Sherry

FINE PRINT of Verified Fan Presale

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My theory...it's all in the fine print of "Verified Fan" and my sincere belief that if we were assigned a presale group that meant we were verified. 

In reading U2.com/help:
Can I register for other Verified Presales if I participate in the Verified Subscriber Presale, like Verified Citi and Verified Fan?
Yes, you may register for the other Presales in addition to the U2.com Verified Subscriber Presale. Please note, registration does not guarantee you will be verified, receive a code, or have the ability to purchase tickets through the other Presales.

Note: "Does not guarantee you will be verified."

In reading http://help.ticketmaster.com/verified-fan/
Am I guaranteed tickets if I get a #VerifiedFan code? If you have been randomly selected to receive a code it will unlock the ability to access tickets. However, tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are not guaranteed.

Note: "If you have been randomly selected to receive a code...."

This is new to U2.com subscribers, and unless you actively researched this OCD-style (like I have), you wouldn't have connected the dots here that the Verified Fan system was a lottery. How is that lottery chosen? According to http://help.ticketmaster.com/verified-fan/:
Ticketmaster #VerifiedFan was designed to separate actual, human fans from bots and scalpers. The system aims to thwart bad actors who are in the business of taking away tickets from fans just so they can resell them. Our technology analyzes every registrant to make sure they are real people interested in going to the show.

Please note: Registering does NOT guarantee you will be verified, receive a code or have the ability to purchase tickets.

So, looking at this, it was an algorithm used by Ticketmaster that determined if "you've got the gifts to get me through the gates of that mansion." The algorithm apparently didn't take into account number of years of loyalty to U2.com, number of U2 concert tickets you've purchased through your TM account, if you've bought stuff through the U2.com fan shop, or the like. Not sure what the algorithm it was!

But good people, loyal to U2 for decades were shut out of the ticket buying for this tour. Is that how the band truly wants to reward it's loyal of loyals? Is this how the band wants their legacy to be remembered - by letting a computer algorithm determine the legitimacy of their fan base? This is absurd!

So, yeah - the fans who were shut out don't have a leg to stand on at the moment, and I can understand why the mods are having to dig out of a backlog longer than they've ever had to do before becuase it wasn't crystal clear to the fan club what it all meant - that we were entering a LOTTERY system through verification. That having an assigned presale group wasn't the confirmation...that setting up your account wasn't enough. That in some cases, being a member of the fanclub since its inception online wasn't enough. It's a tough pill to swallow and it's justified.

This is why people like myself kept asking questions - this is why @bigwave came on our ATU2 podcast to answer questions. This is why we questioned...everything....! And still, we're facing this situation which, quite frankly, is worse than 2005 because this time it wasn't the scalpers who kept the loyal fans out of the concert - it was Ticketmaster themselves with their algorithms. It's not a perfect system, but it shut out some very good, loyal people who have traveled the world to see this band - and who most likely will be forced to pay a scalper for their tickets. In this way, the statement of "U2 cares about their fans and they are committed to making every effort possible towards getting tickets into the hands of fans only." hurts more than ever to so many shut out of the process.

 

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Well said, Sherry. Absolutely horrendous customer service, the likes of which can only occur when a company has a monopoly on tours and ticket sales. Scalpers get even more money because of (real or perceived) scarcity of tickets, while dedicated fans aren't deemed worthy. 

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Exactly. Though my friend who was shut out has since been sent a code. Are they doing a u-turn.

 

Edited by alanelise

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Frankly, it's going to be even worse when the general onsales happen.  My experience (or attempted experiences) with Verified Fan for general onsales for other acts has been bad.  Ticketmaster will do a lottery to determine who's allowed to buy tickets, and if you're not selected, you just never have an option to try to buy.  Ever.  There's no "general sale", it's all "Verified Fan".  It's going to be a massively ugly wake-up call for a lot of long time fans who aren't fan club members, who didn't get tickets through the fan club this year, or who are used to going to multiple shows, who simply aren't allowed to even visit the Ticketmaster page this time to attempt buying tickets.

And yet, there will be plenty on Stubhub, because there always are.

With respect to Bigwave, the answers he gave on the podcast turned out to be not correct.  Just think about that - an official representative of U2.com went on a public forum and disseminated information which was false.  The information that the mod team has here is often incomplete, and they are often powerless to help.  We say over and over "don't blame the mods" or "they're doing the best they can" but the truth is that they are employees of a system that has been increasingly worse to fans since LiveNation took over the touring business and since Guy Oseary took over management of the band.  There were problems with the onsale for this tour, there were problems with CCE sales in 2015 and 2017, the pricing has been out of control, etc., etc.  And there's simply no one answerable for any of this anymore.  And while I don't think Bigwave is personally a bad guy -- at some point, doesn't someone have to be responsible for something, anything, here?  Because right now, no one is accountable for anything.  We're asked to pay an ever increasing fee each year and are given less and less in return for that fee.

