Ticketmaster is a scalper by another name

Services and ShoppingTicketmasterBaltimore Symphony Orchestra

The City Council finally had a chance to do something for the average citizen to help them financially, and what do they do? They vote in favor of big business ("Council committee votes to allow Ticketmaster fees," March 1). What a shock!

To allow Ticketmaster's unpopular, unnecessary and arbitrary user fees — or should I say "usury fees" — to continue is unbelievable. So the Ravens, the Orioles and some concert and entertainment venues are concerned that Ticketmaster might refuse to handle events in Baltimore. How is that worrisome to me?

It's amazing how we got along fine all these years without them. Amazing how the wonderful Baltimore Symphony Orchestra handles a year's worth of subscriptions plus individual ticket buyers and continual seat exchanges without Ticketmaster. And they even do it with a pleasant attitude.

In the age of high technology, a 10-year-old could set up a website and disperse tickets for a nominal fee. We have witnessed a bloated middle man arise in our midst and gouge us for no reason while our elected representatives do nothing except exempt it from existing laws.

In the past, I've avoided buying tickets to certain events because I knew the added fees would eventually make the ticket cost far exceed the value of the event. Even when you drive down to the Hippodrome to pick up tickets in person you pay an extra "handling" fee. But that's nothing compared to what you would pay through Ticketmaster.

Andre Bourgeois, the citizen who filed suit against Ticketmaster, is my hero. I know I'm not alone in my feelings about his attempt to legally right a wrong. Yet once again the City Council has ignored the will of its constituents. Left unchecked these companies will continue to increase arbitrary fees until they are equal to the face value of the ticket.

Barbara Blumberg, Baltimore

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