Ticketmaster is once again drawing the ire of concertgoers after fans of popular 1980s British band The Cure complained on social media that they were being charged processing fees in excess of the face value of the tickets.
The Cure has priced tickets for its upcoming North American tour starting at $20 after pledging to make the shows affordable for fans. The group also wrote on its website that it worked with its ticketing partners to thwart scalpers and avoid high resale prices.
Despite those efforts, some tickets went for more than double their base price on Wednesday after fans added up the cost of Ticketmaster’s facility, service and order processing fees.
Cure frontman Robert Smith tweeted that he was “sick” with the Ticketmaster fee “debacle” and had no control over the site’s charges. “I asked how [the fees] are warranted,” he wrote. “If I get anything coherent through an answer, I’ll let you all know.”
TicketMaster did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
However, Smith tweeted Thursday night Ticketmaster “agreed with us that many of the fees being charged were excessive,” and said the company was offering refunds to “verified fan accounts” of $5 or $10, depending on the type of ticket purchased .
Smith claimed that any remaining tickets that go on sale from Friday will “carry a lower cost.”
Ticketmaster has long criticized its sales practices. In December, the service suffered widespread backlash, as well as a lawsuit, when it canceled a public sale of Taylor Swift tour tickets after skyrocketing demand caused its website to crash. And in February, concertgoers complained of technical issues using Ticketmaster and long lines after trying to snag Beyonce tour tickets.
The wave of complaints about the Quick ticket debacle also attracted the attention of lawmakers. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel held a hearing earlier this year on whether Live Nation Entertainment — the company that owns Ticketmaster — and several other ticket service providers broke laws to preserve competition and must be broken down.
The Ministry of Justice is also investigating whether Live Nation has done so abused his power about the multibillion-dollar concert industry.