Edited by vertigojds
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Thanks for posting Sherry. Well said.. I was one of the experience group who renewed early (membership didn't expire until next year), registered with TM for the verified fan presale. Registered for shows I wanted to go to. Got the email saying i was selected for yesterday's presale but never got the code.  I have PM'd a mod here who actually seemed concerned and asked for my member info/order number. Then never got a response back. Guess the best thing to do right now is get a refund for my early membership renewal. I am so disappointed in this band. I have been a fan since 1987, always kept my membership from lapsing.. And I feel like that means shit.. all for nothing..

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4 minutes ago, vertigojds said:

Frankly, it's going to be even worse when the general onsales happen.  My experience (or attempted experiences) with Verified Fan for general onsales for other acts has been bad.  Ticketmaster will do a lottery to determine who's allowed to buy tickets, and if you're not selected, you just never have an option to try to buy.  Ever.  There's no "general sale", it's all "Verified Fan".  It's going to be a massively ugly wake-up call for a lot of long time fans who aren't fan club members, who didn't get tickets through the fan club this year, or who are used to going to multiple shows, who simply aren't allowed to even visit the Ticketmaster page this time to attempt buying tickets.

And yet, there will be plenty on Stubhub, because there always are.

I can't imagine they would mark someone inelligible for perpetuity making them unable to buy any tickets for any shows ever again in the future. That would be literally the stupidest thing ever because Ticketmaster would lose millions of dollars! I can totally see your point but the thought of them doing that is literally the worst thing that could happen to people who go to a lot of concerts!

 

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4 minutes ago, Ingrida said:

I can't imagine they would mark someone inelligible for perpetuity making them unable to buy any tickets for any shows ever again in the future. That would be literally the stupidest thing ever because Ticketmaster would lose millions of dollars! I can totally see your point but the thought of them doing that is literally the worst thing that could happen to people who go to a lot of concerts!

 

Do you understand Ticketmaster will STILL sell the tickets, just not to the fans but the agencies who they have deals with. 'Verified fan' being run by Ticketmaster is like asking Hitler to run the Nuremberg trials.!!!! the music industry is corrupt to the core!!!!

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Thanks Sherry for doing the research.  I did get my code and easily go the GA tickets that I wanted, but I'm disgusted to think that long time subscribers and verified fans didn't get a code due to a Ticketmaster "lottery".  Getting tickets through the presale is why most of us continue our U2.com membership.  I'm hoping to get tickets for one more show - just hope that the Citibank or General sale will work again for me.  And, obviously, this method to try to keep tickets out of the hands of scalpers hasn't worked - the new system only locked out many long time fans and pissed off many more.

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10 minutes ago, Ingrida said:

I can't imagine they would mark someone inelligible for perpetuity making them unable to buy any tickets for any shows ever again in the future. That would be literally the stupidest thing ever because Ticketmaster would lose millions of dollars! I can totally see your point but the thought of them doing that is literally the worst thing that could happen to people who go to a lot of concerts!

 

I'm sorry, that's not what I meant.  I mean, let's say you live in Boston and register to be verified for the Boston show.  It's then a two step process - the first step is verifying that you're real, the second is giving you a code.  Many people will pass the first step, but few will get a code.  If you don't get a code, you never get a chance to buy tickets for that show.  So even before the Boston show goes on sale, Ticketmaster decides whether or not you're allowed to go to their webpage to purchase tickets for it. 

In the past, everyone had a chance to try their hand at buying tickets.  Now, only a select few will.  In the past, extra tickets would often be quietly released on Ticketmaster in the days, weeks and months after the initial onsale, so even if you didn't get a ticket the first day, there was still hope.  Now, if you don't get a code, those opportunities won't exist for you.

Bruce Springsteen is in the middle of an 80 show run in New York City, and I'm a huge fan.  But thanks to Ticketmaster's Verified Fan policy, even though I was "verified", I was not selected to receive a code, so I was not allowed to even try to buy even a single ticket to any one of those 80 shows.  Ticketmaster just decided that even though I passed my test, I shouldn't be allowed to try to buy tickets.  And this is going to happen to a lot of people in the general onsale for U2. 

It's one thing to try to get tickets and not be successful -- it's another thing entirely for Ticketmaster to determine that you're not allowed to even try your luck in the first place.

