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Ticketmaster Class Action Settlement is Leaving Many Unsatisfied

If you've purchased tickets to any major concert online over the past decade, chances are very good that you had go through Ticketmaster, the much-maligned ticket broker for live events all over the nation, including right here in Connecticut.

Ticketmaster has faced its fare share of legal problems over the years, including a joint lawsuit filed back in 2003 by two music fans who claimed its fees were both misleading and excessive. In fact, this lawsuit was eventually granted class-action status and carried on all the way until 2011.

It was then that attorneys from both sides reached a preliminary settlement, the terms of which ultimately called for Ticketmaster to rewrite the language on its website in order to reflect greater transparency regarding fees and, more significantly, to pay out $42 million over four years (with no less than $10.5 million being paid out every year).

Interestingly enough, Ticketmaster released $5 million worth of free vouchers earlier this week as part of the class action settlement. Specifically, eligible class members -- anyone who purchased tickets online between October 21, 1999 and February 27, 2103 -- received anywhere from one to 17 vouchers accessible via their Ticketmaster account.

In general, there are three different vouchers available via the settlement, including a $2.25 discount on any ticket, a $5 discount applicable toward any UPS delivery cost, and two free general admission tickets to shows held at venues owned or operated by Ticketmaster-owned Live Nation Entertainment.

While it would seem like this $5 million release would be welcomed with unanimous fanfare, it's been met with something more akin to universal scorn.

That's because many people soon discovered that the vouchers for free tickets were gone almost instantly while those lucky enough to get them were provided with very limited options for shows.

For its part, Ticketmaster has indicated that another $10 million in free ticket vouchers for concerts will be released through next May. Experts indicate, however, that the amount released beyond that is anything but clear, depending largely on how many people use the aforementioned $2.25 and $5 discounts, which are applied toward the $42 million settlement total.

It will be fascinating to see how the settlement continues to unfold and what steps, if any, Ticketmaster is prepared to take to further satisfy aggrieved class members. 

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