There have been several articles published recently on various sites regarding the “restrictive paperless tickets” issue.
ConsumerMan, for example, criticizes the practice and claims that it hurts the consumers.
I hold a different view on this issue.
Scalpers are a big problem. Whether you like it or not, you cannot call it a free market, where a certain group has a clear advantage over the others and can buy the best tickets in bulks using sophisticated programs and resources that others do not have, and then speculate on them and inflate the prices.
One can argue that TicketMaster should have solved the issue slightly differently, but the general approach is correct. It is the right thing to do to put a name on a ticket. Airlines do that and no-one complains. Have you tried to buy a ticket on a Thanksgiving? Imagine what the prices would be if there were air ticket scalpers!
I cannot even start to imagine how the consumer watch organizations can object this idea. The implementation might not be perfect, but the general direction is correct.
The requirement for the buyer to be present is indeed problematic. The ticket should bear a name, but not that of the buyer. Instead, the buyer should be able to put any name on the ticket when checking out, and the person whose name is on the ticket should be the one to be present at the entrance. This way the problem of gifts and giveaways can be solved, without letting scalpers put their foot in. Also, a waiting list should be created by the selling agency so that the tickets returned (for full refund!) would be then sold to the next in line, and not to the highest bidder on eBay. That would be fair. That would be free market.
As to the 14 years old kids at the Bieber concerts, well… I’ve got news to you, parents – you should be there, regardless of the name on the ticket. That’s your job. Park, wait in line and make sure your kid is safe, no-one else is going to do your job for you.
Enjoy your show,