NBC 5 Responds

NBC 5 Responds: Disappearing Ticketmaster Tickets Leave Fans Out in the Cold

NBC Universal, Inc.

A Chicago man paid top dollar directly to a ticketseller, so he was left to search for answers after he was left out in the cold the night Bad Bunny played a sold-out show in the city.

As far as his legion fans are concerned, recording star Bad Bunny is all good. The only aspect some fans might change? How hard it is to score a ticket to see​ the mega-star.

All three of the recording artist's Chicago shows last March sold out, in no time.

Chicagoan Carlos Silva told NBC 5 Responds that he was not about to miss that tour. In Aug. 2021, he bought two tickets for his girlfriend Adriana's birthday. The tickets were mailed directly to his home from Ticketmaster, with no middleman involved.   

"We were all pumped and ready to go," said Carlos, a huge fan of Bad Bunny's positive musical vibes.

During the seven-month wait after buying those tickets, something quietly occurred in Carlos' Ticketmaster account. Something invisible, he said, until the frigid March night the two fans arrived early and lined up outside Allstate Arena. 

"Once everybody went through, scan my tickets, security goes, “these tickets are not valid”. I was like… These are brand new tickets. These are mine. I got mailed this to my house. I have my name on them and everything," Carlos told NBC5 Responds.

Those tickets were still showing up in his app, he says, but deemed invalid by staff at the arena's doors. 

Carlos and Adriana say they were directed to the Allstate Arena ticket office, where they say they encountered dozens of other fans- telling similar stories. 

"I was getting discouraged," Adriana said. "We were all getting mad. They weren't helping."  

They were in good company: on TikTok, Twitter and elsewhere, Ticketmaster customers tell similar stories, blasting the ticket seller for ignoring their pleas. 

When the arena offered to sell them two more tickets, Carlos agreed, deciding to battle Ticketmaster the next day, a fight in which he now says he never had a chance.  

"I was on hold for so long...on the phone, then I tried email, Tweeted at them, social media, nothing," Carlos said. "That's when I was like, 'I'm not getting anywhere with these guys. Let me see if Lisa can help me out.'" 

When NBC5 Responds first reached out to Ticketmaster, we also did not hear back. But Carlos did, within hours of our request, receiving nearly $900 refunded to his account.

But still, he said, he had lingering questions. 

"I loved the concert, every single minute of it. But afterwards, that bad taste in my mouth was like, 'what's going on?,'" he said.

We asked that same question, and obtained an internal Ticketmaster document that raised more questions. After Carlos bought his tickets, about three weeks later they were transferred from his account, and sold three times.

So why did the app show the tickets were still in his account?

Ticketmaster did not answer NBC5 or its customer Carlos Silva on that question. In a statement, the company confirmed it suspects fraud in this case, says its site was not breached in any way, and reminded customers to protect their online passwords and personal information.

A security suggestion that Carlos Silva says he has done, since the day he purchased the tickets.

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