Ticketmaster Customers to Receive $1.50 Credits; Settlement Deemed "Appalling"
If you purchased event tickets through Ticketmaster between October 21, 1999 and October 19, 2011, you've probably already received an email informing you of the corporation's proposed settlement in a long-standing class action suit.
Originally filed eight years ago by two men in Los Angeles, Curt Schlesinger et al v. Ticketmaster claimed that customers were being charged excessive and untruthful order processing and UPS "Expedited Delivery" fees. If the settlement is approved by the court, and ticket purchasers during that time frame elect not to object nor opt out of it by the February 16, 2012 deadline, then they will receive Ticketmaster credits.
As opposed to a straight-up refund, the proposal states that customers will be eligible for -- wait for it -- a $1.50 credit for up to 17 tickets bought between the lawsuit's specified dates onfuture
Ticketmaster purchases. Those who were charged the UPS expedited fee will see a $5 dollar credit applied the next time they use the service. The terms of the proposed settlement have restrictions as well.
They can only be redeemed a maximum of two at a time, and must be used within a four-year time frame. Because Ticketmaster's parent company Live Nation is a competitor, the credits cannot be applied to tickets purchased for events at AEG-owned and -operated venues.
Additionally, Ticketmaster will be allowed to continue issuing their "processing fees" for future transactions. They just have to change the language describing the profit component of said transactions on the company website so that the business practice is no longer considered deceptive.
A spokesperson for Ticketmaster described the proposed settlement to CNNMoney as "fair, reasonable and adequate as a compromise." In contrast, the non-profit Center for Class Action Fairness calls it "appalling," saying that the "coupon settlement ... would be illegal in federal court."
A California court will hold a final hearing for approval of the settlement in May 29th, 2012. Credits cannot be redeemed before April 15, 2012, but should be given out within 30 days of the final hearing.
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