I am always disappointed but hardly surprised when people rip me off.  I guess I've seen enough people who had less than when admirable tendencies or abilities to lie.  So when my sister and brother-in-law and I arrived in Grand Forks for the much anticipated Eagles concert last week, I was only marginally surprised to find that we had been the victims of fraud.

We arrived at the Alerus Center and stood in the line to have our tickets scanned.  They scanned and scanned and scanned to no avail.  One of the attendants asked another colleague to loan her their scanner because she could not get hers to work on my ticket.  The same thing was happening in my sister's line as well.

They pulled us out of the line and took us into the office.  Someone behind the desk asked to see them and took them in the back to check on the reason why they weren't scanning.  We thought perhaps it was a problem with the printer they had been printed on, perhaps the bar code wasn't easily readable.  Other people had also come into the office with their computer printed tickets because they weren't scanning.

We waited about 15 minutes, wondering if the show would start promptly at 8:00 pm. Finally the gentleman behind the desk came and asked if we had our receipt from Ticketmaster.  We showed him the email from PayPal that showed when the tickets were purchased and he once again retreated to the back.

When he came back out he said, I'm sorry, but your tickets are fraudulent.  They were also sold as a set of four to a man named Malcolm in New York state.  We asked how that would be possible and he said that once the sale on Ticketmaster had begun, my brother-in-law was rerouted to a secondary site which  was obviously operated by a thief who made double the  amount on both sales.

My sister was pretty horrified to hear that such things went on.  As I stated earlier, I was hardly surprised because I have seen a rip off such as this occurring with other online purchases.  I once made an online purchase and never received the merchandise only to find out that the company went out of business but failed to close down their website.  I initiated a PayPal dispute but never did receive a refund because it was impossible to track down the vendor.

So there we sat, a mixture of disappointment over missing the concert and anger over having shelled out so much money for nothing.  We had just about decided to go find a movie when the manager told us to wait.  He said he would see what he could do and I thought he meant a partial refund or something.  Soon he came out with three actual tickets in his hand and said, "Here, enjoy the show."

We were so appreciative we could hardly believe it.  We looked at the tickets and they were actually better than the fake ones we had purchased.  Those seats were on the side, way up by the wall, and these were in the center about halfway up.  We saw some folks from Devils Lake in our row and told them our story.  We asked how much their tickets had been and they said they just showed up and bought them at the ticket booth for $59 each!

So, not only were we robbed, but we were also taken for a lot more money than we should have had to pay.  I urge all of you who purchase tickets online to consider using PayPal and also to make sure you are on a legitimate site.  Better yet, do what my sister says she will do in the future, which is to call a friend in the town where the concert or event is being held and ask them to go to the box office for you.

I hope Malcolm in New York enjoyed his concert and I hope the person who sold two sets of tickets can sleep soundly knowing what a huge pain in the you know what they were!

I am always disappointed but hardly surprised when people rip me off.  I guess I've seen enough people who had less than when admirable tendencies or abilities to lie.  So when my sister and brother-in-law and I arrived in Grand Forks for the much anticipated Eagles concert last week, I was only marginally surprised to find that we had been the victims of fraud. We arrived at the Alerus Center and stood in the line to have our tickets scanned.  They scanned and scanned and scanned to no avail.  One of the attendants asked another colleague to loan her their scanner because she could not get hers to work on my ticket.  The same thing was happening in my sister's line as well. They pulled us out of the line and took us into the office.  Someone behind the desk asked to see them and took them in the back to check on the reason why they weren't scanning.  We thought perhaps it was a problem with the printer they had been printed on, perhaps the bar code wasn't easily readable.  Other people had also come into the office with their computer printed tickets because they weren't scanning. We waited about 15 minutes, wondering if the show would start promptly at 8:00 pm. Finally the gentleman behind the desk came and asked if we had our receipt from Ticketmaster.  We showed him the email from PayPal that showed when the tickets were purchased and he once again retreated to the back. When he came back out he said, I'm sorry, but your tickets are fraudulent.  They were also sold as a set of four to a man named Malcolm in New York state.  We asked how that would be possible and he said that once the sale on Ticketmaster had begun, my brother-in-law was rerouted to a secondary site which  was obviously operated by a thief who made double the  amount on both sales. My sister was pretty horrified to hear that such things went on.  As I stated earlier, I was hardly surprised because I have seen a rip off such as this occurring with other online purchases.  I once made an online purchase and never received the merchandise only to find out that the company went out of business but failed to close down their website.  I initiated a PayPal dispute but never did receive a refund because it was impossible to track down the vendor. So there we sat, a mixture of disappointment over missing the concert and anger over having shelled out so much money for nothing.  We had just about decided to go find a movie when the manager told us to wait.  He said he would see what he could do and I thought he meant a partial refund or something.  Soon he came out with three actual tickets in his hand and said, "Here, enjoy the show." We were so appreciative we could hardly believe it.  We looked at the tickets and they were actually better than the fake ones we had purchased.  Those seats were on the side, way up by the wall, and these were in the center about halfway up.  We saw some folks from Devils Lake in our row and told them our story.  We asked how much their tickets had been and they said they just showed up and bought them at the ticket booth for $59 each! So, not only were we robbed, but we were also taken for a lot more money than we should have had to pay.  I urge all of you who purchase tickets online to consider using PayPal and also to make sure you are on a legitimate site.  Better yet, do what my sister says she will do in the future, which is to call a friend in the town where the concert or event is being held and ask them to go to the box office for you. I hope Malcolm in New York enjoyed his concert and I hope the person who sold two sets of tickets can sleep soundly knowing what a huge pain in the you know what they were!