How ridiculous are booking fees?

I find the whole process of buying tickets for theatre, concerts and the like somewhere between bewildering and infuriating.

Well, maybe not the whole process, just the part towards the end.

You’ve chosen tickets based on price and location and you get to the checkout. Suddenly, a raft of extra charges appear, boosting the price by a sometimes ridiculous amount of money.

First, there’s a booking fee. Why this isn’t just included in the price of the ticket, I don’t know. To move the analogy to real world shopping, it would be like me going into a shop and choosing a shirt. I arrive at the counter and the assistant cheerfully announces “And there will be an extra £2 charge for the privilege of shopping in this store.” Would we accept that? I doubt it.

(I have tried booking tickets like this at the venue’s physical box office and invariably still been charged a booking fee.)

If you’re really lucky, you’ll also be charged a handling or processing fee (to return to my analogy “And there’s a separate £1.50 charge for using our till.”).

Of course, it’s not unheard of for their to be a further charge for paying by credit card (Does it really cost more to pay by credit card than by debit card? Would I be better off squeezing cash down the internet’s tubes?)

I’m not sure why we put up with this sort of behaviour. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if the price quoted for a ticket was the price you’d pay?


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