Service Charges

Landis Theatre Service Charges

Ticketmaster introduced me to the concept of service charges. When tickets came to the Internet, many thought convenience charges would disappear since all was done electronically. Hardly. Things have become worse.

I do not attend concerts much these days. The outrageous prices are further jacked up with convenience charges. I am not sure whose convenience is being billed, but it’s certainly not mine.

The theatre? Forget about it. Same thing there. Circus? Wiggles? It’s just outrageous! Even Beetle‘s school has fees like this for her tuition. If they want the money, increase the tuition; don’t nickle and dime me.

Many years ago in a former life of mine, I managed a restaurant and bar in Boston. It was a short stint in my career as it was between two tenures at another restaurant. Anyhow, this popular joint drew an interesting mix from Northeastern students, to Back Bay yuppies, tourists, youngsters just starting out, Emerson College students, the homeless, and Steven Wright.

Yup, the master of deadpan was somewhat of a regular at the 885 Boyleston bar. Wright’s humor is very much up my alley. I find his observations spot on.

Advance a few decades and I received a message today that Wright is playing the almost-opened newly-renovated Landis Theatre in Vineland. I check the web site and sure enough, tickets for the 5 June show are still available. I think five tickets had been sold when I first looked. Nowhere are the prices listed, so one must go through the process of purchasing them to see the cost. $45! This is the poorest county in the state and tickets are $45? Sheesh . . . It’s not like Wright is at his peak. I suspect those younger than I do not even know who he is.

Anyhow, I go through the motions only to find there are service charges. For each ticket, there is a $6 processing fee. A what? Wouldn’t this apply to every ticket? If so, why not wrap it into the cost of the ticket? The cost of the vacuum cleaner to make the rug look nice isn’t added, why a processing fee?

But there’s more. Each ticket has a dollar charge for cultural growth. The theatre is located on the corner of Landis and East. Ask anyone and they’ll gladly share that there is plenty of culture in that area. Why are theatregoers subjected to this fee?

And then there is the preservation fee. Just what is being preserved is unknown. Presumably this is the theatre. But isn’t that what one normally considers overhead? Ticket prices are supposed to cover those costs.

The $45 ticket is really a $53. For Landis Avenue. The East Landis Hotel (home to drug addicts aplenty) is 100 feet away.

I am sure the theatre is going to be a smashing success. It will be so without this county resident paying to enter. I want to hear jokes, not be one for paying such an astronomical price to walk in.

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