Purchasing Concert Tickets, a Certain Path to PTSD

Along the lines of my recent chain of blogs with the common theme “America is Broken”, I recently made the horrific mistake of purchasing concert tickets. By way of disclaimers, let me say that I often exaggerate for effect. Furthermore, the people, places, things, companies, and story included in this blog are purely fictitious, except where they’re not, and are not intended to reflect reality, whatever that is. And most importantly, I may, or may not, be one of the new AIs created for the purpose of creative writing so writers don’t have to actually write anymore. What was I writing about? Oh yeah, purchasing concert tickets. Purchasing Concert Tickets

Last week my daughter, who may or may not also be fictitious, texted me. She informed me that my favorite country western singer is appearing in a nearby venue in a couple of months. She also sent me a web page for some company, or AI, or bot, or whatever it is. (The internet is apparently populated by all kinds of strange creatures). It was called something like TicketDud, or something like that. She indicated I could buy tickets to the concert on this website thingy. Purchasing Concert Tickets

I talked to my wife (I’m such a good husband) and we decided to splurge and purchase couple of tickets. We’re kind of old. We had forgotten that we recently tried to take a train to NYC that didn’t show up. Then there’s the plane to NYC that didn’t show up, and a plane to Idaho that didn’t show up. I’ve heard that you start to forget things as you become elderly. What was I saying? Oh yeah, the damned concert tickets. Purchasing Concert Tickets

I liked this country western singer so much I created a playlist with her songs on it. I have Alexa play it every morning. Alexa got so tired of playing this playlist that the other day, she refused to play it. Instead she began playing a different playlist that she had put together for me herself. The point is, I really like this performer. Purchasing Concert Tickets

Back to the concert tickets. We found a couple of reasonably priced seats next to each other in the stadium for the night of the concert. (We figured that would be the best time to show up). These seats were rated 7 stars out of 5, which should have probably raised a red flag. I chose those seats, put in my payment information, and pushed the Return button on my laptop. I expected to see a screen summarizing my intended purchase. You know, things like there were two tickets, the price, the location, irrelevant stuff like that. Instead, I was immediately informed that my credit card had been charged $300+ dollars. A receipt with information about our purchase and what to do next would arrive by email in a minute or two. So, we waited, and waited, and waited, and nothing ever showed up. Purchasing Concert Tickets

Over an hour later we received a message from a completely different company, or AI, or whatever, called TicketsTickets, or something like that. This message informed us that some guy named Chas was ready to transfer his tickets to us. All we needed was the pass code from the email that TicketDud had sent us (which they never did). And I kid you not, on the exact same page from TicketsTickets that informed us we needed to accept the ticket transfer from this Chas guy, there was a message in bold print that said Do Not Accept Ticket Transfers from People You Don’t Know and went on to explain the 47 ways this could lead to fraud. Purchasing Concert Tickets

Keep in mind that 1) we had never received any email from TicketDud containing any receipt, or pass code, or directions for what to do next, not even an introduction to this Chas fellow. 2) We wouldn’t know this Chas fellow if he held us up on the street, which it kind of felt like he was trying to do, in absentia. And 3) Did I mention that the message from TicketsTickets expressly stated Do Not Accept Ticket Transfers from People You Don’t Know? Purchasing Concert Tickets

At this point my elderly wife started to cry. And I went to get a hammer to smash my laptop (no one from TicketDud was handy). Fortunately, I was able to cool off by sticking my head in the freezer for a few minutes. Instead of smashing my laptop, I phoned TicketDud Customer Service. This might have been my 7th or 8th mistake, but who’s counting. Anyhow, someone answered the phone with a baby wailing and several dogs barking in the background. I could barely hear, or understand her. Purchasing Concert Tickets

I explained my problem. She listened patiently to me for about thirty seconds before interrupting to say, “Was your credit card charged?” When I responded in the affirmative, she immediately informed me that there was a “no return” policy. I pointed out that I didn’t have anything to return, since I had not received any tickets, did not get any pass code to get the tickets, and had no idea who this Chas was. I wanted my money back. The young woman appeared to be unphased by my dilemma. She told me she couldn’t help me, and apparently went off to feed her dogs.” Purchasing Concert Tickets

Being both persistent and clever (not really), I thought perhaps since I had failed to get anywhere with TicketDud I should try this TicketsTickets, the mystery company that showed up out of nowhere. So, I went online to figure out how to contact them. I found a couple of posts online that gave numbers where one could reach a live person, so I tried one of those. A pre-recorded message immediately informed me that TicketsTickets no longer provided customer service by phone. I could go to their website and chat with someone online. So, I tried this, and I was immediately provided with a phone number to call for customer service. At this point I began to feel a bit disoriented. I never tried LSD in the sixties, but I was beginning to get an idea of what it felt like to fall down the rabbit hole. Purchasing Concert Tickets

