CLAIM

Many Ticketmaster customers are eligible for free concert tickets under the terms of a class action settlement. See Example( s )

EXAMPLES
Collected via e-mail and Twitter, June 2016

Is it true that Ticketmaster is giving away free tickets to concerts to settle out of court in a class action lawsuit involving charges for handling fees from 2005 through 2013 Just saw word of a Ticketmaster class action that they have settled by offering some people free tickets. Is this true? There is a link in the report to a website to check and see it you qualify.
MOSTLY TRUE

RATING

MOSTLY TRUE

WHAT'S TRUE

Customers who purchased tickets from Ticketmaster between October 1999 and February 2013 may be eligible for free concert passes and other vouchers.

WHAT'S FALSE

People who used the site to purchase tickets outside the dates listed weren't eligible for the vouchers; vouchers didn't entitle bearers to attend any concert they like for free.

ORIGIN

In June 2016, word began spreading across social media that due to a class action settlement, many users were eligible for free tickets from Ticketmaster.

Many were wary due to the neverending hoax claims of free plane tickets, free Disney vacations, and free gift cards were skeptical of the rumors. However, the legitimacy of the suit was eventually addressed by well-known media outlets:

Many Ticketmaster users were thrilled over the weekend to discover that they were given vouchers for free and discounted tickets, the fruits of a 13-year-old lawsuit against the company over its fees.

But how and when those vouchers can be used has befuddled people.

It is true that there was a lot of confusion about the terms of the settlement and individual eligibility, leading to some disruptions on the site and clarifications on Twitter: 

A “Frequently Asked Questions” item published on Ticketmaster’s blog explained under which circumstances a customer might be eligible for free tickets:

In 2003, the Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster class action lawsuit was filed alleging that Ticketmaster failed to fully disclose to consumers all aspects of its UPS and Order Processing Fees. While vigorously defending the lawsuit, Ticketmaster settled the case in 2013, with the court granting final approval of the settlement in February 2015.

The settlement class includes all consumers who transacted on Ticketmaster.com from 1999-2013.

A subsequent portion provided further details on vouchers and credits to which Ticketmaster.com customers were possibly entitled:

Each class member gets 1 discount voucher for each Ticketmaster.com purchase made between October 21, 1999 and February 27, 2013, up to a maximum of 17 discount vouchers.

  • If you used UPS delivery for your tickets during the class period, you also received 1 UPS voucher for each UPS delivery you paid for over the class period, up to a maximum of 17 UPS vouchers.
  • All class members also received one ticket voucher, which is good for two eligible General Admission tickets, for each transaction the class member made over the class period, up to a maximum of 17 vouchers. This voucher is potentially redeemable for two eligible General Admission tickets for certain Live Nation concert events subject to availability and limitations. 

However, another portion of the FAQ suggested that not all class members might ultimately receive vouchers:

Under the terms of the settlement, Ticketmaster will provide tickets to at least 60% of the events that take place at Live Nation owned and operated venues. If the initial list of events does not include an event in your area, please check back periodically, as new events will be added.

A post on the music blog Consequence of Sound held that many users experienced initial difficulty redeeming or accessing their vouchers (we attempted to verify eligibility of an October 2012 ticket purchased through Ticketmaster.com, but did not find any “active vouchers” listed):

Today, Ticketmaster revealed an initial list of the 450 shows for which the free vouchers can be used. And surprisingly, there’s some big names included: The Cure, Black Sabbath, Mumford and Sons, Bob Dylan, Flight of the Conchords, Prophets of Rage, “Weird Al” Yankovich, Brand New with Modest Mouse, Blink-182, Weezer, Duran Duran, Hall and Oates, and Gary Clark Jr. are all included.

Check out the list of eligible shows here. Of course, seeing as how this does involve Ticketmaster, there are already technical issues being reported. Many Ticketmaster users have reported that their provided voucher codes are not being accepted at check out.

Because Ticketmaster.

News outlets also reported widespread technical difficulties among customers who initially verified eligibility, only to discover their codes missing (purportedly on a temporary basis):

Ticketmaster is now telling customers the codes will not be “available” until the event list is finalized, which is the most probable explanation as to why the free ticket codes disappeared from customer accounts on Monday. Tribune Broadcasting talked to a Ticketmaster customer service agent on Sunday night who confirmed the codes were removed from accounts and will be reposted when the event list is finalized and posted online.

All of the free tickets have not been gobbled up. Your free ticket voucher codes should return to your account once the event list has been confirmed and posted here … your free ticket codes have not been “replaced” with the $2.25 discount codes. Customers included in the settlement should receive discount codes in addition to free ticket codes.

In short, it is true that Ticketmaster customers who made purchases through Ticketmaster.com between October 1999 and February 2013 were eligible to receive concert passes or vouchers under the terms of a class action settlement. Both Ticketmaster and other outlets reported some glitches in the system, meaning that even some eligible class members might not immediately be able to access vouchers or passes.

Sources:

Victor, Daniel.   “Ticketmaster Lawsuit Could Mean Free Passes for You.”
    New York Times.   21 June 2016.

Young, Alex.   “Ticketmaster Posts Initial List Of Concerts Eligible For Free Vouchers, And They’re Surprisingly Solid.”
    Consequence of Sound.   21 June 2016.

WGNtv.   “Your Ticketmaster Free Ticket Vouchers Likely Disappeared — And Here’s Why.”
    21 June 2016.

Ticketmaster Insider.   “Frequently Asked Questions: Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster.”
    21 June 2016.