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Baby boomer event ticket-buyers: BBB says to avoid

Plays, concerts, and sporting events are big draws for baby boomers.

The Better Business Bureau is warning people who are trying to buy hard-to-get event tickets that they might have trouble when shopping online with

Hundreds of complaints against, run by Las Vegas-based Event Tickets LLC, have been received from consumers across the country. Consumers claim they paid for tickets to shows, concerts, and sporting events, but say they ultimately received the tickets too late, received tickets for seats that weren’t valid or weren’t as good as agreed on and, in some cases, received no tickets.

Event Tickets LLC has an unsatisfactory rating from the BBB due to its performance. The rating was issued due to about 100 cases of non-delivery of tickets, 100 complaints involving refunds and exchanges, and 200 occasions in which the company failed to respond to the BBB or consumers to resolve issues.

“Sports fans, music lovers, and theater buffs may not seem to have a lot in common, but all are complaining to BBB about their dissatisfaction with the site,” said Steve Cox, BBB spokesperson, in a statement about the company. “There are many reputable online ticket resellers that consumers can safely purchase hard-to-get tickets from, but unfortunately, some consumers have been placing their trust in Web sites such as and are telling us they are getting ripped off.”

The BBB offers the following advice for online ticket buyers:

  • Buyers should always look for the BBBOnLine seal, when buying from a ticket reselling company online. The seal is a sign that the company has a good reputation for satisfying customers and a secure Web site for processing payments.
  • Buyers should pay with a credit card or through PayPal to provide protection and the opportunity for potential reimbursement if the company is uncooperative. Consumers should never pay with a cashier’s check or wire money to a seller, as they’ll have no way to get their money back if the tickets don’t arrive.
  • Buyers should scrutinize pictures of tickets on the Web from individual sellers closely for any inaccuracies or alterations, and crosscheck the seat assignment with the map on the venue’s Web site before buying. Individual sellers often include pictures of the tickets with their posts on auction sites or bulletin boards.
  • Consumers need to read the fine print and policies stated on the Web site before buying from an online ticket reseller. They need to pay special attention to the consumer protections provided if they aren’t satisfied with the tickets.
  • Consumers who’ve had problems buying tickets online may file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau online at They can also file complaints with their state Attorney General’s Office.

Good luck with your ticket shopping and have fun at the event.

Copyright 2008, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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