Ticketmaster will refund fans of The Cure after an intervention from the band’s frontman Robert Smith following a backlash to “unduly high” processing fees.
The iconic band had kept ticket prices purposefully low, with some available for as little as $20 (£16), due to the cost of living crisis. However the ticketing sales company were caught changing fees that in some cases added up to more than the price of a ticket.
Exasperated fans took to social media to share screenshots from shopping baskets on Ticketmaster’s website detailing the extent of the fees. In one case, a person discovered that the $11.60 (£9.50) service fee and $10 (£8) facility charge added up to more than the original $20 price.
An outraged customer tweeted: “the way Ticketmaster charged more for FEES, than The Cure did for TICKETS should be enough evidence for the US to abolish that... company.” The fees were part of Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program, which allows fans to register for an advance sale in a bid to cut tickets being sold to touts and bots for resale.
Here is all you need to know:
Why is Ticketmaster refunding fans?
The Cure’s frontman quickly picked up on fans frustrations with Ticketmaster slapping excesive fees on top. Robert Smith tweeted, in his signiture all caps style, that he was “as sickened as you all are” on Thursday (16 March).
Earlier in the week, Smith explained that the band had decided to sell their tickets through Ticketmaster in a bid to combat scalping but had declined to participate in the company’s controversial dynamic pricing scheme. The band did not want prices to be “instantly and horribly distorted by resale”, particularly as the prices started at the more afforable price point of $20.
But Smith was left outraged by Ticketmaster bumping up the price with the fees - which resulted in a $20 ticket actually costing over $40. He wrote: “I have been asking how they are justified. If I get anything coherent by way of an answer I will let you all know.”
How much is being refunded?
In an update on Thursday, The Cure’s frontman announced that the company had agreed to refund fans. He tweeted: “After further conversation, Ticketmaster have agreed with us that many of the fees being charged are unduly high, and as a gesture of goodwill have offered a $10 per ticket refund to all verified fan accounts for lowest ticket price (LTP) transactions and a $5 refund to all verified fan accounts for all other ticket prices.
“Transactions for all Cure shows at all venues; if you already bought a ticket you will get an automatic refund.”
General sale for tickets on The Cure’s US tour will go on sale on Friday (17 March) but Robert Smith reassured fans that they need not worry about excesive fees. He wrote: “All tickets on sale tomorrow will incur lower fees.”
What are the dates on The Cure’s tour?
The iconic band will be on the road across the US during late spring and early summer. It will start in May and run through to the start of July.
- 10 May - New Orleans - Smoothie King Center
- 12 May - Houston - Toyota Center
- 13 May - Dallas - Dos Equis Pavilion
- 14 May - Austin - Moody Center
- 16 May - Albuquerque - Isleta Ampitheater
- 18 May - Phoenix - Desert Diamond Arena
- 20 May - San Diego - Nicu Ampitheatre
- 23 May - Los Angeles - Hollywood Bowl
- 24 May - Los Angeles - Hollywood Bowl
- 25 May - Los Angeles - Hollywood Bowl
- 27 May - San Francisco - Shoreline Ampitheatre
- 1 June - Seattle - Climate Pledge Arena
- 2 June - Vancouver - Rogers Arena
- 4 June - Salt Lake City - Vivint Smart Home Arena
- 6 June - Denver - Fiddler’s Green Ampitheatre
- 8 June - Minneapolis St. Paul - Xcel Energy Center
- 10 June - Chicago - United Center
- 11 June - Cleveland - Blossom Music Center
- 13 June - Detroit - Pine Knob Music Theatre
- 14 June - Toronto - Budweiser Stage
- 16 June - Montreal - Bell Centre
- 18 June - Boston - Xfinity Center
- 20 June - New York City - Maddison Square Garden
- 21 June - New York City - Maddison Square Garden
- 22 June - New York City - Maddison Square Garden
- 24 June - Philadelphia - Wells Fargo Center
- 25 June - Columbia - Merriweather Post Pavilion
- 27 June - Atlanta - State Farm Arena
- 29 June - Tampa - Amalie Arena
- 1 July - Miami - Miami-Dade Arena