Frosh announces settlement with Ticketmaster over Hippodrome resale tickets

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Photo by David Stone, via Flickr

The Maryland Attorney General’s Office reached a settlement with Ticketmaster after thousands of patrons were charged fees buying resale tickets for events at the Hippodrome Theatre, Attorney General Brian Frosh announced today.

The downtown theater changed its policy so that all fees for tickets bought directly from Ticketmaster would be baked into the cost shown on the screen, not tacked on at the end of the transaction. This change was disclosed on the theater’s site.

But the policy was not implemented for resale tickets on Ticketmaster’s secondary market, even though the same disclosure appeared, Frosh’s office said.

Between Jan. 1, 2017 and July 24, 2019, 4,176 patrons bought secondary market tickets for performances at the Hippodrome Theatre and were charged fees as high as $31, according to the settlement.

“We were able to resolve this matter so that consumers will get back fees that they should not have been charged,” Frosh said in a statement.

Ticketmaster has agreed to issue a refund to impacted buyers within 30 days, either by check or crediting the amount back to the credit card used for a purchase.

After 240 days, the company will have to compile the contact information of every impacted buyer and submit that list and any unpaid restitution to the Attorney General’s Office, who will place the funds in a trust or use the money for consumer education.

Ticketmaster has also agreed to pay the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division $25,000 for the cost of its investigation.

The ticketing giant denies that it violated any state laws, including the Consumer Protection Act, according to the settlement.

The settlement also includes a cease and desist ordering Ticketmaster to not misrepresent the prices of the tickets it sells.

Consumers who believe they are owed refunds can call the Consumer Protection hotline at (410) 528-8662 or 1-(888) 743-0023.

Brandon Weigel

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