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The Bottom Line
 
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Third-Party Box Office Sites

Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:17 PM EDT
A Bottom Line Alert about third-party box office websites, charging customers exorbitant prices for events at local venues.

The staff at Proctors Theatre tipped Dori Marlin off to the problem - which CEO Philip Morris says, is a quickly growing one.

"People type in 'Proctors Schenectady' and we're always the first one of the natural listings, the ones that aren't yellowed," says Morris.  "But in Google, the yellowed listings are advertisements - and we can't compete with advertisers - and suddenly someone clicks on a site, and it's not us."

Dori asked him, "How much are we talking about, that someone could be paying for these tickets?"

"They're taking a $60 ticket of ours, and selling it for $500 dollars sometimes," Morris answered.  "It's crazy!"

He tells Dori, those third-party sites are basically online scalpers.  They also operate similar sites for other local venues, like Albany's Palace Theatre and the Times Union Center.

Once you buy those tickets, the problem is yours.  Customers have been turned away from events, according to Morris, because they aren't holding "official" tickets.  

At that point, the best way to try to get your money back is to contact your credit card company; but even then, he says, it could be a challenge to get the funds.

The Bottom Line?  Morris says for events at any venue, if you're buying tickets online, make sure you're purchasing them from the venue's "official" website - and not from any "advertised" site that appears in yellow at the top of a Google search results page.

If you'd like to file a complaint about a ticket website, call New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's Consumer Frauds Office at 800-771-7755.

Third-Party Box Office Sites


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