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  1. There is no direct mechanism or option present in Ticket Master website where the user can cancel or Resell their tickets with a simple process.

  2. Customer who wish to cancel their ticket must go to other page and apply for a refund by filling up a form.

  3. The existing terms and conditions in ticket cancelation process of ticket master does not give full continence to the users. There is limitation for the cancelling the tickets which puts a constrain on the customer.

This creates a potential confusion for the customers who wish to cancel their ticket. The person usually ends up selling the ticket to the secondary market. It also gives rise to a phenomenon which is called as ticket touting or ticket black where some people and an organized business buy tickets to resell or put them on a sale at a higher price to gain profit. 

  1. There is ban which is imposed by legislation on Reselling the ticket on Secondary website due to which Ticketmaster had to shut its ticket reselling website Seat wave across Europe with immediate effect.(Halpin, no date)

  2. The other means where the tickets can be put on sale is on advertising websites or general online platforms and social networks. These mediums are unreliable has a significant problem which puts the buyer in uncertainty. Duplicate or Fake ticket can be easily put on sale in these platforms and the tickets can be put on sale for a higher price which is again a draw back for the buyer. (Consumers Sold Out? The trouble with ticket resale - Consumers International, no date).

  3. The third issue is that the ticket Reseller hast to spend time to sell the tickets in the above platform and there is uncertainty if the ticket is going to be sold.

Online Booking of Event Ticket in Ticket Master

In this age of technology, the online ticket booking system has been growing continuously as it offers the benefit of buying and cancellation of the tickets as per the convenience of the customer. A research is undertaken in order to research about an online ticketing website that is called Ticket master. The main focus of the research is to identify the cancelation problems that are faced by the customers after purchasing a ticket from the primary website. Ticket master is a website that strives to put fans at first and work according to feedback provided by the fans. However, problem arises on event of cancellation of a ticket. The research aims in suggesting proper technological solutions in mitigation of the problems faced by the Ticket master. The problems that are faced by the cancellation of the tickets in ticket master include absence of appropriate mechanism for ticket cancellation. For ticket cancellation, the customers need to visit another page for refund by filling up of a form. Furthermore, according to the terms and condition of ticket master, there are certain constrains on a customer regarding the cancellation of the tickets. Such constrains regarding cancellation of tickets are enforced mainly because ticket Master face a number of problems regarding the reselling of tickets. A literature review has been undertaken in order to identify the problems and the issues associated with the ticket cancellation and to propose a solution to the problem.

The ticket master provides the fans an opportunity to book tickets online for the event that they want to be a part of. With the advent of internet and different online services, online buying and selling of the tickets have grown significantly (Fromthisseat.com. 2018). The tickets associated with any concert or any sporting events, are purchased from the original seller which is known as primary ticket market. When the ticket is bought from a reseller, it is known as a secondary ticket market. The primary market of ticket selling is known Ticket master. The Ticketmaster charges for few services upon checkout. The primary market of the ticket includes the ticket sold by the promoters, sporting bodies, service providers that constitute the authorized ticket sellers (The British Library. 2018). The resellers of the ticket on the other hand constitute the secondary market. The secondary market is created by the resellers who sell the tickets that are previously sold in the primary ticket market. There are several factors behind the selling and reselling of the tickets. One of the secondary market companies that are operating in the Ireland is Seat Wave. The Ticketmaster had acquired Seat wave in the year 2014.

Problems with Ticket Cancellation

In order to understand the problems associated with the cancellation of tickets sold by ticket master, it is essential to understand the potential restrictions on the ticket reselling. Enforcement of the various restrictions associated with the online ticket cancellation give rise to the problems associated with the cancellation of the tickets. It has been observed that Ticketmaster cannot guarantee any refunds on exchanges even if the event has been cancelled (Event Ticket Sales 2018). It has been observed that the website Ticketmaster has condition of no resale, transfer or refund, which becomes problematic. Appropriate solution to the problem is needed to be identified so that the problems associated with the reselling can be addressed.

