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Taylor Swift fans file lawsuit against Ticketmaster ahead of Eras tour



Ticketmaster is far from out of the woods, say some Taylor Swift fans.

More than two dozen fans are suing the company, alleging fraud, misrepresentation and multiple antitrust violations after last month’s ticket sales debacle for Swift’s “Eras” tour. The 33-page lawsuit on behalf of 26 plaintiffs across the United States details several aspects of the sale Ticketmaster allegedly botched — from “Verified Fan” presale codes to wait times on its website.

Since the lawsuit was filed on Friday, about 150 other fans have expressed interest in joining, said Jennifer Kinder, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

“They played with the wrong fan base,” she told The Washington Post.

The lawsuit alleges that during the process of selling tickets for the “Eras” tour, Ticketmaster violated California antitrust and unfair competition laws. It states that “Ticketmaster’s anti-competitive behavior has materially harmed, and will continue to materially harm, Taylor Swift fans,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed Friday in Los Angeles County, where Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation, at his seat.

The suit seeks $2,500 for each violation of California’s unfair competition law, referring to “any unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent act or business practice and any unfair, misleading, deceptive, or deceptive advertising.”

Ticketmaster and Live Nation did not respond to requests for comment from The Washington Post on Sunday evening. In a statement after the tickets went on sale, Ticketmaster apologized to Swift and her fans, “especially those who had a terrible experience”. The company also released an explainer on “Eras” tour sales.

Taylor Swift’s Ticketmaster Collapse: What Happened? Who is to blame?

The lawsuit is personal for Kinder, who said she had been a “Swiftie” for about 10 years and tried to get “Eras” tickets for herself and her 11-year-old daughter. The couple had tickets to “Lover Fest,” a tour Swift was planning for 2020 before it was canceled due to the pandemic.

Kinder has registered for “Verified Fan” status, a process used by Ticketmaster to send pre-sale codes to fans in an effort to deter bot purchases. But when the codes were sent, Kinder was on a waitlist, meaning she couldn’t buy tickets on the first day of sales.

The next day, November 16, she tried to get tickets through a second presale opportunity, also through Ticketmaster, which was available to those who held Capital One cards. She waited four hours, but the sale ended before she could buy tickets.

And on day three, Ticketmaster canceled the general sale – what many fans considered their last hope of seeing Swift on tour – citing “extraordinarily high demands on ticketing systems and insufficient remaining ticket inventory to meet that demand.”

Ticketmaster cancels Taylor Swift General Sale ticket sales scheduled for Friday

Kinder’s experience took her to social media, where thousands of fans were posting similar frustrations and challenges that haunted them, with many wishing the process could begin again. She set up a Google social media form for people to submit information about their ticketshopping experience, eventually leading him to find plaintiffs for the California case.

The complaint is the latest legal action aimed at Ticketmaster following the chaotic rollout. Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti (right) said he would look into whether Ticketmaster violated consumer rights and antitrust regulations after his office received complaints, adding at a news conference that he was “concerned about this very dominant player in the market”.

Many fans — alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) — blamed Ticketmaster’s “monopoly” on live event tickets for the glitch-filled, hour-long experience. Ticketmaster and Live Nation merged in 2010 after agreeing to terms intended to address antitrust concerns, but The New York Times reported last month that the Justice Department’s antitrust division was investigating Live Nation.

Swift herself said it was “excruciating” to “watch mistakes happen” and to see that fans felt like they had “experienced multiple bear attacks” while trying to get tickets.

Danielle Lips, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said the The bad blood between Ticketmaster and Swifties after the ticket fiasco comes as no surprise.

“I just don’t think there’s as rabid a fan base as we are,” she said. “We’ll do just about anything, and if you cross us the wrong way, it’s not going to end well.”

Taylor Swift blames Ticketmaster for ‘Eras ​​Tour’ rollout

Julie Barfuss, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, said in an interview with The Post that she tried to buy tickets for Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras’ tour so often the webpage thought she was a bot . The 52-year-old took the day off Nov. 15 as she waited in the virtual queue for tickets to the March 18 show in Glendale, Arizona.

For some dates, such as Glendale, tickets were sold on SeatGeek. The lawsuit alleges that Ticketmaster “drilled into small turf” for competitors such as SeatGeek in order to “hide the level of monopolistic power and control” the company has.

After trying to verify dozens of times without success, Barfuss struck up a conversation with a customer service employee who told her that she had tried to buy tickets 41 times, which tricked the system into thinking that she was a bot.

Then Barfuss tried the Capital One pre-sale. She had tickets in her basket again, but when she went to pay for them, her card was declined because, she told the Post, he was charged for each of 41 attempted purchases, racking up a total of $14,286.70.

Although the charges were cleared a week later, Barfuss never received tickets. She said she hopes the lawsuit will make Ticketmaster realize how much the process has affected true fans whose wildest dreams were to see Swift perform live.

“It doesn’t seem fair,” Barfuss said. “To me, that seems like a blatant way to do business.”

Long story short, the plaintiffs are waiting to receive a court date, which Kinder says is expected in a few weeks.

Julian Mark, Annabelle Timsit, Sonia Rao and Perry Stein contributed to this report.



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