• Report: #155630

Complaint Review: Entertainment - Ticketmaster - IAC

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  • Submitted: Wed, August 31, 2005
  • Updated: Fri, November 18, 2005

  • Reported By:cordova Tennessee
Entertainment - Ticketmaster - IAC
P.O. Box 539 Duncan, South Carolina 29334 Troy, Michigan U.S.A.

Entertainment - Ticketmaster - IAC falsely signed me up for a entertainment rewards program at $9 per month RIPOFF Troy Michigan

*Consumer Suggestion: Go through your bank...

*Author of original report: Ticketmaster/Entertainment Publications Scam Update

*Author of original report: Ticketmaster/Entertainment.com BBB Complaint

*Consumer Suggestion: Update on Ticketmaster/IAC/Entertainment.com Scam

*Consumer Comment: Entertainment.com/Ticketmaster.com/IAC Fraud

*Consumer Comment: Entertainment.com/Ticketmaster.com/IAC Fraud

*Consumer Comment: Entertainment.com/Ticketmaster.com/IAC Fraud

*Consumer Comment: Entertainment.com/Ticketmaster.com/IAC Fraud

*Consumer Comment: You are not alone

*Author of original report: Entertainment Rewards/Ticketmaster Fraud Update

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I bought tickets on ticketmaster.com in June of 2005. Some ad popped up afterward saying something like would you like to save 50% on your next ticketmaster purchase? I may have looked at it but never accepted/signed up for anything.

Next thing I know 2 mos have gone by and they've started taking out $9 per month from my checking account. The first month I mistakenly related it to something else. Got the phone number when it happened again and called. They said I signed up for it when I purchased the tickets and I said I didn't and I wanted to cancel and get a refund. Her name was Chrissie. She said I could cancel but that they don't give refunds. I asked for a manager and she put me on hold at which time she just hung up on me.

Immediately I found an email which gave me a cancellation confirmation number. After thinking about it, this is the 2nd time this scam has happened to me over the last couple of years so they must be making bookoos of $.

I feel I should call the police. Don't fall for this. Don't buy tickets from ticketmaster on line whatever you do. This whole business has simply infuriated me.

Natalie
cordova, Tennessee
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/31/2005 01:39 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Entertainment-Ticketmaster-IAC/Troy-Michigan-48083/Entertainment-Ticketmaster-IAC-falsely-signed-me-up-for-a-entertainment-rewards-progra-155630. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 10Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

Go through your bank...

AUTHOR: Amanda - (U.S.A.)

If Entertainment Rewards doesn't resolve the problem to your satisfaction, you should call the bank from which the money was deducted. Tell them that you never authorized the deductions and ask to speak to whomever handles anti-fraud protection for bank customers. I called Bank of America after this happened to me. At B of A, they reverse transactions for up to 3 months and return the money to your account immediately. Then they require you to fill out a form explaining what happened so that the bank can go after Entertainment Rewards directly. In this situation, the merchant (ER) has the burden of proving that the transactions were legitimate. If it does not satisfy VISA's proof requirements, the bank tells the merchant that it may either voluntarily reimburse the bank for the funds, or the bank will take the money from the its merchant account. If the merchant receives too many complaints, whether it voluntarily reimburses or not, the merchant will lose its ability to accept VISA or other credit cards through that bank. The customer service representative assured me that once one bank does this to a merchant, all banks follow suit. This is probably the best "stick" I can think of (even more than class actions b/c the burden is on Entertainment Rewards to defend its conduct here) to force Entertainment Rewards to change its business practice -- it's tough to do business if you can't accept a VISA card.
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#2 Author of original report

Ticketmaster/Entertainment Publications Scam Update

AUTHOR: Natalie - (U.S.A.)

