Why did people get their Hootie and the Blowfish tickets at CMAC canceled? Bad bots

January 10, 2019 06:35 PM

News10NBC helps people get their concert tickets back after they were suddenly canceled for no reason. 

We first exposed this problem Wednesday night. Ticketmaster voided dozens of tickets to the Hootie and the Blowfish concert at CMAC next summer. Tonight, we're getting some of those tickets back and finding out why it happened.

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Ticketmaster was trying to fend off what it calls "bad actors", people and bots trying to buy scores of tickets to sell at a higher price later on. Local people who really wanted to see the show got caught in the net. 
"I'm very happy that we got the tickets," Lori Lacitignola of Geneseo said. 
Lacitignola ordered six tickets for her, her husbands and their friends. Wednesday I showed you how her tickets were suddenly canceled because Ticketmaster told her she "violated the terms of use policy." But 45 minutes after I told Lori's story, Ticketmaster got her new tickets at the same price and waived the fees. 
"Me personally, I'm feeling better about it now that I have an explanation and know that I didn't do anything wrong," she said. 
After the story I was contacted by more than a dozen people saying the same thing happened to them. On Thursday, I collected their names and order numbers and sent them to the Ticketmaster media relations office. I know of at least one other customer who got new tickets. 

So, what happened? 

Here is the statement I received from Ticketmaster at 5:55pm Thursday: 

"Ticketmaster is routinely faced with sophisticated computer programs, often called "Ticket Bots" that attempt to cheat the system to buy up tickets at the expense of fans. We continue to be fully committed to fighting bots to ensure our marketplace is the safest place to buy and sell live event tickets. Last year alone, we blocked billions of bots from our site. Unfortunately, while addressing elevated bot activity for the Hootie and the Blowfish concert in Rochester on August 9, a handful of fans were misidentified, and we are working with those fans to get them tickets to the show."

Lori Lacitignola, Geneseo: "I got flagged as being a bad actor and a bad person and had purchased these tickets so I could re-sell them for more than they are worth."
Brean: "I guess one of the concerns is- what's to say it's not going to happen again?"
Lacitignola: "To me or to anybody else."
Brean: "Both."
Lacitignola: "Well first of all he told me, I asked him that question, I specifically said have I been blacklisted off of Ticketmaster and he said no no no. He told me I was white flagged. So I guess that's a good thing."

The question the Ticketmaster statement does not answer is- what happens for the next concert? News10NBC will keep asking for that answer. 


Berkeley Brean

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