According to the guidelines of consumer’s legislation, increases in transparency for the consumers are needed to ascertain. Thus, Ticketmaster informs the customers about the policy of ticket reselling and the refunds (D3c7odttnp7a2d.cloudfront.net. 2018). It is essential to identify and understand the process by which the problem associated with reselling of the tickets can be acknowledged. Furthermore, one policy by the Ticketmaster states that they do not have any facility of emailing to the customers if more tickets are released or not. The existing terms and conditions associated with the cancellation of the tickets may not necessarily work in favor of the customer. Therefore, an alternative to the current situation is needed to be identified. Prior to that, the working principle of online ticket selling is needed to be identified as well.

For online ticket selling the event hosts sets up an easy event wizard process. The event host mainly publishes the information associated with online ticket. In Ticketmaster, the event ticketing webpage mainly comprises of a unique URL that is mainly used for marketing purposes only (Web.uvic.ca. 2018). The customers who are interested in booking ticket may click in the said URL, which will take the customer directly to the event ticketing webpage. The back end of the ticket selling website is controlled by the technical team of Ticketmaster.

As discussed earlier, the working principle of both primary and secondary market is completely different. The primary ticket market indicates the online market where the ticket is sold for the very first time. In this case, the face value of the ticket is mainly set by the event provider. The Ticketmaster charges a minimal fee at the checkout. The secondary ticket market on the other hand is associated with the selling of tickets that were initially purchased from the primary ticket master (Dbei.gov.ie. 2018). The tickets are resold in such websites mainly for profits. In this case, the seller determines the price and often readjusts the price according to the demands.  However, there are major issues associated with the reselling of the tickets  

Working principle of Online Ticket Selling

There are certain advantages and disadvantages of dealing with primary and secondary market. The main advantage of primary market is that the customer need not have to pay above the face value of the tickets. Furthermore, the tickets sold on the primary market are 100% legit as there are no fake tickets. Another advantage is that, the customer need not deal with the ticket reseller who can often charge higher. However, there are certain issues associated with the primary ticket market as well. In primary market, the tickets selling have high demands and the ticket resellers or the ticket brokers make use of the software to purchase the tickets in bulk (Pdfs.semanticscholar.org. 2018). There is no guarantee that the customers will be able to purchase the tickets and therefore, buying of the tickets in websites such as Ticketmaster has become a considerably difficult. Furthermore, customers if lucky enough are able to buy the tickets from the secondary market in an amount below the face value.

The advantages of dealing with the secondary ticket master resellers include easy availability of the tickets. With secondary market, the fans are able to purchase the hard to get seats if they are willing to pay a good amount. However, there are certain disadvantages of buying tickets in the secondary market (Cherrington 2018). In secondary market, the tickets are sold above the face value of the profit. The resellers often charge extra fees and surcharges on the checkout. Furthermore, in secondary market, the tickets are not always available after the sale of primary tickets.

The section above discusses the concept of primary and secondary market. However, there are certain issues associated with the primary and the secondary market. One of which is the cancelation and the reselling problems. The primary market like Ticketmaster involves a secure process of ticket selling while the secondary market may not be that secure. There are certain problems associated with the reselling of the tickets. The ticket reselling in an illegal way is banned due to which the Ticketmaster had to shut down its secondary website. Furthermore, there is another major issue that is associated with the reselling of the tickets in secondary market. It has been observed that often in the secondary market fake tickets are sold at a much higher price. The third issue associated with the ticket reselling is that there is uncertainty whether the tickets are going to be sold or not (Ahn et al. 2014). Furthermore, there are issues associated with the ticket cancellation in primary market. With cancellation of a ticket in primary market, there is no guarantee of the fact that refund will be initiated after cancellation. The main aim of the research that is undertaken is to solve the different problems associated with the cancellation and reselling of the event tickets. The “No resale” condition is mainly problematic and is against the consumer legislations.

