Monday, February 12, 2007
To Fee Or Not To Fee? Apparently, That Is No Longer The Question
Saturday's issue of The New York Times included a must-read story for anyone who has been confounded by the rampant misuse of ticketing fees tacked onto Broadway tickets. Cara Joy David's exposé decodes the burgeoning use of "restoration" or "facility" fees, as well as the escalating costs for service charges and even mailing of tickets.
Now I realize that it usually takes a human to place tickets into an envelope when tickets are mailed out, but does it really take the $4 Telecharge now charges for the "service"? Or how about that $2.50 fee for an e-mail version of the ticket? According to David, a Ticketmaster transaction illustrated in the story incurs an additional $11 in fees -- essentially 10% more than the actual price of the ticket.
While theatre impresario Daryl Roth may try to spin his way out of this by stating, "That is not what people complain about anymore. People are understanding of it,” I share the belief of Ticket Central's Mike Rafael, who responds that it's all about additional profits. I just wish they'd be honest about it, particularly as most top seats are seeing yet another increase in bottom-line ticket pricing.
All this leads me to invite you to vote in my latest SOB Poll that asks, "What is the top price you're willing to pay for a Broadway ticket?" You'll find the poll on the right-hand column of the site.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).