Since Entertainment Publications chose not to respond to my rebuttal regarding the complaint I filed against them thru the BBB, I've decided to file a consumer complaint against them thru my home state of Tennessee. I will keep everyone informed as to the progress but I would urge each one of you to also pursue filing a complaint against them with the BBB's Detroit & Eastern Michigan branch. I have also emailed everyone I know not to do business with either Ticketmaster or Entertainment Publications or any other IAC company. I have contacted my local news people also. Under the Consumer Protection Act, I have 5 years from when the deception occurred to sue and/or hire an attorney. This company needs to change their deceptive solicitation practices.
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#3 Author of original report

Ticketmaster/Entertainment.com BBB Complaint

AUTHOR: Natalie - (U.S.A.)

I filed a report with the Better Business Bureau against Entertainment.com and here is the response I received.

From: "Carmel Weems"
To:
Subject: BBB Complaint RE: Entertainment Publications
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 10:41:10 -0400

Dear Ms. Gabel:

This is in reply to your recent complaint filed with the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB relies on the voluntary cooperation of businesses in the resolution of complaints. Unfortunately, when a firm fails to respond to our offer of assistance, we must close our file and

note it accordingly. However, when a company responds to a complaint, we do notify the customer of the response.

Please review the information below to determine the status of your complaint with the Bureau.

1. ( ) We have been advised by the company that action has been or will be taken concerning your complaint.

2. (X) Please see attached response for the company's position regarding your complaint.

3. ( ) The company has not responded to us. If you wish to pursue your complaint, you may contact Small Claims Court, the Department of Licensing & Regulation, or the regulatory agency for the company.

4. ( ) If you have heard from the company, what was their position regarding your complaint?
(Please respond on the back of this form.)

Please send me your written comments to the firm's response within the next seven days. The Bureau's telephone number is (248) 644-9100. You may also reply by fax at (248) 644-5026, or email at:cweems@easternmichiganbbb.org.

Sincerely,

Carmel Weems
Ad Review Specialist

Subject: Natalie Gabel - 54002337
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 16:39:35 -0400
From: "Koehler, Gwen"
To:
CC: "Koehler, Gwen"
1414 E. Maple Road, Suite 500
Troy, MI 48083-4019

Via Email cp_email@michigan.gov

September 19, 2005

Better Business Bureau of Detroit & Eastern Michigan
Attn: Carmel Weems
30555 Southfield Road, Suite 200
Southfield, MI 48076-7751

RE: Natalie Gabel
Complaint ID# 54002337

Dear Ms. Weems:

This will confirm receipt of Ms. Gabel's complaint concerning a consumer rewards program called Entertainment RewardsSM offered by Entertainment Publications, Inc. (Entertainment).

Upon the conclusion of a purchase transaction on the www.ticketmaster.com confirmation page, Ms. Gabel was given the opportunity to opt into the Entertainment RewardsSM program. The confirmation page language states: Your order is complete. Remember to claim your $25 dollar Cash Back Award by clicking here [Continue] By clicking above, you can claim your award from the award provider Entertainment RewardsSM.

When Ms. Gabel clicked the [Continue] button, she was directed to an Entertainment RewardsSM information page where the terms of the agreement were prominently visible and clearly stated (see attached screen shots). To take advantage of the Cash Back Award and free trial Entertainment RewardsSM program, Ms. Gabel must have entered her email address twice (for security purposes) and then clicked the [YES] button to accept the terms and enroll into the Entertainment RewardsSM program. Displayed next to or above the [YES] button are the details of membership, which state:

By clicking Yes you agree to the following:

*After your free trial ends, you'll be billed $9/month. Cancel at anytime.

*You authorize Ticketmaster.com to securely send your name, address and credit card to Entertainment Publications, Inc. for benefits processing. You can change your credit card after starting your free trial.

Once Ms. Gabel enrolled in this manner, she was sent to the Entertainment RewardsSM home page, which displays the many offers available to the customer.

Following Ms. Gabel's enrollment, three separate and distinct emails were sent to her email address during the first 30 day free trial period, explaining the Entertainment RewardsSM program. Those emails also stated that, after the end of the free trial period, she would be billed $9 per month to continue receiving access to the program. Each email contained opt out options.

