One of my favorite bands, Yo La Tengo, is playing Los Angeles in October.  I’m moving out there on Thursday, so I figured my first, preemptive act as an LA resident would be to buy tickets.  Because I want my new life in LA to have at least as much Yo La Tengo as my life in New Jersey (both the band and I are from NJ, but I’ve only managed to see them once, and that was in New York).

Anyway, the tickets cost $20 each.  I tried to buy two.  Even though I’ve grown accustomed to Ticketmaster’s gouging, I was shocked at the total: $66.35.  That includes a building facility charge, an order processing charge, a convenience charge, and a delivery charge (in which I pay for them to send an email so that I can print the tickets out using my own ink and paper; to have real tickets actually mailed costs at least $15.00).  The building charge I can accept, even though it should be wrapped up in the initial price and not tacked on.  The latter three fees clearly have some overlap though.  Which part is convenient?  Isn’t the emailed delivery the convenient part?  If it’s so convenient why am I paying for it twice?  Maybe the fact that I’m getting to order the tickets while sitting on my ass is convenient.  But then “processing charge” would cover that.  Is the phrase “convenience charge” actually an admission that they aren’t really doing anything?  Couldn’t they be bothered to make something up to make me feel better?  Like “bandwidth charge” or “licensing fee.”  That at least sounds like I’m paying for something specific.


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