CEO's Goodwill Gesture Offsets Cruel Ticket Scam

Sharon Osgood was the victim of a cruel ticket scam

The story is a familiar one. Tickets to an event are so highly sought after that would-be buyers seek them from unauthorized outlets. When the event is Super Bowl XLVII that lapse in judgement is almost understandable. But thanks to the CEO of Ticketmaster this particular story has a happy ending.

San Francisco 49ers fan Sharon Osgood couldn't afford the price of Super Bowl tickets being sold from the authorized outlets. Rather than miss her beloved team's appearance in the biggest game of the year, Osgood agreed to an offer made by a ticket re-seller she found on Craigslist. The re-seller claimed he was unable to attended the game and would sell the tickets to Osgood for $6,000. Following the re-seller's instructions, Osgood wired the money to a bank account in Florida.

The transaction turned out to be a scam and a rather cruel one at that. Mike Rosenberg of the San Jose Mercury News writes of the elaborate hoax.

After emailing, texting and talking with the seller on the phone for a week, they wired the money to his credit union. On Monday, the highly anticipated package arrived by FedEx. Instead of Super Bowl tickets, inside was a picture of quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Joe Flacco with a message underneath that read: "Enjoy the game!!!! Go Ravens!!!

News of Osgood's plight was widely reported in the bay area and eventually got the attention of Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard. Hubbard called Osgood and offered to give her free tickets to the Super Bowl. Osgood, who is still has not recovered the $6,000 sent to the re-seller, happily agreed to Hubbard generous offer.

"My heart literally was in my throat; it was fluttering. I was like, 'Oh my God, I can't believe this is happening.' I can't put into words how grateful I am." Osgood said between tears.

Upon hearing this story, regular readers of Fee Free Friday (FFF) may think to themselves "not again!" since the weekly round-up of ticketing industry news often contains harrowing tales of nefarious ticket re-sales. Fee Free Friday readers also know that the ticketing giant is often the target of "constructive criticism" for the per-ticket fees it charges.

Hubbard's goodwill gesture is to be commended and it should remind everyone in the business of selling tickets that customer happiness is priority number one.

The ticketing software you use should be able to print tickets on anti-counterfeit paper stock, support gate control policies with handheld barcode scanners, as well as offer Print-at-Home PDF tickets. ThunderTix offers all of these features plus we do not charge you per-ticket fees.

Sadly, this will likely not be the last story about Super Bowl ticket scams before the big game, so we say caveat emptor and caveat venditor too!