What to Know
- After I-Team revealed Broadway ticket buyers complaining they were misled by TicketNetwork.com, the company has agreed to settling lawsuit
- The company has agreed to pay $1.55 million to the state of New York and change its business practices
- The I-Team first reported on allegations of improper ticket “short selling” on TicketNetwork back in October
After an I-Team investigation revealed Broadway ticket buyers complaining they were misled by the website TicketNetwork.com, the company has agreed to pay $1.55 million to the state of New York and change its business practices.
The I-Team first reported on allegations of improper ticket “short selling” on TicketNetwork back in October. That’s when Roberta Server and her daughters told NBC New York they used TicketNetwork.com to buy prime Orchestra-level seats to the Broadway production of My Fair Lady. But when the tickets arrived in the mail, the seats turned out to be in the last row of the theater. Server and her daughters suspected they bought the seats from someone who didn’t actually own the tickets when he or she advertised them.
“People shouldn’t get away with things like this,” Server said.
“You’re sitting in the dead last row in the theater and you’re looking at a ticket that – you really feel scammed,” said Lauren Scher, Server’s daughter.
After fielding complaints like that, the New York Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit against TicketNetwork and one of its partner websites, alleging the companies were “engaging in a massive scheme to trick tens of thousands of unsuspecting customers into buying tickets. . . that the sellers did not actually have.”
“Because of their dishonest practices, these companies defrauded thousands of New Yorkers and duped customers into spending millions of dollars on speculative tickets,” said Letitia James, New York’s Attorney General.
The settlement with TicketNetwork and a partner website called Ticket Galaxy requires the companies to clearly disclose when sellers use the platforms to advertise tickets they don’t actually own.
TicketNetwork and Ticket Galaxy said the settling of the Attorney General lawsuit included no admission of wrong-doing.
In a statement to the I-Team, the companys’ CEO, Donald Vaccaro, said he has also abandoned a lawsuit seeking to prove the Attorney General’s 2-year investigation had no legal merit.
“TicketNetwork is pleased that this matter has been resolved,” Vaccaro said. “Our company has now achieved the clarity and certainty that we initially sought through our lawsuit against the NYAG.”
TicketNetwork and Ticket Galaxy are not the only websites that will now have to make more clear disclosures about speculative sales of event tickets. Under a New York state law that took effect at the end of last year, all ticket sales platforms must ensure sellers tell buyers when they don’t own the tickets they are advertising.