Today, a battle with Ticketmaster had all the makings of a Costanza moment (irritation leading to frustration culminating in indignation), but fortunately ended more Seinfeldian (total bemusement while enjoying the absurdity of life).
It started when Ticketmaster appeared to mess up a recent ticket order to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
On Saturday, I ordered four tickets to see the Boss in Nashville, opting for the paperless ticket option. In truth, I had no choice but to use paperless ticketing, as it was the only option available for general admission tickets to the show. Note: this is important.
Yesterday, Ticketmaster sent me an email saying the printing of my tickets had been delayed but I could rest assured they would be delivered on time. Odd, I thought, seeing how I hadn’t picked any delivery method for my tickets. I checked the receipt, and sure enough, it said I had picked UPS Second Day Air for $18. Considering that I a) would never pay $18 for two-day delivery, let alone for a show two months away; b) for $18, Bruce Springsteen himself would have to personally hand deliver the tickets; c) it was paperless ticketing, so therefore wasn’t an option; and d) IT WAS PAPERLESS TICKETING AND THEREFORE WASN’T AN OPTION, I had no choice but to contact Ticketmaster to see what was the what.
I explained to the first customer service rep the situation. She did not seem to understand my concerns. I explained again. Her response puzzled me: “Oh, OK, you’ll need to talk to customer service.”
“But I thought this was customer service.”
“It is, but you’ll need to talk to another part of customer service.”
They put me on hold, punishing me by making me listen to The Eagles. It was neither a peaceful nor easy feeling.
Another rep finally got on the line, and I had to recap. My discussion included double-checking to make sure that no general admission tickets were available in any other option other than paperless ticketing. He assured me there were no other options.
“So, you can understand my frustration then when I see I’m being charged not only for delivery but for two-day delivery?”
“Yes, sir,” he replied, and I started thinking I was finally getting somewhere.
“So, if I understand correctly,” he said, “you want to switch this to standard mail.”
“There’s nothing to mail! It’s paperless ticketing! Are you going to mail me air.”
To his credit, he laughed then said, “I guess that wouldn’t make much sense.”
In the end, Ticketmaster refunded the money, and I’m cleared to go to the show without any hassle. It also gave me an excuse to share one of my all-time favorite Seinfeld moments. I’m fair with that trade-off.