Friday, January 11, 2008


So this happened to a friend I work with, and his story bears wider dissemination.

One of my co-workers wanted to take his girlfriend to last Saturday’s Seahawks/Redskins playoff game. He bought tickets through StubHub, which is a reseller owned by E-bay. Stubhub provides a forum where folk wanting to sell tickets (who used to be called “scalpers”) hook up with ones wanting to buy them (who used to be called “marks”). More convenient than hanging outside Heinz field in a snowstorm saying “I got two”.

The order is made. The next day, a Fed Ex envelope arrives from the seller – empty. An empty FedEx envelope. My friend makes a phone call to StubHub. Questions are asked. Reassurances are offered. Simple mistake. Seller forgot to put them in. Will send you a pdf that can be used.

My friend is no fool – contacts Seahawks ticket office and dconfirms that, yeah, the pdf will work. They just need the barcode to scan into their system. Friend gets the pdf two days before the game.

Still no fool, he and his girlfriend show up early for the game. The bar code scans. They’re let in. They hang out, get something to eat, then head for their seats.

Which are occupied. By a nice couple from Moses Lake (their first Seahawk game). Who have the real physical tickets. ALSO purchased off StubHub.

And the couple is very nice. They offer to share. Each couple takes one seat. It works out – no one is sitting down during this game. A good time was had. My friend buys them lunch. What he doesn't know is if there was anyone else stuck at the front gate with duplicated tickets.

After the game, he comes back and fires off a blistering email to StubHub. Current status: A claim has been filed. Hoperfully StubHub does the right thing. And hopefully they are having a few choice words with the scammer who tried this. Hopefully involving hammers to the kneecaps.

In the meantime, as the playoffs continue, Buyer Beware. Be Aware and Be Prepared.

More later,