NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s an all too familiar sight. You go to buy concert tickets at one price and by checkout time, it’s significantly higher.
For example, for the CMA Awards on StubHub, they advertise tickets at $234 each. But click through one screen, and it’s up nearly $100.
“You click on the price and then there are all these fees that get added afterwards,” Sen. Heidi Campbell (D-Nashville) said.
Ticket vendors have been doing this for years. But a new Tennessee law that passed earlier this year was supposed to stop it.
“The goal of the law is for the first price that you see on the ticketing website to be the same price you see in the checkout box,” Rep. Caleb Hemmer (D-Nashville) said.
The move came after the Taylor Swift Ticketmaster drama earlier this year.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen a few folks that are ticket vendors that have not followed the spirit of the law,” Hemmer said.
“I don’t think the law is being followed,” Campbell agreed, separately.
But Ticketmaster isn’t the issue, as it’s complied.
Other companies – like Vivid Seats and StubHub – still have added fees when you check out.
“It doesn’t seem like we’re enforcing that,” Campbell said. “I have a letter – I haven’t sent it yet – that I’m drafting to the AG to address that.”
So what is the state doing about it?
The Attorney General is supposed to be the enforcer of the laws, but when the Tennessee Lookout broke this story last week, the office did not comment.
News 2 reached out to the AG’s office, as well.
In a statement, Director of Communications Amy Wilhite wrote in full:
“The Office of the Tennessee Attorney General has not received any consumer complaints about non-transparent ticket pricing since the law went into effect on July 1, 2023. Only Ticketmaster’s lobbyists have complained to the Office about other ticket sellers allegedly not complying with the law. We have not seen evidence demonstrating any violation of the requirements of the new law. This Office continues to prioritize protecting consumers from deceptive and unfair business practices and has a close eye on the ticketing industry.“
News 2 did follow up with Wilhite and sent video of StubHub showing added fees after the fact. She sent back the following statement in full:
“We received the video minutes before WKRN’s deadline and will give it the appropriate review. If consumers have complaints about potential violations of the ticket pricing transparency law, they can file a complaint with the Office’s Division of Consumer Affairs (Consumer Affairs – Main (tn.gov)).“
For context, News 2 put in a request on Monday at 1:40 p.m., requesting a statement by Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. When that deadline passed, we reached out again at 1:29 p.m. Tuesday, saying the absolute latest we could do was 2:15 p.m. News 2 received a response that they were working on it. At 2:17 p.m., News 2 received the first italicized statement and responded within five minutes asking for clarification with the video showing StubHub advertising two different prices. At 3:13 p.m., the office sent him the second italicized statement.
News 2 also reached out to both Vivid Seats and StubHub to ask why they were not in compliance with the law or if someone from the state ever informed them of the law’s existence.
Vivid Seats wrote back in full:
“We fully support consumer transparency in our industry. We can confirm that we have made the appropriate changes to our platform as required by the new law in Tennessee.“
News 2 followed up by sending the screen recording showing the price hike and asked if they still believed they were in compliance with the law. As of publish time, the company has not responded.
A spokesperson from StubHub wrote back:
“Thanks for reaching out! We’re looking into this and I’ll come back with more as soon as I have it.“
By publish time, they have not elaborated.