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Ticketmaster to refund some fees after The Cure’s Robert Smith says he was 'sickened' by prices

One photo posted on Twitter showed that the fees on the Ticketmaster website totaled more than the $20 single ticket price.
Robert Smith  at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas
Robert Smith at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas, in 2019.Suzanne Cordeiro / AFP via Getty Images file

The Cure’s Robert Smith said Ticketmaster will refund some money to fans after the rocker ripped into the company for charging what he believed were excessively high fees.

Smith posted a series of tweets Tuesday and Wednesday, writing in all caps that the band wanted to keep the tickets for their "Shows Of A Lost World Tour" at a reasonable price.

Before tickets went on sale, the band had said that they had a range of prices at every show and were working with ticketing companies to stop scalpers, minimize resellers and keep ticket prices at face value.

But some fans took to social media to share photos of service fees, facility charges and order processing fees that skyrocketed the prices. One photo showed that the fees alone totaled more than the $80 the person would pay for four tickets.

In a separate post on Thursday, Smith said that he had further conversations about the fees, and Ticketmaster had agreed to refund fans who had already bought a ticket. Going forward, tickets will have lower fees, he posted.

Ticketmaster has said that it does not control fees but does keep a portion for operating costs. In most cases, venues set and keep the fees, the company said in a Feb. 7 blog post.

“Similarly, venues have a lot of expenses, including employing staff and keeping up with the rising costs to put on shows including building upgrades, insurance, paying suppliers and more. If these fees went down, venues may have to charge artists more nightly rent, which would likely result in higher face value ticket prices,” Ticketmaster's post said.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Ticketmaster has been heavily scrutinized in recent months as fans struggle to secure tickets. In November, it canceled general sale tickets for Taylor Swift's tour because the demand for the Verified Fan sale was too high and led to "insufficient remaining ticket inventory." Fans sued Live Nation Entertainment, the parent company of Ticketmaster, in December.

Following the fiasco, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to examine Ticketmaster’s role in the ticketing industry and questioned whether its merger with Live Nation in 2010 has unfairly hurt customers.