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Ticketmaster confirmed that I'm a Verified Fan so just please enter the code. Monday night I got the confirmation/instruction email from U2.com saying I was a Verified Subscriber in the eXPERIENCE group therefore I *would* get a code Tuesday morning. Not might or should, but WILL GET A CODE was the verbiage it used. I should note that I have not gotten any kind of follow-up email saying "whoops, no code for you"...

And yet here it is Wednesday morning and still no code. Meanwhile plenty of iNNOCENCE group folks are getting their codes (though some are not, from what I understand). As someone on another thread said, now that I'm a Verified Fan I'm going to need that code to buy tickets regardless of when I try to purchase--yes, even under General Sale.

Edited by kuroshii

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19 minutes ago, vertigojds said:

With respect to Bigwave, the answers he gave on the podcast turned out to be not correct....

 ...And while I don't think Bigwave is personally a bad guy -- at some point, doesn't someone have to be responsible for something, anything, here? 

To be fair the mods are just passing on the information that they are given.

Bigwave and his colleagues get my thumbs up.

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If I remember, the Bruce Springsteen Broadway Ticketmaster Verified Fan process, which I entered,  was clear and concise.  You will be entered into a fan lottery to receive a code via text.  There was no confusion, the verbiage explicitly said you were entering a lottery.  There as clear instructions that you should have your phone handy but that you might not receive a code text.   So when tickets when on-sale,  I had my phone handy but did not receive a code.  So I thought I lost the lottery, but at least I was prepared for this outcome.  Bruce Springsteen ended up adding shows and another round of tickets went on sale about one week later.  You did not have to re-enter the lottery, your name was still in the hopper.  I actually got a text with a code during this round and was able to go to ticketmaster to search for tickets.  I tried to get tickets for a few shows, but face value in the orchestra was $700 and those were the only tickets popping up.  I declined to purchase, but at least I had a chance to buy.   About an hour later even all the $700 tickets were sold out.  

If this is the way forward even with fanclubs, (which we all know is extremely unfair for longtime fans), then it is not brain surgery to make this very clear to fans.  For a rock band whose lead singer gets audiences with world leaders because he is so well informed, than it is not too much to ask that the fan club be informed as well.

 

EMAIL STATUS
Verified

In reading U2.com/help:
Can I register for other Verified Presales if I participate in the Verified Subscriber Presale, like Verified Citi and Verified Fan?
Yes, you may register for the other Presales in addition to the U2.com Verified Subscriber Presale. Please note, registration does not guarantee you will be verified, receive a code, or have the ability to purchase tickets through the other Presales.

Note: "Does not guarantee you will be verified."

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ticketmaster is gross (always has been), but the fact long time paid fan club members didn't receive a code because of an algorithmic lottery is gross beyond any imagining. it was a sucker punch from a band we adore and it'll take a good long minute to feel okay about it.

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2 minutes ago, CorkVegan said:

To be fair the mods are just passing on the information that they are given.

They're part of a system that's grown more difficult, more inconvenient, more expensive and less transparent for U2 fans.  Again, I don't think they're bad people, but they are part of a system that is the problem.

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As someone who also was verified in the "Experience" group after many years of u2.com membership, I appreciate the posts on this thread.  At the least, it should have been made completely clear that the "Verified" status was going to lead to a lottery.   Secondly, it was a terrible mode of doing business to send an initial email Monday at 10 pm indicating a code would follow and then two hours later receive the second email which basically said "never mind" without any explanation whatsoever.

The final point is the nauseating finding of many tickets already showing up at extraordinarily high prices on the secondary sales sites.  Obviously the attempt to use a "Verified" system to separate true fans from entrepreneurs was unsuccessful.  

Well, if I don't see a show, I will live, there are bigger problems in life.  However, I share the sense of true disappointment in terms of how this was handled start to finish, a poor reflection on the group.  If they are aware of the problem, it certainly would have been good PR to at least have sort of reference to it at u2.com, aside from the forums.

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7 minutes ago, vertigojds said:

They're part of a system that's grown more difficult, more inconvenient, more expensive and less transparent for U2 fans.  Again, I don't think they're bad people, but they are part of a system that is the problem.

I agree. The 360 deal with Livenation has been good for the band but bad for the fans.

Fingers crossed that when the contract runs out U2 don't resign.

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Just now, CorkVegan said:

I agree. The 360 deal with Livenation has been good for the band but bad for the fans.

Fingers crossed that when the contract runs out U2 don't resign.

IIRC, LiveNation had not yet been purchased by Ticketmaster at the time U2 first entered into their current arrangement.