We are disappointed that Ms. Gabel did not take advantage of her Entertainment RewardsSM benefits. A credit of $9 has been issued to her account. Please be aware that we are offering the refund out of goodwill and are not recognizing any statutory duty.

If I can be of further assistance, please contact me.

Entertainment Publications, Inc.

Gwendolyn Koehler
Paralegal
248.404.1252
248.404.1928 fax
gkoehler@entertainment.com



This was my rebuttal to Ms. Weems dated 9/27/05.

Ms. Weems,

In regard to my complaint # 54002337, I really appreciate all your help. I'm glad the company chose to respond although I will say I'm extremly disappointed, although not surprised in the least, at their explanation.

Several years ago before people started doing business such as this on the internet, I noticed a charge exactly like this one month one of my credit card bills. I called my credit card company to find out what it was about, called Entertainment Rewards and requested a refund. Entertainment Publications/Entertainment.com has been routinely doing business this way for a very long time. The only difference is now they also use the internet with help from one of their sister companies, Ticketmaster. Both companies are owned by IAC.

As I may have explained to you in my complaint, I never accepted any of their terms or conditions; period. Ms. Koehler has her facts wrong. This is not the way their computer screens/program works at all. At least in my case it did not work this way and in the case of at least 64 others shown in my attachment. 63 of these people have gone to the website, ripoffreport.com and filed complaints for ending up in circumstances exactly the same as mine. Some of these people received refunds, some of them didn't. I was told with my first phone call to the company "We don't give refunds" and was hung up on. Hence the payoff for Entertainment.com. Some of these people even incurred overdraft fees from their bank. One of these same 65, a 16 year old, who's probably just learned her first lesson the hard way about how easily you can be scammed by companies that choose to do business this way.

I've read all their stories and every one of them contains basically the same facts as far as how Entertainment.com sucks them into their web. Yes, I did enter my email address twice. As you are probably aware, this is routinely requested any time you provide your email address so that you don't make a typo. The only reason I entered my email address twice was to find out more about this offer "Would you like to save 50% on your next Ticketmaster purchase?". As soon as I hit enter and saw what it was about, I hit the escape button. I was never directed to another site and my interaction went absolutely NO further. I never received any emails from Entertainment.com to my knowledge. I read all my emails daily except for the ones that end up in my Bulk folder. I receive no less than 100 of these every single day; 99.9% of them are unsolicited and unwanted; otherwise known as spam. Many are come-on ads for dating services, pornography, drugs or the like. None of these are companies that I would ever choose voluntarily to do business with. Even so, I still look at them (not read them) and report them as Spam to Yahoo.com who automatically delete them.

I'm sure the only thing that Ms. Koehler is really disappointed in is the fact that Entertainment.com had to refund my $18 (not $9). If the company wants to show good will, they can start by doing something to improve the way they do business.

The company routinely instructs their Customer Service personnel to advise us that it is OUR fault we were signed up for this program and that we entered our email address twice. Well I submit to you that it is the company's fault for not listening to our complaints and doing something about it. I predict that unless a court of law forces them to halt these practices, they won't stop. Not as long as their pocketbook is getting fatter every day. I've read IAC's own Code of Ethics which Entertainment.com is clearly in violation of. Anyone can access this by going to their website.

Once again, I appreciate all your help and if I can take this matter to higher ground, I will certainly do so. Thank you and please keep me abreast of any updates.

Sincerely,
Natalie M. Gabel
Average Joe Consumer

This is the attachment that I referred to in the letter. I sincerely hope I didn't leave anyone out.

