Many Ticketmaster customers noticed on Monday their free ticket vouchers that were showing in their account have disappeared. If you check your account, your codes are likely gone as well.
The free ticket codes are the result of a lawsuit first filed in 2003 alleging Ticketmaster was charging "excessive and deceptive" fees. The company agreed to a settlement worth $45 million.
Customers who made at least one purchase between October 1999 and February 2013 should receive a voucher good for two general admission tickets to "eligible" events at venues owned and operated by Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation Entertainment.
Ticketmaster customers should receive one code for each purchase made during the period, up to a maximum of 17 codes
However, as of Monday afternoon, the list of eligible events was still not available. Also on Monday, many people noticed voucher codes that were previously showing on their "Active Vouchers" page have since disappeared.
Some people said they had as many as 17 "free ticket" codes as of Monday morning. Now, only $2.25 discount codes are showing on the "Active Vouchers" page.
So... what happened?
The Ticketmaster settlement was mentioned on nearly every news website over the past few days, prompting many to attempt to use the codes and ask Ticketmaster/Live Nation when the list of eligible events would be added to the settlement website. The codes are not yet active.
On Sunday night, Ticketmaster said they could not say when the list would be available, but said "we expect it to be soon." On Monday afternoon, their answer changed -- well, slightly.
In response to dozens of tweets about the free ticket codes not working, Ticketmaster said:
"The event list should be up within the next 2 weeks. Until the list is finalized, unfortunately the codes won't work or be available."
Ticketmaster is now telling customers the codes will not be "available" until the event list is finalized, which is the most probable explanation as to why the free ticket codes disappeared from customer accounts on Monday. Tribune Broadcasting talked to a Ticketmaster customer service agent on Sunday night who confirmed the codes were removed from accounts and will be reposted when the event list is finalized and posted online.
The good news
Phew! All of the free tickets have not been gobbled up. Your free ticket voucher codes should return to your account once the event list has been confirmed and posted here.
No, your free ticket codes have not been "replaced" with the $2.25 discount codes. Customers included in the settlement should receive discount codes in addition to free ticket codes.
According to an FAQ, Live Nation has "sole discretion" in choosing which events the vouchers can be redeemed for, and they'll be handed out on a first-come-first-served basis.
On Monday, Ticketmaster also added a new explainer to the "Active Vouchers" page, which goes into detail about the settlement:
In 2003, the Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster class action lawsuit was filed alleging that Ticketmaster deceived consumers by not being explicit that the UPS and Order Processing Fees for tickets generated a profit. While vigorously defending these claims, Ticketmaster settled the case in 2013, with the court granting final approval of the settlement in February 2015.
The settlement class includes all consumers who made a transaction on Ticketmaster.com from 1999-2013. As part of the settlement, Ticketmaster agreed to provide all members of the class a discount voucher for a $2.25 credit on future purchase of primary tickets for each transaction over the class period, for up to 17 codes. In addition, a $5 UPS voucher was made available to members of the class who had used UPS delivery during the class period, again to a maximum of 17 codes.
As part of the settlement, Ticketmaster also agreed to provide $5 million in Live Nation tickets through May 2017, with the potential for additional tickets based on the redemption rates of the discount and UPS voucher codes. These tickets will be made available through settlement ticket vouchers potentially redeemable for two general admission tickets for select eligible Live Nation concerts, subject to availability and limitations. Class members again received a ticket voucher for each purchase over the class period, for up to 17 codes.
Given the tremendous initial interest for these tickets, Ticketmaster will increase to $10 million its allotment of tickets made available through May 2017.
Editor's note: Tribune Broadcasting has made multiple attempts to contact the media relations team at Ticketmaster/Live Nation Entertainment over the past 72 hours to seek official comment on the settlement and list of eligible events, however we have not received a response as of Monday evening.