Hidden ticket fees not OK

Like I said last week, to get good acts down here in New Zealand we need to face up to reality and pay the real cost, and I am completely OK with that.

What I am less OK with are the hidden costs; those sneaky little fees that get tacked on the end, some of which I do not fully understand.

Transaction fees. Handling fees. Delivery fees. What are these things and why are they so expensive? 

It was the New Zealand International Film Festival that got my attention. While the event is one of my favourite things that happens each year, it was the ticket delivery costs that confused me.

In particular, the cost of getting a ticket sent to my phone.

Being a modern creature, I shun all things sentimental (read: paper, except for THE paper) mainly because I will end up losing them. So when there is the option to just show someone a text, I'm there.

But when showing someone a text costs me $5, they've lost me. Then if you think about paying $8.10 to pick up a ticket, then I really get a bit of a funny feeling in my wallet.

Of course, the NZFF is not alone in this conundrum. A quick survey of the ticket-selling folk of Auckland shows the action of picking up a ticket can cost you anywhere from nothing to $9 (yip, that's quite a difference), and if you want those physical stubs in your hand before the show, it could be as much as $12 in delivery fees.

I understand the economics behind having a fee. There are people who need to take those booking phone calls and sit behind the desk, mailing them out. But when I book over the internet and arrange a ticket to be sent via text message, I am pretty sure there isn't a person sitting in an office somewhere actually pressing the buttons on their mobile.  

So where does the $5 come from? Why does a trip to the movies or a concert or sporting event suddenly jump in price when it's already a struggle for some? 

It might not sound like much and I am sure someone can explain it all away, but sometimes it's the little things that put people off, that stop them getting out and making the most of Auckland's tasty offerings.

» Follow Bridget Jones on Twitter: @bridgeyjones

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