One of the many dirty secrets behind the secondary ticketing market (what some would call “legalized scalping)” is that the ticket brokers don’t always have the tickets they advertise. They “sell” the tickets, get the money in hand, and then try to buy the same tickets at a lower price. If they can’t, then they just refund the buyer’s money. No loss, no gain for the broker. Many fans who bought and paid for tickets for the Hampton Phish shows on the after-market are now getting letters like the one below. Some people might gloat that fans who buy from brokers are getting what they deserve for supporting that market. That’s debatable. But what’s not debatable is that advertising a product you can’t necessarily deliver, to create a risk-free transaction that only benefits one side, is at best deceptive and at worst, fraud. The notion of Ticketmaster re-selling their own tickets to “sold-out shows” to the highest bidder now has the attention of Congress. Perhaps this should too. Read the letter, and be warned:
We are emailing you today to let you know that you have been given a full refund for your Phish purchase for 3/7. We found out today that our allotment of Phish tickets for the weekend is far less than expected. We know that is NOT the answer any of you were looking for, but we are refunding you 100% immediately. We are letting you know this 3 weeks in advance so that you may prepare and plan accordingly. There are several options that we can explore now that you have received this news, but we will not continue to hold your money for something we cannot 100% guarantee. One option is for you to look for other tickets across other websites, such as Ebay and Stub Hub. Tickets have been printed, but are not delivered to all phans as of yet, so you will probably see more tickets come on the market as the event draws near. Another thing we can do is continue to search along with you for tickets to fill your order for Saturday night. We are going to work fervently with all of our sources to see what we can do. Sadly, this process does not look promising at all. Third, we can provide you with tickets to another show across the country. We know that a lot of you are planning on traveling along with the band, and providing you with discounted access to those shows is a possibility. There are some shows that are in much higher demand than others, i.e. the Fabulous Fox Theater show. We will entertain any option that is viable for you and us, even if it means taking a financial hit on our end. If you don't want tickets to any other show, and a refund is your only option, this has already been provided to you. Expect to see it hit your bank in the next 2-3 days. We understand your frustration, and want to help you as much as we can. Unfortunately, the odds of getting you in to the Phish show in Hampton for any night are extremely slim. That is why we have given you a refund. Please contact us at the numbers below if you have any questions. We are very sorry for this inconvenience.