1 AJ Port Hueneme, CA
2 Alex Orlando, FL
3 Alison Indianapolis, IN
4 Amanda Brooklyn, NY
5 Amy Lena, IL
6 Amy dejandra Miami, FL
7 Barry Yoakum Memphis, TN
8 Bonnie Tinley Park, IL
9 Bud Escondido, CA
10 C Los Angeles, CA
11 Carey Joliet, IL
12 Carl Malden, MA
13 Chris Howell, MI
14 Chris Manchester, NH
15 Chris Mountain View, CA
16 Christopher Richmond, VA
17 Crystal Seattle, WA
18 Dale Vancouver, WA
19 Dallas Scotts, MI
20 Daniel Austin, TX
21 Darlene Sparks, NV
22 Ed Arcadia, CA
23 Elaine Seattle, WA
24 Elva Phoenix, AZ
25 Ernie Winchester, IN
26 Evelyn Temecula, CA
27 Greg Schwenksville, PA
28 Grishma Marietta, GA
29 Hee jong Korea
30 Ira Old Bridge, NJ
31 Jack Medford, NJ
32 Jason Memphis, TN
33 Jason Manteca, CA
34 Jerry B Sonora, CA
35 Jessica Keene, TX
36 Jessica Palm Harbor, Fl
37 Jill Lewisville, TX
38 Jim Cleveland, OH
39 John Atlanta, GA
40 Kimberly Ann Arbor, MI
41 Lucila Sylmar, CA
42 M Fairfax, VA
43 Mario Albuquerque, NM
44 Michael Peru, IN
45 Mike Brooklyn, NY
46 Misty Erie, IL
47 Murray Santa Monica, CA
48 Natalie Gabel Cordova, TN
49 Neil Rocky Mount, NC
50 Nick Lawrence, KS
51 Nicole Brooklyn, NY
52 Pete CA
53 Rachel Clearwater, FL
54 Richard Santa Ana, CA
55 Rita Shine Memphis, TN
56 Sara Englewood, OH
57 Tara Winchester, VA
58 Tina Middleton, WI
59 Traci Victorville, CA
60 Troy North Edwards, CA
61 Victoria Raytown, MO
62 Viviana Orlando, FL
63 Will San Diego, CA

If anyone would like to suggest any further action I can take, I will gladly do so. It's unbelievable how much of my valuable time these people have taken from me already. It's just not right.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Update on Ticketmaster/IAC/Entertainment.com Scam

AUTHOR: Natalie - (U.S.A.)

I watched my checking account for a two month credit as promised by Amber. I did see a 1 month credit of $9 so I called them again for the third time. This time I got Teresa who said her records show that I was promised a one time courtesy refund for 1 month. I told her I was promised a 2 month refund of $18 and she explained some bs about how they don't give refunds cause they have to send out 4 emails. I told her I still wanted a supervisor and she came back and said that her supervisor told her that since I was promised a 2 month refund that she would process another $9 credit for me. Has anyone ever talked to one of these supposed supervisors? I think they are lying when they say I'm checking with my supervisor cause when she came back to the phone, she said she had already processed my refund. She just didn't have me on hold long enough to explain my situation to a supervisor and process a refund too. I finally got all my money back & am done with these sheisters. I've reported them to my local news station and also to the BBB.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Entertainment.com/Ticketmaster.com/IAC Fraud

AUTHOR: Natalie - (U.S.A.)

I've done some research on IAC, the company that owns Ticketmaster. IAC also owns 18 others including Lending Tree, HSN, Ask Jeeves and Match.com so they are a HUGE conglomerate.

It's great Dale that you have proof of what they're doing. Thanks for sharing that. I wish someone would file a class action lawsuit. By their own definition, they are in violation of their own Code of Ethics which I've found thru the internet and read.

I intend to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and contact my local TV station and newspaper. Another company, Entertainment Publications, which is also owned by IAC currently owes me a refund of $29.99 that I've been trying to get from them since June. These are the same people that market the entertainment coupon books that are so poplar.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Entertainment.com/Ticketmaster.com/IAC Fraud

AUTHOR: Natalie - (U.S.A.)

I've done some research on IAC, the company that owns Ticketmaster. IAC also owns 18 others including Lending Tree, HSN, Ask Jeeves and Match.com so they are a HUGE conglomerate.