Primary and Secondary Market

Ticket master is a website that sells events tickets in association of the different event organizers. All types of tickets in an event are put to sale for the vent master. There are a number of ways in which the ticket is sold. It has been observed that the main problem arises during the cancellation of the tickets (Van der Wagen and White 2018). As per the policy, the reselling or the transfer of the tickets is prohibited. Furthermore, the researchers prove that Ticketmaster operate on a Fan guarantee system, where the upgrade and cancellation of the tickets is available. This was introduced mainly to deal with the problems associated with ticket cancellation and touting of the tickets.

In the recent years, many online ticket consumers have raised issued related to the obtaining to tickets at the face value (Courty 2017). The main problem behind the same is ticket reselling. It is observed that in order to obtain greater profit by selling the tickets at a much higher price, the tickets are readily sold out in a huge number right after the ticket selling is live.  Certain laws are enforced in order to ensure that the ticket reselling problems are addressed.

On account of the ticket reselling problem, the example of an event in Dublin can be cited. On February 2nd, 2018, an UT event took place in Dublin where the tickets were sold out in a few minutes after the booking started (Chaudhari et al. 2015). The quick selling out of the tickets attracted criticism on the ticket master as the UT tickets that appeared on Ticketmaster was much higher than the face value of the tickets sold. The Ticketmaster was accused of not taking enough measures to stop the ticket touts. The fans took the fury to the social media in order to address the problems that can arise from ticket reselling. For a countermeasure the much needed ticket touting law was proposed. The proposed legislation will ban the reselling of tickets above the face value. In this process, greater transparency for ticket reselling in needed to be enforced, so that the scams associated with the reselling of the event tickets from the primary website can be eliminated.  

There exists a reselling problem in the primary market as there are certain legal restrictions associated with the ticket resale (Azerkan 2017). However, it is essential to understand whether the ticketing rules associated with the ticket resale is reasonable or not. Consecutively, certain efforts are needed to be made in order to ensure that the ticket reselling problems can be addressed. This can be via a dedicated ticket reselling platform.

Issues in Primary and secondary Market

The Ticketmaster provides a platform for selling of the tickets associated with an event. The ticket selling is done as per the instructions associated with the events. There are a number of ways through which the tickets can be purchased (Perez 2016). However, the ticket cancellation process in Ticketmaster is quite problematic and is a time consuming process. There is not any direct mechanism associated with the cancellation of booked tickets. Certain terms and condition is associated with the cancellation and the refund (Mohapatra 2013). The timeframe for initiation of the refund is 72 hours. The tickets that are already sold can only be cancelled 14 days before the event. The major problem is that the tickets may or may not be eligible for refund according to certain terms and condition of Ticketmaster. However, certain new processes are enforced in order to ensure that the fans face no major problem while working on transfer or cancellation of the tickets.  

The online ticket selling websites such as Ticketmaster has no proper guideline or rule associated with the ticket transfer and cancellation of the tickets. Effective cancellation relates to the concept of waiting list. If a booked ticket is cancelled, the tickets should be available to the waiting list candidates (Elefant 2018). This technology is used for ticket cancellation in Indian railways booking system. The cancellation of event tickets from Ticketmaster is not associated with the waiting list service that is offered in Indian Railways. The ticket reselling in the secondary market gained so much popularity because it becomes difficult for the fans to obtain tickets for the events from the primary market as they are sold out quite fast. However, since the Consumer Protection law forbids the selling and reselling of the tickets above the face value, it is essential to opt for some better technological measures that can help in elimination of the problem (IRBY 2016).  The present technology associated with the ticket transfer and cancellation in Ticketmaster is quite inefficient as the fans do not even get a guaranteed refund for the cancelled tickets (Sá and Turkay 2013). Thus, a technological solution like that followed in Indian railways booking system is proposed.

The Indian Railway Ticket booking system and the waiting list associated with the Indian Railways ticket booking is represented in the following section.

