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Holders of resold tickets denied entry to 'Harry Potter'

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sarahb22
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https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Holders-of-Re-Sold-Tickets-Being-Denied-Entry-To-HARRY-POTTER-AND-THE-CURSED-CHILD-20160815

This would eliminate people buying resold tickets I guess, but I can't help but feel sorry for the people who bought the tickets not knowing they wouldn't be let in.

I mean, really, this was just punishing them for buying the tickets. It's not punishing the scalper - they still got their money, there's no way for the buyers to get it back.  And of course the theater got its money, so what do they care?  But I'd be really upset if I spent extra money for a ticket to see this show only to be told I couldn't get in. 

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gypsy101
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yeah wtf is wrong with that theater, why not let those people in since they paid all that money to buy tickets.

is reselling tickets illegal in England?? if not then I think the theater should legally prohibited from denying these people entry since they purchased legit tickets.

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Updated On: 8/15/16 at 10:06 PM
mpkie
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gypsy101 said: "is reselling tickets illegal in England?? if not then I think the theater should legally prohibited from denying these people entry since they purchased legit tickets."

Per Wikipedia, "Other than in the case of football tickets, there is no legal restriction against reselling tickets in the UK."

I had to dig around the official website to see that hidden in their FAQ page, called "Your Questions Answered", their 5th question down states their stance on resellers outside of authorized dealers.

"Please note that we reserve the right to refuse admission to customers with tickets purchased on re-sale websites. Tickets purchased through either of our official ticketing platforms must not be sold or advertised for sale on the internet, in newspapers or elsewhere. Any ticket advertised for sale in this way will be automatically void.

Please note, the credit or debit card that you used to purchase your ticket, or confirmation email will be required as proof of purchase when you get to the theatre."

I think it's total bs. If you're going to take such a stance with extreme prejudice, it should be plastered all over the site, aka on the Tickets page itself... I shouldn't have to dig around.

It's great they're making a concerted effort to make affordable tix available but they just screwed over actual fans who wanted to see the show.

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Notreallysilent 2
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I understand what they are doing though. While yes it is BS to turn people away and the people might not even get a refund from stub hub etc. their resale in a little confused about thoufh. They sell returned tickets for 5% more. I'm not sure if he person who returned the ticket gets the 5% or the theater, but if it's the theater it seems they benifit from not allowing resale. Is it possible for stub hub or other websites to not allow people to sell HP tickets? That might be a smart issue because many people don't know about this rule, especilly ones traveling from the states where resale is not only allowed but Ticketmaster makes it seem like it's encouraged to resale your tickets. I would be completely heartbroken as a fan of the series if I go to the theater and they essentially tell me no too bad your not coming in here is a paper so ~maybe~ you get a refund (in the FAQ it also mentiones that they'll give you a paper to send to stub hub or whatever website you used that you were denied entry and then maybe they'll give you a refund EDIT: it seems they took out that part from their FAQ it's weird I definitely remember reading something about that on their page a few days ago)

Updated On: 8/15/16 at 10:37 PM
Jarethan
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i think it is great.  I tried to buy tickets for Nov 2017, and discovered that the show basically has no tickets to sell through that date...and that is the latest date 'available for sale'  Yet, every site you go onto has lots of seats at ridiculous prices.  I was very impressed by the fact that the producers charged very reasonable prices for the tickets in the first place, only to have these pigs use technology to essentially steal the tickets from average theatergoers.

I truly hope this occurs here as well.  This legalized scalping (and the order of magnitude for a hit show) is not good for the theatre IMO.

pupscotch
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I think there should have been more advertisement that you would not be let in with a resale ticket. Other than that, I think this is the only real way to combat bots and resellers (though I buy some tickets on Ticketmaster resale myself).

wolfwriter2
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Jarethan said: "i think it is great.  I tried to buy tickets for Nov 2017, and discovered that the show basically has no tickets to sell through that date...and that is the latest date 'available for sale'  Yet, every site you go onto has lots of seats at ridiculous prices.  I was very impressed by the fact that the producers charged very reasonable prices for the tickets in the first place, only to have these pigs use technology to essentially steal the tickets from average theatergoers.

I truly hope this occurs here as well.  This legalized scalping (and the order of magnitude for a hit show) is not good for the theatre IMO.


 

So, when I buy tickets for my niece and nephew as a gift (tickets are a big gift thing in my family and have been, for years), since you seem so adamant about this, would you turn two kids away, at the door? How would you know if I gave them the tickets or they bought them on StubHub?

