On June 25, 2011 I used an internet search to find the site for the Mountain Winery to order tickets for the Tony Bennett concert. The first result of the search showed:
"Mountain Winery | Mountain.WinerySaratoga.com Official Ticket Source Online For Mountain Winery Tickets in Saratoga".
I clicked on this entry and this site appeared:
It looked like it was the site for the Mountain Winery venue. I know that most concert venues do not handle their own ticket sales and go through a ticket agency. So, when I clicked on the buy tickets, it appeared to be the ticket agency site. I scrolled to Tony Bennett and proceeded to select and purchase 3 tickets at $95.00 each. After I clicked the buttons to submit the order I realized that the total cost of the tickets was very high; the price of each ticket came to $164.00. This is too much, even for Tony Bennett! I immediately called the number on the email confirming the order to cancel. I was informed that the ticket purchase was final and that I could not cancel.
Although the charges have already been posted to my credit card account, I have not received any tickets yet, and the concert date is not until Sept. 25, 2011!
I did another search for the Mountain Winery, and this time found the true official site for the Tony Bennett concert tickets. For $95.00 tickets, the fees are $16.80 through their official ticket agency, TicketMaster. The total cost would have been $335.40. Media Entertainment added excess charges of $284.78.
Upon further research I found that this company is a ticket broker. Senators Whitehouse and Reed of Rhode Island have called on the FTC investigate these types of brokers, writing in their letter that "these brokers apparantly sell tickets on websites whose names mimic those of real venues and that have photographs of the venues, causing consumers to believe that they are buying tickets first-hand from the venue itself. As a result, some consumers may have paid excessive ticket prices with the added cost going to unscrupulous on-line brokers, not to the performance venue or to performers."
( Read the full letter at http://reed.senate.gov/imo/media /doc/2011-06-08%20FTC%20Letter%20re%20Ticket%20Brokers%20Final.pdf)
Write your senators to support this.