Ticketmaster claims it will list fees upfront, but will it?

Ticketmaster claims it will list fees upfront, but will it? »Play Video
Many people have a hate-hate relationship with Ticketmaster. They don't like the fees, and they really don't like when they find out about those fees until near the end of the purchase.

But there's good news: the company has heard all the complaints, and is doing something about it.

When you buy tickets from Ticketmaster, you expect to pay a premium price. There are various fees and charges on top of the face value of the ticket.

But until a few weeks ago, you didn't know how much those extra fees would be until you checked out.

Music lovers know the score -- if you want to see a concert around here, unless you can make it to the box office, chances are you'll have to buy those tickets from Ticketmaster and pay those much-hated fees.

A few weeks ago, Ticketmaster launched a blog called Ticketology.

CEO Nathan Hubbard wrote, "We get it. You don't like service fees." But he does not apologize for them.

He did announce a big change that Ticketmaster will tell customers about most of those fees upfront.

As a test, I went looking for a ticket to upcoming Harry Connick, Hr. concert at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery. The Ticketmaster site made it very clear that the top price for a ticket was $109.75 -- $99.50 plus a $10.25 convenience charge.

I selected a seat and came to the "billing" page where I had to choose the shipping method. Right above the shipping chart, it said: "a processing fee per order is applied in addition to the delivery price per order listed below." But the price of that processing fee was not listed.

It wasn't until I was on the "review your order" page that I learned the processing fee was $3.50.

The Ticketology blog also announced an unprecedented improvement -- refunds, in certain cases, in a limited number of locations. Buy a ticket for a show at any venue run by Live Nation, Ticketmaster's parent company, and you have three days to return it, up until a week before the show.

Live Nation currently operates 89 venues across the country, including the Gorge at George, and the White River Amphitheater in Auburn.

The site says the refund includes the ticket prices and all service charges, except up-shipping or a retail pickup charges.

Getting back to those so-called hidden fees -- why doesn't Ticketmaster tell you what the "processing fee" will be before you get one click away from a purchase? I called and e-mailed the company to ask, but the company did not respond.

For more information:

Ticketmaster changes its tune ... just a bit