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October 24, 2006
Ticketmaster: clueless or evil?
Ticketmaster, the largest seller of event tickets worldwide, is a consistent spammer. Years ago I bought tickets from its website. Even though I have unsubscribed from the company's email list at least 10 times this year, Ticketmaster still sends me several emails per month.
The first few times I was duped into resubscribing to its emails at the same time I was unsubscribing. Click on "Unsubscribe From ALL" and the user interface AUTOMATICALLY check the boxes for "TicketAlert" and "Special Event-Related Offers," automatically subscribing you to stuff you want to unsubscribe from. A few weeks later, another Ticketmaster email arrives and the process starts all over again.
This is either a case of programming incompetence or unethical marketing. Note that Ticketmaster's Ethics Code doesn't not cover this at all (PDF.)
I have since learned to uncheck the first two boxes when I unsubscribe, but I am STILL getting emails from Ticketmaster. Anyone else having this problem? If so, what can we/should we do about it?
UPDATE (10/27/06): Just received another email, TicketAlert, from Ticketmaster. I'm going to unsubscribe again and use this post to track this saga.
UPDATE (11/03/06): After unsubscribing, I just received a "ticketAlert" email from Ticketmaster. I'm going to unsubscribe again.
UPDATE (11/10/06): And yet another email. Unsubcribing again.
UPDATE (2/12/07): I've stopped receiving the emails. It must have been a few weeks ago that they stopped and I didn't notice. Today I received a very nice email from a Ticketmaster marketing associate asking if I was still receiving the emails and volunteering to look into it if I was. Very cool.
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Yes, I've had the same problem with Ticketmaster and with a couple of other companies as well. I ended up giving up because the hassle of continually going to their website to unsubscribe or complain took more time than just hitting the delete button. I would think (hope?) that if we make a stink about it online they might pay attention. I wonder if there is some sort of "unsubscribe hall of shame" somewhere on the web where people can list these offenders.
I think you may need to unsubscribe from each individual venue. The TOS allows TM to share all your info with the venue that was host to the show you went to. And in general yes they are evil.
Complain to the Better Business Bureau. I had this problem with FTD a year ago. They finally got me off the list, but not before accidentally copying me on some internal discussions about why I was still getting e-mail. That was kinda humorous. When you complain to the BBB, people react quickly doing what they would otherwise never do. (Like letting you out of a bogus cell phone contract.)
QUOTE: The TOS allows Ticket Master to share all your info with the venue that was host to the show you went to.
Thank you for sharing that bit of information. It sounds like the only way to avoid the exchange of your data is to purchase tickets with cash and in person.
All these corporations want to harvest our data and identity, and we have so little control over that process, and what is taken.
What's really sad about the whole thing, is that they don't even have good data, they don't improve their offerings to meet our needs better, and the best they can do is spam us. What a waste of time and energy.
Unfortunately, here in the US, it would be very difficult for a new ticket agency to bubble up. Especially when you have a corporation like Live Nation (Clear Channel spin off) who owns 153 venues and puts on 29,500 events per year.
I had the same problem with The Village Voice. I tried to unsubscribe for a year but every time I clicked the "unsubscribe" link in the email, the net returned an Error 404. I gave up and let the email address expire (for other reasons).
It happen to me as well. For 6 months I've been trying to unsubscribe and even called them and they promised to take care of that.
incompetence AND evil.
May that be the begining of a new consumers crusade against these bloody annying companies.
How do you avoid this sort of thing? Never give anything but a disposable email address to online companies. There are a bunch of sites that offer such services.
trashmail.net has a firefox extension to help
spamgourmet has a lot of extra features
and there are other sites.
You can also usually go into your mail configuration and blacklist annoying senders. Ask an IT professional with your Internet provider.
Easier still: Get yourself an email program that can block mails from certain email addresses, or entire domains based on user-defined rules. I get 100's of spam mails every month, yet very few ever make it to my line of sight. My email program is Thunderbird (Open Source) Version 1.5. You can download it from: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird/
Learns real fast and gives your delete button a rest.
I ordered from Live Nation and get about 50 spams an hour. And not legitimate ones either. More like fake rolex watches, porn, cheap medicines and other garbage.
email@example.com is the e-mail I got at the netsolutions who is lookup and everyone should Spam the $#***it out of them. I have never encountered a reputable company (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc. that do this and I am pissed!!!!)