 

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HogansHero
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it is always astonishing to me that people invent complications that don't exist to criticize what is manifestly a great thing for the theatre. 

Obviously the theatre has a mechanism for dealing with resold tickets vs legitimately transferred ones. Obviously the fact that scalping is not illegal does not mean a theatre must honor scalped tickets: a ticket is a license, and it is revocable. If you buy from stubhub they guarantee to make you whole. If you bought on the street then you learned your lesson. Sorry but this is a great step forward. Oh, and where were all of these complications when NYTW did it? I really question how many people posting in this thread are actually theatre-lovers.

mpkie
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pupscotch said: "I think there should have been more advertisement that you would not be let in with a resale ticket."

This is my point exactly. Why use such soft language as "we reserve the right to refuse" and hide it on a FAQ page a few questions down? Their "Ticket Info" page says nothing about this directly. They should use forceful language, such as "in an effort to blah blah blah, we will refuse" all over their website, ticket info page, and request their ticketing partners to do the same. Esp. since this seems to be newish(?) policy for a theatrical show. The ticket itself should say non-transferrable / ticket purchaser must be present and able to present credit card used for purchase (essentially what they are asking for).

Even Hamilton lists their official ticket sellers and explicitly says buyers should only purchase directly from official ticket sellers on their front page.

I would argue that the policy wasn't adequately communicated and that's my main/only complaint.

Edited for correction: Their "Ticket Info" page does say the following: "Please note that we reserve the right to refuse admission to customers with tickets purchased on re-sale websites," coming after "If you would like to a return a ticket you have booked..." It is the last sentence hidden under the "Performance Schedule" section and I missed it until I went back and read every single word. The whole Performance Schedule thing threw me for a loop, and then seeing a bunch of colorful prices, then a sentence about returning a ticket. So it's there with a fairly non-intuitive/illogical placement, like those disclaimers that advertisers want you to miss.

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Updated On: 8/16/16 at 01:19 AM
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imeldasturn
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Actually on every west end ticket is written that it's prohibited to resell a ticket. On a ticket for Southwark Playhoise (off west end) you will find "patrons with a ticket that has been resold or transferred without authorisation may be refused entry or ejected from the venue". so yeah, reselling ticket is a not to do thing in London.

mpkie
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imeldasturn said: "Actually on every west end ticket is written that it's prohibited to resell a ticket. On a ticket for Southwark Playhoise (off west end) you will find "patrons with a ticket that has been resold or transferred without authorisation may be refused entry or ejected from the venue". so yeah, reselling ticket is a not to do thing in London."

Thanks for that info, imeldasturn. That's actually great that it's a widespread theater policy. If the Potter tix say similar verbiage, then consider my comments retracted. It would mean ticket holders of resold tix should have known what to expect.

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I tried (and failed) to get tickets from the latest released block and saw the warning several times, on both the show website and the ticket seller pages. I feel bad for the people who got turned away at the door, but the show made it very clear that they might not honor resold tickets. Unfortunately, the most effective way to battle resellers is to drive down the demand for scalped tickets, and this is one of the ways.

As for people who can no longer attend the show, you can return the tickets and the box office will release them back to the public. Since I didn't score any tickets, I was able to sign up for the "wish list," where I specified the dates and times that would work for me. If any tickets that match my criteria are returned, the box office will alert me so that I have a chance to buy them. It's a really smart system, and one that I would like to see implemented everywhere.

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rosscoe(au)
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Good on the producers for doing it and sticking with it, opens a level playing field on ticket prices and also on the  ability to book tickets. 

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belrowley said: "As for people who can no longer attend the show, you can return the tickets and the box office will release them back to the public. Since I didn't score any tickets, I was able to sign up for the "wish list," where I specified the dates and times that would work for me. If any tickets that match my criteria are returned, the box office will alert me so that I have a chance to buy them. It's a really smart system, and one that I would like to see implemented everywhere.

Yes I love this system. I hate when concerts pull the 'only the cardholder can be admitted' stuff and don't let you return your ticket or get a refund. This works out perfectly and also means that a tough ticket goes into the hands of someone who really wants it - at face value - rather than a seat going empty.

Updated On: 8/16/16 at 02:43 AM
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Theatres have the right to refuse entry to ticketholders at their discretion. In most cases, this is printed on the ticket itself- along with specific reasons that would lead to the ticket not being honored. It's akin to a contract and by using the ticket you are agreeing to those terms.

