Ohio Taylor Swift fans are asking AG Yost to investigate Ticketmaster

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is reviewing his legal capacity to launch an investigation into Ticketmaster following the disastrous launch of Taylor Swift tickets.

Taylor Swift superfans, dubbed the Swifties, are known for having one of the most dedicated fan bases in all of music. That’s why it was so hard for millennial Astone Jackson to come to terms with the fact that he was so close to getting tickets to the Era’s Tour, but all he ended up getting was a blank.

“It was absolute horror, it was just awful,” Jackson said. “I spent all day trying to reach it.”

He tried to navigate the maze, but there was a glitch, he added. He ended up having to start all over again whenever he had tickets in his shopping cart.

“I was there and then it just kicked you out or it freezes and then you’re just out,” he said. “Then we didn’t get any tickets in the end.”

Julie Viola was able to secure tickets for herself and her two children in their 20s, but only after watching the prices change for each seat. Fees also began to increase by the second, due to what is known as “dynamic pricing,” a selling technique that increases the cost of available seats as others are sold.

“I was more shocked by the charges,” Viola said. “But I did notice that when I got back inside when I got out of the floor seats, the prices started to go up.”

Long story short, she had to pay an extra $75 for a service fee for each ticket, on top of already paying more than she wanted, she added. She had already been trying like a maniac to get them, so she just paid.

“That’s more money than I’ve ever spent on tickets to a concert or a Broadway show combined,” she said.

High schooler Elle didn’t even get the link to get tickets.

“I think that’s totally unfair,” said the 14-year-old. “It’s just crazy how many people just wanted it and just couldn’t.”

Her mother, corporate law expert Anat Alon-Beck, said this has been an ongoing issue for Ticketmaster, especially since they merged with media giant LiveNation.

“They’re not just selling the tickets, they’re also responsible for the venues and other aspects, and that’s why it’s so problematic,” Alon-Beck said.

The Justice Department has already investigated LiveNation for antitrust violations, but Alon-Beck said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost should open a state investigation.

“Ohio doesn’t have a price cut law like many other states,” his spokesman said. “The Attorney General is examining our consumer law to determine if there is a legal theory under Ohio law.”

Yost would have to be creative for that, but it’s worth it, said Alon-Beck. Certain interpretations might fit the mold since the state prohibits unfair selling practices.

“Why don’t we have any competition, what do we have to improve here?” She asked. “I see that as abusive and that’s what we want to protect consumers from.”

Ticketmaster has apologized to both Swift and her fans, but has canceled general admission tickets due to “insufficient remaining ticket stocks.” Swift also apologized, blaming the company for telling her they could handle that kind of demand.

“I just don’t think it was a fair chance for the fans,” Jackson said.

Yost’s team added that if you believe you have been the victim of an unfair or fraudulent practice, you should call the hotline at 800-282-0515. The team asked viewers to file complaints online at this link: https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Individuals-and-Families/Consumers/File-a-Complaint

Follow WEWS Statehouse reporter Morgan Trau on Twitter and Facebook.

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