Being completely insane, I thought perhaps I might phone TicketDud again. They at least answered the phone. Perhaps I could try to reason with another one of their customer services people. So, I dialed the number again. By this point, my wife had cried herself to sleep out of frustration. She was sleeping fitfully on the sofa next to me. I kept hoping I’d pass out too, but persistence, and insanity, prevailed. Purchasing Concert Tickets

A nice lady answered the phone and seemed very sympathetic when I told her my story. She was especially sympathetic to the part where my elderly wife had gone into a coma while trying to get TicketDud to refund our money, since we didn’t get any tickets. I found myself hopeful, thought we had made some progress. I was tempted to wake my wife from her anxiety coma to tell her the good news. Then, the nice, sympathetic lady returned from speaking to her supervisor. She told us that TicketDud had a strict policy of no refunds. If we had agreed to release the tickets the first time we had spoken to TicketDud Customer Service, they might have been able to do something, but now it was too late. Purchasing Concert Tickets

“Release the tickets?” I said. “No one told me I could simply release the tickets and get my money back. Not to mention the fact that we have not received any tickets.” She informed me that it was all in that original email TicketDud never sent us. She further informed me that my only recourse at this point was to either use the tickets myself, assuming they weren’t fraudulent, or sell them online through TicketDud. Of course, TicketDud would get yet another large fee for the tickets being sold a second time. She also informed me that if I re-sell the tickets online, I will have to provide TicketDud with my social security number. Purchasing Concert Tickets

When I asked why, she informed me that our esteemed President Biden just recently signed a presidential order, or some such nonsense, stipulating that anyone selling anything to anyone else has to provide the buyer or vendor with their social security number so that the federal government can collect income tax. I went online to look this up, and it’s apparently true. Purchasing Concert Tickets

This income tax will be used as foreign aid to buy Putin new shirts, since he insists on riding around on horses without a shirt, which is quite offensive. So, if I decide to sell my blood, hair, or a kidney, to someone, I need to provide them with my social security number. I can’t imagine giving TicketDud or TicketsTickets my social security number. I’m sure their online system isn’t all that secure. They apparently don’t even know who this Chas guy is, or surely they would have told me since he seemed to be very important to this whole transaction. Purchasing Concert Tickets

I remember buying tickets from similar vendors ten or fifteen years ago. At that time, it was my understanding that their purpose was to make sure that the tickets sold through them were real. Today it would appear that this part of America is also broken. Now the system seems to be set up so that people just keep selling their tickets online over and over, and the vendors make a fortune taking their piece of the action by charging a fee with each sale. The more times a ticket is re-sold the better. Purchasing Concert Tickets

As to fraud, no one at TicketDud could ensure me that the tickets that we finally received online are real. I did some online research, and I found about a kajillion complaints about these ticket vendors…fraud, receiving the wrong tickets, price gouging, high fees…you name it. Makes me wonder how this kind of behavior can be allowed to exist, and even flourish. It’s one more example of how our government no longer gives a damn about protecting the American people. But I’m guessing that’s not news to anyone. Purchasing Concert Tickets

Yes, they finally sent us the information we needed to get the tickets, and now I have something online that looks like a ticket with a bar code. I’m supposed to load this virtual ticket onto my cell phone and give it to the guy at the gate in order to get into the concert. Seems pretty expensive that I have to use my iPhone as a ticket and hand it over to the ticket guy, but none of this makes any sense to me. Worse, now I’ll have to get a new iPhone and set it up, a whole other nightmare. Purchasing Concert Tickets

That’s assuming I get to the arena alive in all the traffic, find my parking spot which I also had to buy online (a story for another time), and get out of the place alive, and without getting Covid. I’m not sure what I’ll do if I get there, and the tickets turn out to be fraudulent. I guess I won’t get in, but at least maybe I’ll get to keep my iPhone. (I don’t really have to give them my iPhone, or do I?). Purchasing Concert Tickets

I don’t think the various performers realize what this horrible system does to their fans. I am no longer a fan of this country western singer and refuse to listen to their music. I’m only going to this concert because I am stuck with these expensive tickets, and I don’t even know if they are real or not. I can’t sell them without giving up my social security number, but I guess I could give the tickets to someone I don’t like. Better they get there and find out the tickets are fraudulent than me. But there’s really no one I dislike that much. Purchasing Concert Tickets

You couldn’t pay me to go to a concert again at this point, any concert, because I never want to go through anything so bizarre again. I’d rather do the LSD thing. Come to think of it, it would probably be more entertaining anyhow. And I wouldn’t have to fight through traffic or into a crowded parking lot. I could just do that from my couch. Purchasing Concert Tickets       

Sorry, but I have to go now. I just heard my once favorite country western singer start to sing a song on the radio. I’m going to get my sledgehammer and smash that damned radio to bits. Sounds like I have a bit of PTSD from this very stressful experience. I should probably also try to wake my wife up from her stress-induced coma. I know, I’ll turn up the radio so she can hear our once favorite country western singer too. That should wake her up. If she has the same response as me, perhaps I should go hide under the bed. Purchasing Concert Tickets

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