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I think it is great, though if I had spent the money for secondary market tickets I would be disappointed too. However, I think some people here are overreacting, or are exaggerating some of the potential issues with this policy,

 

1. The producers of the play have made it very clear that tickets bought on the secondary market will not be honored. It's been quoted in almost every single article regarding the sales of tickets, And no, it's not "hidden" on the website. The policy is in the FAQ ("Your Questions Answered"Holders of resold tickets denied entry to 'Harry Potter' which is plain view on the show's website. 

 

2. Ticket holders can give their tickets to anyone they want (or sell, technically). The "new" recipient will simply need the original confirmation e-mail that the ticket holder received when the tickets were purchased from the official source ("If you are purchasing tickets as a gift, you can [claim the tickets] without the credit or debit card but guests will need to present the original confirmation email to the Box Office when collecting their tickets."Holders of resold tickets denied entry to 'Harry Potter' Based on my own purchase of tickets, they only mail tickets in the UK, and only about a week before the performance date, so this is pretty much how they are able to verify who has bought a ticket from the secondary market. 

 

3. It is not illegal to resell tickets, but as the "owners" of the show, they have every right to make the tickets non-transferable. While it does punish the fans who paid a lot of money, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. The fact that they are willing to pay those prices is the reason that scalpers are able to charge those prices, and encourages even more scalping activity. This will discourage people from paying those prices. Luckily, StubHub guarantees the tickets, so they can get a refund if entry is refused. The Cursed Child policy would have been a bigger deterrent if they didn't get their money back.

 

4. Because of the huge demand, the play accepts returns. Since they don't charge a service upon initial purchase, they charge £2.50 per refunded ticket as a service fee. It's not exorbitant. Only people on the "Wish List" pay an additional fee. If the tickets are sold on the Returns line or through the online ticketing sites, there is no fee and the tickets are re-sold at face value.

 

I am not connected with the play in any way, and was able to get all of this information by just a quick Google search and reading the FAQ. There is nothing secretive or underhanded about the policy. It goes to show that producers DO have a way to try and control the secondary market but most choose not to.

Updated On: 8/16/16 at 12:28 PM
broadwayguy91
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What if you want to pass the ticket to someone else ( a family member, friend) etc because you can't use it for any reason? I wonder if they have a system in place for that (e.g. show an authorization letter with a photocopy of the person's credit card etc)

Jarethan
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wolfwriter2 said: "Jarethan said: "i think it is great.  I tried to buy tickets for Nov 2017, and discovered that the show basically has no tickets to sell through that date...and that is the latest date 'available for sale'  Yet, every site you go onto has lots of seats at ridiculous prices.  I was very impressed by the fact that the producers charged very reasonable prices for the tickets in the first place, only to have these pigs use technology to essentially steal the tickets from average theatergoers.

I truly hope this occurs here as well.  This legalized scalping (and the order of magnitude for a hit show) is not good for the theatre IMO.


 

So, when I buy tickets for my niece and nephew as a gift (tickets are a big gift thing in my family and have been, for years), since you seem so adamant about this, would you turn two kids away, at the door? How would you know if I gave them the tickets or they bought them on StubHub?

 
I think I'm gonna barf...can they bring their dog to the theatre too?  I think there is an issue if the producers have not informed people in advance about this policy.  If they have, then the kids are gonna have to be disappointed.

Fundamentally, producers need to state their policy upfront.  The more producers who do, the more the public understands the risks.  What has happened in recent years is unprecedented on Broadway, certainly in the quantity made available at extortionate prices.  Just look at Hamilton performances that arte sold out, but have rear mezzanine seats on resale for $500+.  It is wrong and needs to be addressed.

 

 

"

 

Jarethan
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wolfwriter2 said: "Jarethan said: "i think it is great.  I tried to buy tickets for Nov 2017, and discovered that the show basically has no tickets to sell through that date...and that is the latest date 'available for sale'  Yet, every site you go onto has lots of seats at ridiculous prices.  I was very impressed by the fact that the producers charged very reasonable prices for the tickets in the first place, only to have these pigs use technology to essentially steal the tickets from average theatergoers.

I truly hope this occurs here as well.  This legalized scalping (and the order of magnitude for a hit show) is not good for the theatre IMO.


 

So, when I buy tickets for my niece and nephew as a gift (tickets are a big gift thing in my family and have been, for years), since you seem so adamant about this, would you turn two kids away, at the door? How would you know if I gave them the tickets or they bought them on StubHub?

