Concerts

When a Music Fan Couldn't Resolve Her Online Ticket Problem, She Turned to Us

"I think it's a fabulous service that you offer people when they're up against the wall. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, really," the concertgoer told NBC10 Boston Responds

NBC Universal, Inc.

When the day finally arrived for a long-awaited concert, a New Hampshire woman had trouble getting in the door.

Eileen Hertel is a huge Johnny Mathis fan. Her autographed photo from the singer is a prized possession. 

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“I’ve been listening to him and going to every concert since I was 12, 13 years old,” she said.

In January 2020, when she heard he was coming to a local theater, she bought tickets.  Hertel said she thought she was on the theater's website, but she actually made the purchase on Viagogo, which bills itself as a secondary marketplace for tickets to live events.

“I purchased two tickets for $200. Through them, I instantly got an email response with a confirmation number telling me that my tickets were ready for download and I could print them, which I did,” said Hertel. “I was told that, when I go to the concert, to bring the tickets with me and to bring my phone so they could see the tickets on my account in their app, which I did.”

The show was postponed twice during the pandemic and Hertel finally made it to the theater last May, but she couldn’t get in with the printed ticket information she had.

“And he said, but you can go inside to the ticket office and talk to the girls there, so I go into the ticket office,
said Hertel. “She said, give me your phone, we'll pull it up on the link.' We go through my account on my phone and there's no link there at all, even though Viagogo said the link would be there. I had no other choice other than to purchase two more tickets. Fortunately, they had two seats left, so I paid another $200.”

Hertel said Mathis was great, but her experience trying to get reimbursed from Viagogo was not.  

“I was calling. I was emailing for about five months, continually giving time in between for them to respond,” she said. “Doing what they were asking me to do to reset my account. I lost track of the phone calls.”

The company originally agreed to refund her credit card but didn’t, and wouldn’t mail her a check, Hertel said: “Then it was, the only way you're going to get your money back is either through Paypal or a bank transfer. And you go through these steps to set your account and this is the only way we will do it.”

Hertel doesn’t have a Paypal account and was wary of giving her bank account and social security numbers, which were requested, so she turned to NBC10 Boston Responds for help.

We contacted Viagogo and they told us that less than 0.2% of their orders worldwide ever encounter an issue at the door. A spokesperson said:

“We are disappointed to hear that Ms Hertel was not able to enter the Johnny Mathis concert, due to the venue’s decision to decline her ticket despite having a valid ticket in hand - it’s an incredibly unfair practice employed by some venues that only harms the fan.

“In line with our viagogo guarantee, we are committed to refunding Ms Hertel.  We have been in touch with her and as soon as her account details are updated to reflect the best way to refund her, we will process the refund.”

After we made contact with the company, Hertel felt comfortable giving Viagogo her bank information and she received a $200 refund.

“Been watching you for years. I love what you do,” she said. “I think it's a fabulous service that you offer people when they're up against the wall. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, really.”

If you ever have questions or concerns about tickets you purchased, call the box office ahead of time to verify them.  And if there are any issues, you can resolve them before the day of the show.

If you have a consumer problem you need help with, reach out to us at www.nbcboston.com/contactresponds. We will get back to you!

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