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Two In The Stalls Sir! -That Will Be 475.50p!!!!

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MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/28/08
Two In The Stalls Sir! -That Will Be 475.50p!!!!
The ridiculous saga of what people have to pay these days on top of the face value ticket price is starting to come to the boil.

******
David Lister of The Independent.
'Booking fees, transaction fees, web fees the injustice to the public goes
on'.

Another week, another reader writes to me with complaints about booking
fees.
This one booked at the Richmond Theatre, administered by Ambassador Tickets,
and in addition to his 27 ticket was charged a 2 "booking fee" plus a 1
'restoration levy' plus a 2.75 'web transaction charge'.
There wasn't on this occasion a 3 'box office manager's sandwiches fee'. But the three extra charges still amounted to an extra 21 per cent.
As this reader commented, "I hope the show is good." Even if it is, it may not feel like it after such a rip-off.

I've been campaigning for cheaper theatre tickets, against booking fees and for the ticket to show the actual price paid at theatres, operas, rock concerts, etc, for some years now. The reason, aside from the regular reader feedback, that I return to this call for transparency in the arts is that a new survey of theatregoers shows just how widespread dissatisfaction is.
The main findings of the survey by the Society of London Theatre in partnership with the market research agency Ipsos Mori are that in the past five years price has become a stronger motivating factor for audiences and there is now a general dissatisfaction with booking fees.
The survey also found that word of mouth recommendation, including blogs and social media websites, is the source of information most likely to encourage people to go to the theatre. The figure for this has almost doubled in the past five
years from 36 per cent to 65 per cent.
Perhaps it's not surprising as the survey shows that two in five theatregoers are members of Facebook.

Theatre has in many ways joined the modern age. It's just theatre managements that are stuck with old, discredited, bad habits.
Do they read these surveys? Do they care about them? If they do read them, they might note with some alarm that 70 per cent of all theatregoers say that cost
stops them from going more often.
They might also reflect on the fact that only 5 per cent "strongly agree" that they understand why booking fees are charged, and only 1 per cent agree that they are currently at the right level. More than half of all respondents would like to see a booking fee incorporated into the cost of a ticket.
Add to this the fact that the survey shows strong criticism of the comfort of seating, toilets, bars and catering at London theatres, and even the most blinkered theatre owners and producers must surely realise that they have to smarten up their act.
But they don't seem to be doing so. Instead of addressing concerns over price generally and booking fees in particular, they bask in the satisfaction that the recession has not affected theatre audiences so far.
Certainly, the fact that people have often chosen to have some nights out at arts events rather than go on holiday has been a boon. It may not last, though.
The Facebook generation of theatregoers seems to have a lot less patience.
*****

Updated On: 5/16/10 at 03:39 PM
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Mark_E
Broadway Legend
joined:1/26/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/26/06
Its really silly isn't it. I refuse to buy drinks in the theatre. 2 for a bottle of water is disgusting. I always go to the corner shop before going in for half the price!
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turquoisefish
Broadway Star
joined:1/28/06
Broadway Star
joined:
1/28/06
I think a lot of it plays on people's ignorance. I have had a few friends tell me Wicked costs 80 a ticket because they have looked on the Internet and found a shady agency with big fees.
I booked yesterday with Ticketmaster for the Circus at Blackpool Tower on a special offer for 10. Then there is the 1 booking fee and the 1.75 fee to print my own ticket!
I think this sums up the way it is going: http://digg.com/d31R9w8?t (NSFW)
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Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/26/08
Why do you have to pay $2.50 for the courtesy of hte box office to hold your ticket?
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Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/26/08
I just looked at booking charges for Wicked in both broadway and West End.

Broadway charges;

$131:25 Ticket Cost
$7:50 Convenience Charge????
$2:50 Ticketfast The quickest delivery method available. Print your own tickets at your convenience!

London Charges;

62:50 Ticket Cost
2:50 Costs
2:50 Ticketfast The quickest delivery method available. Print your own tickets at your convenience!

I thought there might even be a option to pre-buy earplugs.

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jaqs
Broadway Star
joined:1/24/08
Broadway Star
joined:
1/24/08
I hate Ticketmasters fees for getting the ticket, last time I went to a gig it was cheaper to collect the ticket at the box office than print it myself. How that makes business sense I dont know.

Last year when I bought a ticket for a concert in vegas 'international will call' was a massive charge. But it was a one night only thing so I went with it (annoyed it wasnt sold out, but I got a sweet upgrade).

For the theatre is not so bad, depending on who is selling the tix. And I'll dayseat/tkts/book in person when I can anyway.

For theatre I wont use ticketmaster. Day seat followed by
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Mark_E
Broadway Legend
joined:1/26/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/26/06
The only times i've had to pay booking fees this year was when I got dayseats online/over the phone. For Misanthrope I was charged 3 on my 10 gallery standing and for Enron it was an extra 1.50 online for my front row seat. Then again im lucky in that I can normally go for dayseats or student tickets.
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hotjohn
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/14/08
When in New York, if I decide not to use the theatre's toilet, can I get a refund of the convenience charge?