 
I think I'm gonna barf...can they bring their dog to the theatre too?  I think there is an issue if the producers have not informed people in advance about this policy.  If they have, then the kids are gonna have to be disappointed.

Fundamentally, producers need to state their policy upfront.  The more producers who do, the more the public understands the risks.  What has happened in recent years is unprecedented on Broadway, certainly in the quantity made available at extortionate prices.  Just look at Hamilton performances that arte sold out, but have rear mezzanine seats on resale for $500+.  It is wrong and needs to be addressed.

 

 

"

 

Fosse76
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broadwayguy91 said: "What if you want to pass the ticket to someone else ( a family member, friend) etc because you can't use it for any reason? I wonder if they have a system in place for that (e.g. show an authorization letter with a photocopy of the person's credit card etc)"

 
Perhaps this was posted while I was still typing my response. They only mail the tickets to UK residents, and only 2 weeks before the performance date. If you have the tickets in your possession, you can just hand them over to whomever. If you live outside the UK, or opted for Box Office pick-up, you must collect your ticket from the Box Office. Just give them your confirmation email for the tickets and they can pick them up themselves. From the official site:

 
MY TICKETS HAVE BEEN PURCHASED FOR SOMEONE ELSE. CAN I CLAIM THE TICKETS WITHOUT PROVIDING A CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD?

 
If you are purchasing tickets as a gift, you can do so without the credit or debit card but guests will need to present the original confirmation email to the Box Office when collecting their tickets.

 

*EDITED to correct the mailing time.

Updated On: 8/16/16 at 02:28 PM
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This solution only solves half the problem and makes it seem that only 50% of the responsible parties are at fault for the problem.

Yes, people who buy on the secondary market do not deserve sympathy when they are refused admittance because when they knowingly purchase tickets at inflated prices, they are just as culpable for their own unethical behavior as the sellers of those tickets. By willingly purchasing tickets that are sold through unethical practices, they are knowingly condoning and perpetrating the problem. Refusing admittance is a good step in resolving that half of the problem. 

But there's also the other side of the unethical reselling issue that's not being addressed - the side that is blindly selling those tickets to the unethical resellers at the start. Until processes and checks are ALSO put in place that create better controls over releasing tickets to unethical resellers in the first place, it's a bit hypocritical to pat producers, etc. on the back for 'doing the right thing'.

It's especially hypocritical knowing that this half-solution puts 100% of the financial risk solely on potential audience members. As others have pointed out, once a ticket is sold, it's SOLD. Full stop. The money is theirs to keep whether the ticket holder sees the show or not.

I do like this practice. I think it's a good policy. I'm just not as willing to give as much credit to producers for the very small, no risk effort behind it. It is (literally) the least they could do.

Updated On: 8/16/16 at 03:42 PM
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John, your point is well taken and I totally agree. I do think, though, that eliminating the demand is the only way to curb the rampant scalping that goes on so although this is an imperfect solution, I think it can be an effective one in the long run. It will just hurt in the short run and I definitely feel sorry for those fans caught up in this.

I don't live in NYC (or London) so it didn't occur to me until fairly recently what a big problem this had become. I was aware of the huge market for Hamilton tix, of course, but only peripherally. When I bought tix for the upcoming Sunday in the Park with George concert, I was idly trolling StubHub and was floored that within the hour all these tix became available on the site--at inflated prices of course. It really hit home how many tix are being snatched up purely for resale.

Fosse76
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Reducing demand, though, is really the only way to eliminate the secondary market overpricing. Even if producers are able to eliminate the bulk purchasing of tickets, scalpers will still manage to get a hold of tickets (or simply sell forgeries). If people realize they won't be able to get in the door with these tickets, they won't be willing to buy them. The real question though, is what is the true disincentive? Buying tickets through StubHub is almost risk free, since they refund your money if the tickets are void. So it becomes a question of who is buying these tickets, and is the time spent getting the tickets and getting to the theatre too risky for them only to be turned away? I have no sympathy for anyone purchasing these secondary market tickets. Their willingness to pay these exorbitant prices (no matter how begrudgingly) is the reason they get sold at those prices in the first place.

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Dancingthrulife2
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I've managed to see it twice on my trip to London through the cancellation line. Both in great stall seats, and the wait was only around 4-5 hours, way better than the Hamilton cancellation monster. It was also interesting that most people in line are Americans. Not knowing why people would shell out this much money if they've done enough research.

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I'm curious as to how they even know the tickets were resold, if the people going into the theater are holding genuine tickets (that were issued by Nimax or ATG)?