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How to get an (almost) free ticket from TicketMaster


When making my booking for the Milton Jones gig I went to recently, I discovered how to get an (almost) free ticket from TicketMaster, who provide online ticket booking services for Oxford’s New Theatre. It is very simple; don’t use them!

I had some theatre tokens to spend and the instructions on their website did not make clear how to do that. I think you needed to scratch off the gold foil from a section on the front but I did not want to risk invalidating them. I then tried phoning the number given but, despite being in their stated opening hours I was left in a queue and gave up after fifteen minutes. They could at least have played more than one song on repeat (a track from Blood Brothers) between the voice over promising to answer the phone as soon as possible.

In the end, I popped down to Oxford and bought the tickets directly from the box office, where I was surprised to get change! It turns out that the TicketMaster route would have cost me a substantial percentage of the cover price as a booking fee and that they would have charged even to email me the tickets. By the time those extras had been added up, it would almost have cost me the same as buying a third ticket for the show direct from the theatre.

You could perhaps understand it if the money was supporting a service that rolled out the red carpet for you. As it is, all I have got is a number of emails about other shows, even though I am sure I ticked the “don’t spam me” box. At least I used my Spamgourmet disposable address so I won’t have to put up with many more of those.

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