WASHINGTON -- A congressman from the boss' home state is calling for an investigation into concert ticket sales.
On Monday, some fans tried to buy tickets for Bruce Springsteen's upcoming concert on Long Island and in New Jersey through Ticketmaster.com, but an error message popped up and fans were directed to a resale site called TicketsNow, a subsidiary of Ticketmaster. The tickets it was offering were more expensive.
The apparent bait-and-switch affected fans in the Washington area, too. Kara Lashley, of Oakton, Va., and her sister, Beth Totin, tried to purchase three tickets to Springsteen's D.C. show in May, logging on at 10 a.m. Monday when tickets went on sale, but they also were redirected and won't be going.
TicketsNow allows the exchange, trade or marked-up resale of tickets, the Today Show reported. But redirects took place when face value tickets still were available.
"We perceive this as a pure conflict of interest,” the band said in a post on Springsteen's website. "Ticketmaster is there to ensure that we have a good, fair sale of our tickets at their face value plus normal ticketing charges."
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) wants the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to investigate. New Jersey's Office of the Attorney General and Division of Consumer Affairs are investigating.
"While we were genuinely trying to do the right thing for fans in providing more choices when the tickets they requested from the primary on-sale were not available, we clearly missed the mark," a statement from Ticketmaster said. "Fans are confused and angry, which is the opposite of what we hoped to accomplish. We sincerely apologize to Bruce, his organization and, above all, his fans."
The redirect was designed for when Ticketmaster.com could not fulfill a specific search request, the statement said, but it caused confusion. All links for Springsteen shows redirecting customers to TicketsNow have been removed from Ticketmaster.com
Springsteen and the E Street Band's world tour begins April 1 in San Jose, Calif. They will play the Verizon Center in May.