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7 minutes ago, petergoode said:

As someone who also was verified in the "Experience" group after many years of u2.com membership, I appreciate the posts on this thread.  At the least, it should have been made completely clear that the "Verified" status was going to lead to a lottery.   Secondly, it was a terrible mode of doing business to send an initial email Monday at 10 pm indicating a code would follow and then two hours later receive the second email which basically said "never mind" without any explanation whatsoever.

The final point is the nauseating finding of many tickets already showing up at extraordinarily high prices on the secondary sales sites.  Obviously the attempt to use a "Verified" system to separate true fans from entrepreneurs was unsuccessful.  

Well, if I don't see a show, I will live, there are bigger problems in life.  However, I share the sense of true disappointment in terms of how this was handled start to finish, a poor reflection on the group.  If they are aware of the problem, it certainly would have been good PR to at least have sort of reference to it at u2.com, aside from the forums.

They will never accept they made any mistake. Neither they officially compensate. (And I do not mean option to return money for membership, though.) I believe whole thing is presented to the group as big success.

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1 minute ago, CorkVegan said:

I agree. The 360 deal with Livenation has been good for the band but bad for the fans.

Fingers crossed that when the contract runs out U2 don't resign.

I worry that they will, or if they don't, they'll come up with something worse.

Switching Paul McGuinness for Guy Oseary says to me that the band, from a business perspective, is interested in maximizing revenue as a top priority.  Look at Oseary's other client: Madonna.  Madonna is someone who maximizes every revenue stream, from concert tickets priced at obscene levels before it was popular to do so, to other merchandising and "VIP" programs.  You don't hire Guy Oseary if you want to have a good relationshop with your fans and provide a quality show at a reasonable price.  You hire Pearl Jam's guys if you want that.  You hire Guy Oseary if you want to extract every last cent from a fan base.

On the other hand, what's essentially LiveNation's monopoly in major tours was gotten by paying above market value for each of the acts they got.  U2 now just gets a flat rate for their work, and it's an extraordinarily high number.  The only way for LiveNation to have a chance at recouping that investment is to set prices at extraordinarily high levels.  On the last tour before LiveNation ran the band, the cheapest ticket was $50 and the most expensive ticket was $150, and the floor tickets were at the cheapest price level.  On the next tour, where LiveNation ran the ticket sales but Paul McGuinness still managed, which was a mere four years later, the top price went to $250, the floor tickets jumped to $75, but the cheapest ticket was $30.  So, prices actually came down for the worst sections, and there were affordable opportunities.  Four years after that tour, the next one begins, this time without McGuiness, and the $30 tickets are gone, and the top ticket has jumped to $300.  Two years after that tour, it's now almost $350.  This is far above what inflation has done in the same period.

I'd love to see some sort of an indication that the band actually care, but it's hard to find one.  I say this as a long time fan who has seen every tour over the past twenty years.  I think U2 made a decision that they don't want to be involved in the day-to-day business anymore, and don't really care about the details of where the money comes from or how they get it.  I think they are so far removed from the actual process that they have no idea it's not running smoothly like it used to.  But I also think it's their responsibility to be aware of how business is being conducted in their name, and I think this has been a huge failing and a huge blemish on what had been an extraordinary career.

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Thanks Sherry for posting, this is pretty much what I've been thinking.  The algorithm is flawed and is shutting out real fans by flagging them as "scalpers" essentially.  I'm not sure I'd call it a lottery though in the sense that people were truly randomly chosen; it seems to be based on the stupid algorithm for filtering out scalpers, and clearly the whole system is messed up. 

Kudos to the Mods, I'm sure they're trying their hardest to help people with this fiasco.  Not an envious job right now!

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Sherry - thank you for posting.  It is sad that it has come to this and my guess is there will be MORE tickets on the secondary market than ever before and we will pay... because that is what we do. 

I challenge you Sherry - and the other folks at AT U2 to do something.  I know you love your access and do not want to rock the boat - but someone needs to be covering this (this brilliant post is not up on that site) 

Politics be damned - please get a petition or SOMETHING going on a fan site that the band will pay attention to.  Like it or not, that is At U2. 

If you do it the band might not show up at your next party... but what the hell is the point of the site if not to help fans reach the band?

 

Edited by dugadams

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1 hour ago, CorkVegan said:

To be fair the mods are just passing on the information that they are given.

Bigwave and his colleagues get my thumbs up.

You can only work with the information given. Many people were given misinformation - that's why there's so many of us trying to figure it all out. I don't believe that TM/Live Nation was transparent with U2.com or the fanclub representatives what it all means. Remember - this is the 1st time U2's gone Verified Fan route...for the whole tour! It's possible that you don't know what you don't know, and the right questions weren't asked until it was too  late. We're all in this experiment together.

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