The online ticket booking in Indian railways is done using a separate website of IRCTC. IRCT stands for Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation. Prior to booking the tickets it is essential for the customers to register to the website. A customer needs to register with their name and the email ID in order to generate the username and password. After login, the customer need to choose the journey date and the type of ticket to find trains. On choosing a particular train, the customer is redirected to the booking page where he/she has to put details about the passengers. After successful payment for the journey, an iTicket is generated that confirms the booking of the customer. If a customer intends to travel on a train whose tickets are already booked, the customer can still book tickets in waiting list. The tickets in the waiting list will be confirmed only if someone else who has confirmed tickets cancels his/her booking. There remain high chances of confirmation of waiting list tickets as a major number of tickets are cancelled on a daily basis. The waiting list concept eliminates the problem associated with ticket wastages, refunds and ticket cancellation. In the Indian Railways ticket booking system, the ticket cancellation and the refund process is quite easy. The refunds of the cancelled ticket are provided to the customer by deducting a minimal fee. The deduction is however based on the time of ticket cancellation. If a passenger cancels his/her confirmed ticket well in advance, the deduction rate is minimum. While if the customer cancels his/her confirmed ticket in a time of 48 hours before the date of journey, the deduction rate is high. However, the ticket cancellation is a systematic process in IRCTC (Pimpalkhare and Rawal 2018). It is easy and the refund is initiated within 2-3 working days. With cancellation of the tickets the refund is guaranteed to the customer. However, if a ticket is confirmed and any passenger does not avail the train services, no refund is granted. For getting a refund of the tickets, a passenger is bound to cancel his/ her tickets prior to their journey date.

Following the technology and technique of waiting list and ticket cancellation process is recommended for eliminating the problems faced as a result of the secondary market (Ganti 2018). Adoption of the technique and the process of ticket cancellation and refund as followed by the Indian Railways can help in elimination of the problem associated with ticket reselling, cancellation and refund (Maurya,  Chourasiya and Vaish 2013). The ticket booking, cancellation and the waiting lists technique in IRCTC works in a cyclic manner (Patel and Joshi 2015). When a confirmed ticket is cancelled the seat reservation is automatically allotted to the passenger who is in the first waiting list. The process is termed as reservation against cancellation or RAC (Puri and Verma 2017). This is a systematic process of ticket transfer that can be adopted by the Ticketmaster for managing the problems associated with the ticket reselling, bulk ticket sell and cancellation of the tickets.

Adoption of similar methods like that of IRCT is recommended for Ticketmaster as it can help in managing the problems faced by the fans in a better manner. If a waiting list feature is incorporated in Ticketmaster, the problems associated with the reselling of the tickets above the face value can be easily eliminated (Pravan et al.  2017). However, it is necessary to prevent the ticket selling in bulk so that the concept of secondary market and reselling of the tickets above the face value can be eliminated. Ticket master is associated with several disputes that can be easily eliminated by incorporating the concept of ticket booking followed in Indian Railways in the ticket selling cycle of Ticketmaster.

Conclusion 

 The literature review highlights the major concepts of Ticket selling in Ticketmaster along with the concept of primary ticketing and secondary ticket market. It has been observed that there are certain contractual agreements and restriction of ticket reselling from the primary website. In this context, the working principle of Ticketmaster is evaluated. The problems associated with the primary and secondary market is discussed in the literature review. Various problems are associated with the ticket reselling and transfer of the tickets. Furthermore, the ticket resellers often charge much higher than the face values of the tickets. Various technologies such as use of smart tickets can be recommended in order to eliminate the problem of ticket transfer.

References 

Ahn, T., Ik Suh, Y., Lee, J.K. and Pedersen, P.M., 2014. Understanding purchasing intentions in secondary sports ticket websites. International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, 16(1), pp.35-49.

Azerkan, N., 2017. Sold Out: Why the Music Industry Needs to Urge Lawmakers to Regulate How Concert Tickets Are Distributed. Whittier L. Rev., 38, p.130.

Chaudhari, A., Rodrigues, B., Sakhare, P. and Fernandes, C., 2015, October. Prototype for intelligent ticketing system using NFC. In Green Computing and Internet of Things (ICGCIoT), 2015 International Conference on (pp. 877-880). IEEE.

