Rant of the day

I really wish on-line booking agents would just tell you the actual price of a ticket up front, instead of advertising one price and then adding on a pile of (unavoidable) additional fees.  For example, today I booked a ticket for a seminar Harvestbird and I are going to in a couple of weeks.  The advertised price was $10, with the note “service and transaction fees apply”. Which turned out to be $2 booking fee and 30c credit card processing fee.

Now, I accept that there is some administration involved in selling tickets, which has a cost.  And banks charge retailers for processing credit card payments.  And $12.30 isn’t exactly expensive.  But what annoys me is that there were no alternatives – the only way to get the tickets was through the booking agent, and the only payment option was credit card.  So if absolutely everyone is going to have to pay those additional fees anyway, why not build them into the ticket price in the first place, and advertise the tickets as costing $12.30?  Or even $15 if you like round numbers.  I’d much rather pay a flat $15 for an event and know that that’s going to be the total amount I pay, than pay $10 plus mysterious extra fees that I won’t find out the actual cost of until checkout.

Of course, I don’t mind paying extra if I’m requesting an additional service – say if I was opting to have the tickets mailed out to me instead of emailed.  In that situation, it’s fine to add an extra fee – but only if it is *genuinely* an additional service, not just the minimum you need to do to get a ticket.  Otherwise it just seems like lying to tell me I can buy a ticket for $10 when there is no way to actually get it for that price.

And that’s my rant for the day.

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