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Ticket Outlook Far From Rosy : At Least One Southland Agency Sold More Than It Was Able to Get

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Some fans who bought tickets for Saturday’s Rose Bowl game through ticket agencies will find themselves watching on television instead, because at least one local agency sold more tickets than it had available, The Times has learned.

Ticket Time, based in West Los Angeles, said in a statement Tuesday that it has not been able to fulfill its obligations to customers.

“Due to unprecedented demand with this year’s Rose Bowl, we have unfortunately not been able to fill all of our orders,” said Leon Nirenberg, the company’s general manager. “We have been refunding 100% of all orders we cannot fill and have contacted people before they have arrived from Wisconsin without tickets.”

Nirenberg would not comment further on how many will be left without tickets or on when the company realized it would have a shortage.

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Jean Halferty of Chicago said she bought four end-zone tickets for $125 each from Ticket Time and was told Monday by a Ticket Time representative that she would have to pay an additional $250 each to get her tickets.

Halferty, 30, considered the offer, but when she called back to accept it, was told that the tickets had been sold.

Halferty was offered a refund of her original payment, but was not told when it would be sent to her.

After one member of her group complained to the California Consumer Protection Agency, however, Ticket Time called back to say that they had four available tickets.

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The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce said it has been swamped with calls this week from those who have paid ticket agencies but are now unable to get in touch with them to pick up their tickets.

Janet Whaley, the chamber’s general manager, said that in her seven years at the organization, this is the first time she has heard so many stories about ticket agencies failing to meet their obligations.

Most of the phone calls to Whaley’s office have concerned Pasadena Tickets, which said it has been having trouble with its telephones.

Whaley said she has contacted company officials and that they are planning to fulfill all of their obligations.

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Ticket agencies operate by buying tickets from individual ticket-holders and then reselling them, usually at much higher prices. “There are no state laws that control ticket agencies,” Whaley said.

The legality of ticket agencies failing to produce tickets or asking customers to pay additional fees depends on the terms of the contract to which customers agreed when buying tickets, he said.

“We don’t have any enforcement ability,” Whaley said. “It’s all voluntary and it’s all kind of peer pressure. If somebody is doing something illegally, then we can refer them to law enforcement agencies.”


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