StubHub accused of consistently adding surcharge for hot concerts

Resale platform StubHub Inc has been accused of consistently including a $3 (£2/€3) charge for Beyoncé (pictured) shows and other hot concerts, according to a lawsuit.

Bloomberg has reported that the customers bringing the case argue StubHub consistently underestimates fees for tickets that cost $20 or more by $3 per purchase, and by $2-$3 for lower-priced passes. 

The suit has been filed by Lisa Alcaraz and Brian Hong in the United States District Court, Northern District of California. 

Alcaraz and Hong say they ran over 100 ‘experiments’ on StubHub, revealing that the fees were incorrectly calculated each time “like clockwork”. They have accused the resale site of feeding the ‘junk fee’ epidemic. 

The suit added: “In other words, StubHub is not estimating anything. It is misrepresenting the price it claims it can cause tickets to be delivered to customers by a consistent amount. Worse yet, this bait and switch is made even more deceptive by the fact that the price increases only at the final checkout screen.” 

After demonstrating how the plaintiffs tried to purchase tickets for a Beyoncé concert at $512 apiece – which StubHub said included fees – the pair then had to click through nine pages and pop-ups, before the final price had increased to $515 each. 

The suit also noted that the “FTC is not the only governing body that is concerned by organisations nickel and diming consumers through manipulative practices. The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation recognises the need for more action to protect consumers from ‘junk fees’ – which are fees added on to the price of a product or service after a price is advertised to a consumer or later in the transaction process”.

It added: “In July 2023, the Senate Committee passed the bipartisan TICKET Act, sending the legislation to the full Senate.6 If enacted, the TICKET Act will require event ticket sellers to display the total ticket price upfront, including all fees, in any advertisement or marketing that lists a ticket price.”

The lawsuit further highlighted US President Joe Biden’s stance on prohibiting ‘junk fees’, which would include online concert, sporting event and entertainment ticket surcharges. 

StubHub has been contacted by TheTicketingBusiness for comment.