount when the seats are assigned. Why is a second charge necessary? Seats have been assigned in some cases at this point, but are not yet showing up in the Ticketmaster app. Like with other issues, communication seems to be lacking, and people are left wondering what is going on.
If you are having issues? The TMFanSupport account on Twitter appears to be actively trying to assist those who bring up issues. You’ll need a Twitter account, and you will need to follow the account in order to message with them, but its worth a try. Keep all the correspondence you get, as it appears not everyone has the same information about these issues.
Fans are getting frustrated. This is on top of initial presales which left many fans unhappy, and complaints about the use of Platinum pricing throughout the venue. These issues are taking forever to resolve. We’d like to add our voices to the chorus calling for a quicker resolution to these issues. 30 days isn’t appropriate, but missing that 30 day window isn’t acceptable. How long? How long will fans have to sing this song?