Theatre patrons warned about online ticket shopping
Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel in a scene from the original Broadway company of ``Wicked.'' The CD cast recording of the musical has now gone platinum, selling more than 1 million copies. (AP Photo/Joan Marcus)
Published Wednesday, March 9, 2011 7:13PM PST
The Queen Elizabeth Theatre is cautioning anyone searching online for tickets to the hit musical "Wicked" not to confuse official sellers with ticket brokers.
The show, based on the witches of The Wizard of Oz, opens in Vancouver this June and there are plenty of tickets available through Ticketmaster.
But when eager theatre junkies type "Wicked tickets" into Google, the top search result is a site with the web address www.QueenElizabethTheatre.org.
Rae Ackerman, director of Vancouver Civic Theatres, says the site has no affiliation with the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and is out to trick patrons.
"Lots of people are fooled by it," Ackerman said. "We've had complaints from people who've bought tickets from them."
One complaint is that Wicked tickets cost about $50 more at the site after fees.
The site is run by an American broker that sells marked-up tickets purchased from Ticketmaster. The company spoke with CTV News over the phone Wednesday, and acknowledged the confusion caused by its web address.
The site does clearly state that it is not affiliated with the actual venue, but web security expert Vaclav Vincalek says there are still benefits to a befuddled clientele.
"They create the comfort level for people that they can trust the operator of the site and they will receive what they are expecting to receive," Vincalek said.
Langley student Karis Brynjolfsen thought she was purchasing from an official source when she bought three tickets from the site. Now she says she can't get a refund, and is forced to ask her credit card company to reverse the charges.
"[My tickets] ended up being $150 more than I should have paid if I had gone through Ticketmaster," she said. "Lesson learned."
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson