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Sherry

FINE PRINT of Verified Fan Presale

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Talking about fine print : 

I just noticed "Verified Subscriber presale is NOT chosen by lottery." now appears in my U2 account info

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On 11/15/2017 at 9:20 AM, Sherry said:

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.

 

I assume someone has already replied to this BUT there is a difference between teh VERIFIED SUBSCRIBER presale (Which all of us u2.com members are part of) and the verified FAN presale (Which anyone can sign up for)

the latter was supposed to be the lottery that you may/may not get a code for (had to register for each show, etc, etc)

the former was not. 

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On 2017-11-15 at 10:49 AM, vertigojds said:

With respect... U2.com is a product managed by LiveNation.  Ticketmaster is owned by LiveNation.  These aren't separate entities.  So there's really no excuse for any of this, and I'm not really satisfied with the answer that so-and-so from this company didn't understand what so-and-so from that company meant.  LiveNation offered U2 a fortune to buy their fanclub and touring business, and U2 accepted.  This puts the responsibility jointly on both parties.

The quality of customer service went down significantly when LiveNation took over, and following Guy Oseary taking over for Paul McGuinness, the band and their management are no longer accessible or answerable to fans.

Well said!

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On 11/16/2017 at 5:42 PM, Sherry said:

What was explained to Bigwave to share on the podcast was not the case, so he was given bad information, imho. Some legit fan club members were accused of being a scalper when they called Ticketmaster / Live Nation about the fan club code issue. The U2.com Verified Subscriber presale language did not include the Ticketmaster Verified presale language - thus the confusion regarding the "random selection." This signals to me that whoever with U2.com responsible for that text was not aware of what Verified Fan really meant, nor mirrored that text. Ultimately, the Verified Fan rules are Ticketmaster's, so just because U2.com didn't list the fine print, the sale is still subject to the fine print of the one doing the sale - which is Ticketmaster. This is where some of the confusion and, ultimately disappointment is based. 

Thanks for the response Sherry.   But I've another point of confusion:  your comment seems to have to do with whether or not system's methods at accurately identifying scalpers and bots (as well as not mis-identifying non-scalpers AS scalpers) were effective.  It's one thing to say that the system hurt some fans by identifying non-scalpers AS scalpers.  But it's a distinct issue to claim that the system is inherently a lottery - *aside* from the effectiveness of the algorithm.   So, to be clear, let's hypothesize that the algorithm had worked *perfectly* during the presale.  Are you saying that in that case - EVEN THEN, the system would have denied a presale code to some non-scalper, U2.com subscribers?  In other words, it is just a numbers game - an actual lottery (as opposed to de facto lottery due to a faulty algorithm)?

If some folks didn't get codes b/c the algorithm wrongly tagged them, that's horrible, but it's not the same thing as a lottery.   My understanding of the variant language between TMVerified Fan and U2.com Subscriber Verified fan is that TM was a lottery (b/c they would likely be dealing with higher numbers, and could not give a code to everyone), whereas the U2.com Subscriber Presale was simply trying to weed out the scalpers who had bought U2.com subscriptions, and that they INTENDED to give a code to any subscriber NOT indentified that way.   Do I have this wrong?

Edited by zooclemson

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1 hour ago, zooclemson said:

If some folks didn't get codes b/c the algorithm wrongly tagged them, that's horrible, but it's not the same thing as a lottery.   My understanding of the variant language between TMVerified Fan and U2.com Subscriber Verified fan is that TM was a lottery (b/c they would likely be dealing with higher numbers, and could not give a code to everyone), whereas the U2.com Subscriber Presale was simply trying to weed out the scalpers who had bought U2.com subscriptions, and that they INTENDED to give a code to any subscriber NOT indentified that way.   Do I have this wrong?

I understand it wasn't really a lottery, but some folks were told it was by either U2.com or Ticketmaster. 

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On Monday, November 20, 2017 at 2:35 PM, LdeC said:

Talking about fine print : 

I just noticed "Verified Subscriber presale is NOT chosen by lottery." now appears in my U2 account info

Yes but above that I have (like anyone else I guess) the following which still keeps unclear if being a paid member with set up complete is enough to get a code for verified subscriber/u2.com member presale, a code we are supposed to receive because we paid the membership  

Screenshot_2017-11-21-23-58-12.png

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Yes, 

If your account says 'verified subscriber'  then the ticketmaster scalper check should have given you the all clear and you should be guaranteed a working presale code in a timely manner before any presale for your membership group is opened until you have used up your allocation (2 tickets) 

If 'verified subscriber' means something else we should know. 

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It says Completing your set up does not mean you have been verified nor does it guarantee participation at the presale 

So basically wedon't know if we are ok until the very last moment when/if we receive the mail 

And again when we paid for the subscription there was no mention of all this 

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30 minutes ago, monica martino said:

It says Completing your set up does not mean you have been verified nor does it guarantee participation at the presale 

So basically wedon't know if we are ok until the very last moment when/if we receive the mail 

And again when we paid for the subscription there was no mention of all this 

And much of this additional language on the FAQs has been added since the pre-sale debacle. I have a hard copy print out of the FAQs that I printed on Nov. 5th and it makes no mention of some of this stuff.

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On 11/20/2017 at 9:35 AM, LdeC said:

Talking about fine print : 

I just noticed "Verified Subscriber presale is NOT chosen by lottery." now appears in my U2 account info

I think this is the definitive answer on this now.   It is not chosen by lottery.  They could not have been any more explicit than that.  What this means is that any snafus that have happened are a result of the system/algorithm wrongly identifying some folks as scalpers.   In other words, being verified doesn't mean you're "verified as a non-scalper" - it simply means you've been verified as a subscribed U2.com member who's linked their account to Ticketmaster and is therefore eligible to be passed through the algorithm - in which case you WILL be given a code IF it doesn't identify you as a scalper.  Of coursei, if it DOES identify you as a scalper, then you won't get a code, which is why they include the language about how being verified doesn't guarantee anything.  

Then only way I can imagine getting around this is if they (a) were to confirm before the presale date whether you'd be identified as a scalper or not; and/or (b) if they released some general guidelines/parameters of what to do (or not to do) to avoid being misidentified as a scalper.   But of course, this might have the undesired effect of giving the scalpers enough information and mulligans to figure out by trial and error how to circumvent this new system.  

Just thinking out loud here, but one way the band could mitigate this problem to one degree or another is to quit trying to find the optimal equilibrium to keep demand at such a fever-pitch peak.  They used to play 110-130 shows on a tour, now they're playing probably 70-something, if we use the 2015 I+E as a guide.  Fewer shows only exacerbates this problem.   It's fair enough if they don't want to tour as much anymore.  I get that, but they do seem to spend a lot of time traveling around for other one-off shows, ceremonies and so forth - so maybe they could cut out all the overkill on the promotional one-offs and just play some more dates in more cities.  The demand would still be high, but the pressure on fans to be able to see a show would be more analogous to years past, rather than trying to scramble against bots and scalpers for one of 33 or so North American dates in small venues.  Just a thought.

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