Posted by Leigh Ann Rofrano.
In 2003, a class action lawsuit was filed against Ticketmaster, entitled Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster. The lawsuit claimed that Ticketmaster “failed to fully disclose to consumers all aspects of its UPS and order processing fees” (Ticketmaster). Ticketmaster settled the case in 2013, but the courts did not grant the final approval of the settlement until early 2015. The settlement includes all customers who purchased tickets on Ticketmaster’s website between October 21st, 1999 and February 27th, 2013.
As a part of the settlement, all class members were eligible to receive discount codes or ticket vouchers. Each class member was given a discount code worth $2.25 for every purchase they made during the class period. Class members who used UPS delivery during the class period were provided with a $5 UPS discount code for each purchase that included UPS delivery. Additionally, each class member was given one ticket voucher (which was redeemable for two tickets for an event at a Live Nation venue) for every purchase made during the class period on Ticketmaster’s website.
I choose to research and discuss this case because it is extremely relevant in my life. I am a frequent Ticketmaster and Live Nation customer, as I attend many events every year. The lawsuit was filed against Ticketmaster due to its ridiculously high order processing fees that are tacked onto every ticket. As a Ticketmaster customer, I agree and can attest to the fact that when browsing tickets for events, the magnitude of the order processing fees in not clearly outlined; it is not until you are in the checkout process that you are fully aware of the fees. I was notified through email this past summer about this lawsuit and the discount codes and vouchers in which I was entitled. Many customers were quick to complain that Ticketmaster acted unjustly in notifying customers about the settlement and the class members’ potential benefits. I agree with this argument on the basis that I too was notified of my voucher and discount codes after all of the eligible tickets had been already claimed. I feel Ticketmaster should have notified customers of their vouchers and discount codes sooner, in an attempt to give all class members a fair chance at receiving free event tickets from their vouchers. Overall, I do appreciate the small compensation that was provided to me from the lawsuit, since it is extremely rare to receive discounts on Ticketmaster.com, but would have liked to have been notified earlier and provided with more details about the settlement sooner.
Leigh Ann is a marketing and management major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2021.
Posted by Charles Matta.
UPS (or United Parcel Service) is known worldwide as the world’s largest package delivery company and provider of supply chain management solutions. There is no questioning the success that this company has had, but is there a question of their morality? Recently, UPS was supposed to be looking for clues and observing its trucks thoroughly for illegal transportation of products. It was found that UPS had been illegally transporting untaxed cigarettes from Indian reservations to customers throughout the state of New York. And while they were supposedly “observing the trucks” it was in fact believed that they had “turned a blind eye” and now the tax regulators of the state of New York are asking for the judge to impose an 873 million dollar penalty.
An eight day federal civil trial occurred with closings statements regarding the issue saying that UPS “had a corporate culture that favored sales opportunities over a responsibility to help New York enforce tax law.” The article states that this happened because: “Tobacco retailers located on upstate reservations were given price discounts for shipping in volume. Delivery drivers were allowed to accept iPads and other gifts from shippers. Account executives, whose compensation was tied to keeping big accounts, ignored signs that some customers signing delivery contracts dealt in cigarettes.” The lawyers of New York City and New York State are saying that UPS must be held accountable for what they determine to be about a decade’s worth of misconduct.
On the other hand, UPS has argued that it did follow the rules and restrictions applied to the company, but they can only do so much about policing its 1.6 million daily shippers are sending in sealed packages. In its legal filings, its lawyers said the city and state have offered no proof it “knew or consciously avoided knowing that any shipper was shipping cigarettes.” Now, UPS has terminated contracts with shippers who were known to be violating these packaging rules. “The state and city impose some of the highest taxes on cigarettes in the country in an effort to halt tobacco use,” and because of this, there are 28,000 deaths annually which causes tax payers 10.4 billion in health care related costs. One account executive writes “’I wish UPS would just take the high road, and say NO TOBACCO, NO ACHOHOL (sic), PERIOD.” UPS needs to be more strict on what is or isn’t successful and must find a way to monitor their business operations better.
Charles is a finance and marketing major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2019.