I realized today that TicketMaster will never bother fixing its rampant problems with human users getting locked out in favor of bots that scrape tickets for scalpers, and this is why:
Yes, right there next to the news that there are no tickets left is a link to TicketsNow — clearly labeled as “A TicketMaster Company” with tickets for 2-3 times their face value. I started seeing this message at 10:03 a.m. today — a mere 180 seconds after the Bruce Springsteen show here in DC went on sale. Scalpers had purchased and re-posted tickets that quickly. Guess they’ve figured out how to read those “CAPTCHA” image files that are supposed to block non-human purchasers. Or maybe they’re just not that hard to decode, now that Ticketmaster has an official online stake in scalping. Outrageous.
I am, incidentally, particularly irritated because my officemate (who was helping out because my computer was refusing to boot up) had actually gotten me four club-level seats, but TM booted us out when we went to pay for them. This happened to two other people I know of as well. So, not only is TM not protecting customers from automated scalper bots, but they also weren’t living up to their stated rule of allowing a two minute window to log in and purchase. We were booted in about 15 seconds.
On the bright side, Brian did get tickets for Charlottesville, so at least we’ll get to see the ESB once this year.