Ticket Fairness for MD Consumers
MCRC believes all consumers should have a chance to buy tickets to concerts and other events at a fair and easily-understandable price. That's why we work to protect ticket-buyers against outrageous service charges, hidden add-on fees, hoarding of tickets by brokers, and other unfair ticket-selling practices.
Watch out for Concert Ticket Scams
When you're excited about buying tickets to see your favorite artists or teams perform, it's easy to overlook hidden fees and fine-print ticket policies that can blow a hole in your budget or make it hard for you to use your tickets or give them to a friend.
MCRC worked with Fan Freedom to develop our ticketbuying guide that gives you six good tips on how to avoid ticket scams. Dowload our ticket buying guide by clicking here!
Banning the Use of "Ticket Bots"
During the 2014 MD Assembly session, we worked with Del. Sam Arora and Sen. Brian Feldman to pass legislation (HB 98/SB 154) banning the ticket bots many ticket brokers use to buy-up most tickets for popular concerts on-line before most consumers even have a chance to buy them.. When Gov. Martin O'Malley signed the bill in April, Maryland became the 13th state in the country to ban those ticket bots.
To learn more, you can:
Fighting Unfair Fees in Baltimore
After MD's highest court ruled in Jan. 2013 that the service charges Ticketmaster and other giant ticket vendors were charging Baltimore ticket-buyers violated the city's anti-scalping laws, many city politicians moved to exempt ticket-sellers from the law and eliminate restrictions on service fees. MCRC worked instead to push the city to enforce the law and protect ticket-buyers from unfair service charges.
Although the court's ruling held that Ticketmaster could be liable for fines of up to $1,000 for each of hundreds of potential violations of the law, the City Council suspended enforcement of the law while crafting a new law to regulate ticket fees.
To Learn More You Can
- Read our factsheet on the controversy and the debt Ticketmaster owed the city here
- Read our Feb. 2013 testimony to the City Council asking it to collect that debt here
- Read our blog piece on why exempting Ticketmaster from the law was unfair here
New Law in City Ticket Fees
MCRC called for the city to collect the debts Ticketmaster owed and to adopt an all-in-one pricing policy that would require ticket vendors to put all service fees into a single, clearly-disclosed ticket price. In the Spring and Summer of 2013, we worked with City Councilman Carl Stokes in support of legislation that would have set limits on service charges and required much clearer disclosure of all fees to consumers.
- Read our June 2013 press statement on the bill here
- Read our action alert supporting the bill here
- Read our July 2013 testimony to the City Council in support of the bill here
Unfortunately, the City Council gutted the bill by amending it to eliminate all meaningful restrictions on ticket fees. To learn more about what the council did, you can:
- Read Executive Director Marceline White's Q&A with Baltimore Brew on the bill and the need for better protections for ticket-buyers here
- Read Baltimore City Paper's account of the council gutting the bill.
- Read Baltimore City Paper's blurb about the "Ticketmaster fail."