It's great Dale that you have proof of what they're doing. Thanks for sharing that. I wish someone would file a class action lawsuit. By their own definition, they are in violation of their own Code of Ethics which I've found thru the internet and read.

I intend to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and contact my local TV station and newspaper. Another company, Entertainment Publications, which is also owned by IAC currently owes me a refund of $29.99 that I've been trying to get from them since June. These are the same people that market the entertainment coupon books that are so poplar.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Entertainment.com/Ticketmaster.com/IAC Fraud

AUTHOR: Natalie - (U.S.A.)

I've done some research on IAC, the company that owns Ticketmaster. IAC also owns 18 others including Lending Tree, HSN, Ask Jeeves and Match.com so they are a HUGE conglomerate.

It's great Dale that you have proof of what they're doing. Thanks for sharing that. I wish someone would file a class action lawsuit. By their own definition, they are in violation of their own Code of Ethics which I've found thru the internet and read.

I intend to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and contact my local TV station and newspaper. Another company, Entertainment Publications, which is also owned by IAC currently owes me a refund of $29.99 that I've been trying to get from them since June. These are the same people that market the entertainment coupon books that are so poplar.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Entertainment.com/Ticketmaster.com/IAC Fraud

AUTHOR: Natalie - (U.S.A.)

I've done some research on IAC, the company that owns Ticketmaster. IAC also owns 18 others including Lending Tree, HSN, Ask Jeeves and Match.com so they are a HUGE conglomerate.

It's great Dale that you have proof of what they're doing. Thanks for sharing that. I wish someone would file a class action lawsuit. By their own definition, they are in violation of their own Code of Ethics which I've found thru the internet and read.

I intend to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and contact my local TV station and newspaper. Another company, Entertainment Publications, which is also owned by IAC currently owes me a refund of $29.99 that I've been trying to get from them since June. These are the same people that market the entertainment coupon books that are so poplar.
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#9 Consumer Comment

You are not alone

AUTHOR: Dale - (U.S.A.)

I discovered after this happend to me that ticketmaster.com and Entertainment rewards are owned by the same company. It appears that they are taking a percentage of the tickemaster.com customers and automatically signing them up for Entertainment Rewards. In order for this scam to work, they rely on the following...

1.) That the victims will not remember in DETAIL what they did a month ago.

2.) That the victims will not check their credit card statements

3.) That the victims will NOT persue this in a legal venue since it's only $7-9 a month.

4.) That the victims will have SPAM filters on their email (This explains why you never got an email as required by law)

5.) That the victims will not have a detailed modem log showing internet activity on the day they supposedly "signed up".

Well, in my case, they blew it. I DO remember in detail the day I purchased my tickets. I did NOT click on their LINK on the confirmation page with ticketmaster. I DO check my credit card statements and found it the day they charged it (via my Online report). I did persue the fraudulent charges and didn't take NO for an answer (or 2 hours 17 minutes on hold). I do not have SPAM filters on my email and I have not deleted any emails in over 6 months. I DO have a DSL modem log (I have kids) that shows EXACTLY what internet sites were accessed (Date/time/IP)ON THAT DAY!!

I shared this with Entertainment Rewards and they said I must have forgot I signed up. Hello? As stated in other posts, I CAN PROVE WHAT I AM SAYING IN A COURT OF LAW.
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#10 Author of original report

Entertainment Rewards/Ticketmaster Fraud Update

AUTHOR: Natalie - (U.S.A.)

I called them back again today after being hung up on yesterday. This time I got Amber. She said she'd give me a one month refund and I said not good enough. After being put on hold she came back and said I could have 2 mos refund. I was pretty upset cause they keep insisting over and over again that you siged up for this phony program just by entering your email address into a box. I told her I knew all about her company's little scam and had seen this website too. She got quiet and I asked her why she didn't have a comment. She started to say Ma'am I don't have to comment on...at which point I thought I'd let them see how it feels to be hung up on. Ha!
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