Cherrington, J., 2018. Sorry the tickets are currently unavailable: The nature of touting and ticket resale in the UK live music industry. Headliners: An Anthology of Postgraduate Student Writing From the UK Centre for Event Management, 1(1).

Courty, P., 2017. Ticket resale, bots, and the fair price ticketing curse.

D3c7odttnp7a2d.cloudfront.net. (2018). [online] Available at: https://d3c7odttnp7a2d.cloudfront.net/assets/4593/Ticket_Resale_Industry_Report_2017_Final.pdf [Accessed 29 Dec. 2018].

Dbei.gov.ie. 2018. Public consultation on the Resale of Tickets for Entertainment and Sporting Events - DBEI. [online] Available at: https://dbei.gov.ie/en/Consultations/Consultation-Resale-of-Tickets-Entertainment-Sporting-Events.html [Accessed 29 Dec. 2018].

Elefant, S., 2018. Beyond the Bots: Ticked-off over Ticket Prices or the Eternal Scamnation. UCLA Ent. L. Rev., 25, p.1.

EVENT TICKET SALES. 2018. [ebook] Available at: https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/691247.pdf [Accessed 29 Dec. 2018].

Fromthisseat.com. 2018. What's The Difference Between The Primary And Secondary Ticket Markets? | From This Seat. [online] Available at: https://www.fromthisseat.com/index.php/blog/18911-the-primary-ticket-market-vs-the-secondary-ticket-market-know-the-difference [Accessed 29 Dec. 2018].

Ganti, S., 2018. Enhancement of Railway Reservation System Using Internet of Things.

IRBY, T.K., 2016. TICKET MARKETS IN SPORT: IS THE SECONDARY MARKET BECOMING THE PRIMARY MARKET?. In Sport Business Analytics (pp. 59-76). Auerbach Publications.

Maurya, P.K., Chourasiya, R. and Vaish, A., 2013. E-Booking of Railway Tatkal Ticket in India: A Framework for Troubleshooting IP Based Booking & Reduction of Multiple User IDs. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Science, 4(3).

Mohapatra, S., 2013. E-commerce Strategy. In E-Commerce Strategy (pp. 155-171). Springer, Boston, MA.

Patel, R. and Joshi, R.R., 2015. Envision of I-RS (I-Railway System)-based on Cloud Computing. International Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology Research (IJSETR), 4(1).

Pdfs.semanticscholar.org. 2018. [online] Available at: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/728d/3e4c5bc219234751ecef1884a074887da94d.pdf [Accessed 29 Dec. 2018].

Perez, J., 2016. Music Festivals: A Secondary Market Analysis.

PIMPALKHARE, A. and RAWAL, P., 2018. Rationalising Fares to Prevent the Financial Derailment of Indian Railways.

Pravan, K.Y., Sumathy, V. and Thejeswari, C.K., 2017, February. Novel approach for Smart Indian Railways. In Computing and Communications Technologies (ICCCT), 2017 2nd International Conference on (pp. 393-398). IEEE.

Puri, A.V. and Verma, S.K., 2017. Indian railways: Emerging trends in passengers services. International Journal of Education and Management Studies, 7(4), pp.550-557.

Sá, N. and Turkay, E., 2013. Ticket pricing and scalping: A game theoretical approach. The BE Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 13(2), pp.627-653.

The British Library. (2018). Independent review of consumer protection measures concerning online secondary ticketing facilities. [online] Available at: https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/independent-review-of-consumer-protection-measures-concerning-online-secondary-ticketing-facilities [Accessed 29 Dec. 2018].

Van der Wagen, L. and White, L., 2018. Event management: For tourism, cultural, business and sporting events. Cengage AU.

Web.uvic.ca. 2018. [online] Available at: https://web.uvic.ca/~pcourty/HSEPascal3.0.pdf [Accessed 29 Dec. 2018].

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