Ticketmaster to settle service-fee lawsuit

@CNNMoney December 2, 2011: 5:40 PM ET

New York (CNNMoney) -- If you've ever been enraged by Ticketmaster's hefty processing fees -- and have made a purchase through the company in the last 12 years -- you're in luck. Kind of.

The ticket-selling giant has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging Ticketmaster "defrauded," "bilked," and "wrongfully collected" ordering processing fees from customers who purchased tickets online and over the phone.

The payout: A whopping $1.50 credit for up to 17 transactions to be used on future Ticketmaster purchases. Additionally, a separate $5 credit will be issued to consumers who paid extra for expedited UPS delivery of their tickets, also on up to 17 orders.

According to court documents, customers who purchased tickets between October 21, 1999 through October 19, 2011 are eligible to participate in the settlement.

The class action lawsuit was filed in 2003 by two customers; Ticketmaster has agreed to pay each of the two named Plaintiffs $20,000.

A website has been set up to help customers claim their coupons. They can type in the old email addresses they used to buy tickets and have their coupons routed to a current address. Ticketmaster said it encourages customers to provide updated contact information.

"We believe that the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate as a compromise of highly disputed claims," Jacqueline Peterson, Ticketmaster spokesperson, told CNNMoney.

But the deal doesn't do anything to rein in Ticketmaster's hefty service fees. Instead it only requires that the ticket-seller change the language it uses on its website to describe its fees.

In a statement, Ticketmaster disputes that its fee descriptions were ever misleading.

"Ticketmaster attempts to earn a profit for its services, and it will continue to charge fees for the services it provides," Peterson said. "Nonetheless, as part of the settlement, Ticketmaster has modified its disclosures to emphasize that there is a profit component in these fees."

Calls and emails to attorneys for Ticketmaster and the plaintiffs were not returned. The final approval hearing for the settlement is scheduled for May 29, 2012. To top of page

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