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Old 01-25-2005, 01:06 AM   #1
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I called FANFIRE- Read On...

There's alot of people here on this forum and just in general that don't get the whole idea of the FanFire Presale Membership problems. If you don't understand the FanFire Problems and think that anyone who bought a membership is a 'Whiner' for not getting what they thought they paid for, READ THIS. Here's the bs that a typical member/ customer has to put up with.

Some have said that people are greedy for tickets to hoarde and profit off of the band. I am not one of those people. I am a fan and a customer. I wanted the truth about what I was buying and was not told the truth. You can still prevent scalpers by providing the fine print and not waiting til the last days before the presales.

So I called FanFire Monday, Jan. 24. '05 about my problems with FanFire and U2's service regarding their paid membership for $40. In the call, I asked a few questions that might affect the way you purchase your presale tickets this morning. Read on.

SO I originally called Fanfire in mid December to ask what the deal is on the presale tickets- what are the limits on tickets and number of shows. The answer I got then was there was the 2 ticket limit on indoor shows and 4 ticket limit on outdoor shows, but no limit on the number of shows you can buy tickets for. Fanfire said this to me, and I swear to it.

I bought the membership for that reason alone.

Early January...I still hadn't recieved any emails from FanFire, nor my
%25 off coupon, membership card or keychain. I thought since I would get to buy tickets to any number of shows that the gifts, as tacky as they are, were balanced by the no limit of shows. I called Fanfire on or near January 14th, '05 and complained that I wasn't getting emails and my gifts. I sent the email wrong, so they corrected it and two days later I got my proof of purchase and %25 off coupon though email. Still no word on the membership card or keychain, and they were holding to the 'no limit of shows' question I had from before.

Saturday, Jan 22, '05- I call Fanfire with a complaint because U2.com sent the emails out with the presale codes and for the first time specifically mentioned that you could only buy presale tickets to only ONE SHOW maximum, contrary to what the customer service reps told me a t Fanfire. The email that U2.com members were sent mentioned for the first time quote,

'Q - How Many Tickets Can I buy?
A - As a Paid-up U2.Com Subscriber you will be able to purchase up to two (2) tickets for any one (1) indoor show (North America) or up to four(4) tickets for any one (1) outdoor show (Europe).'

This was part of the FAQ in the email that included my access code. This was different than before. Here are a few examples of the shady wording that was in the emails from U2.com about the presale ticket arrangements.

*"Priority Ticket Sales for the 2005 Tour

The 2005 Tour is being announced soon. It’s no secret that U2 tickets usually sell out in hours but we have secured agreement for U2.Com members to be provided with an advance window when they can buy U2 tickets at all venues before they are offered to the general public. "
- from email sent to me from U2.com, Dec. 14, 2004

*"Don't forget, if you have paid for a SUBSCRIPTION to U2.Com, you will receive priority ticketing options on all venues , a few days ahead of the general sale."
- from email sent by U2.com, Jan. 14, 2005 -again no mention of dates or number of limit of shows.

The customer service rep said she'd send our conversation to a supervisor to be listened to. I mentioned that there were so many members upset over lack of communication, not recieving items, the bad wording and not being charged the correct amount of money for the membership purchases.

Monday, January 24th, 2005.
I called FanFire to follow up my Saturday call. I immediately asked to talk with a supervisor. I was asked why, and I told the rep, Michelle, that the email sent by U2 says that there's a limit of one show for the presale. Michelle, the FanFire sales rep, told me that there is no limit on the number of shows for purchase in the presale, just the number of tickets. This was the second time a FanFire employee told me this information. I was transferred to the supervisor.

I talked with the supervisor, Diane, who listened to my complaints about the customer service reps who told me BEFORE MY MEMBERSHIP PURCHASE that there was no limit, and that they are still falsely telling people this. She apologized and was embarrased. She said that the staff had a meeting to discuss the presale ticket procedures and they were gone over, yet I was still told there was no limit. What's the excuse for that? There was none. She clarified for me that there IS A LIMIT OF ONE SHOW FOR PRESALE PER CODE. Problem is they already made their money under the false sales pitch that there wasn't a limit. NOWHERE WAS THERE EVER THE USE OF "ONLY ONE SHOW PER ACCESS CODE" EVER. NEVER. If it is assumed, that is not the same as in writing.

There are people that live in cities that normally have the shows that are now hundreds of miles away from cities that are currently booked for shows. HOW IS THAT FAIR TO THEM?

So I asked if those people could hold on to their codes until another show, possibly closer to them, is announced for the 1st leg, and Diane answered that she would think that you could hold on to the code and not use it right away, reason being it's a code between Ticketmaster and the buyer, and there doesn't appear to be an expiration date on it. Keep in mind that our emails say that there codes are only good for the first and second legs of the tour.

I complained how bad this is for a band/ company/ fanclub that is reaping the benefits and profits of so many to be so obscure and unclear with their customers, while at the same time offering the least for the highest dollar. Her response was that there are many exclusives on the website, along with the forum, and the website is getting better each day. My reaction was that almost all of the exclusives on U2.com rright now were free of charge several months ago. Plus, myself and other people whose complaints can be seen on the U2 Zootopia Forum have problems loading new pages. Apparently, the previous page you read loads when you click on the new page or link, so the forum has a few bugs too. Yeah, the website sure is getting better each day.

That left me with the keychain and membership card situation. Diane told me that there are approximately 90,000 members of the fanclub now, that they never expected this many people to join. HOW COULDN'T YOU EXPECT THIS? THEY PROMOTED THE HELL OUT OF THIS ALBUM LIKE NONE BEFORE. So they are just starting to send out those items now. I asked what the relationship is between U2 and FanFire and she responded that U2.com rarely ever notifies them of any moves that will be made, that people are really the first one to know, even before FanFire. What kind of business runs that way? It's not like they run the rumor mill, they are merchants. Shouldn't they know the insides and out's of their memberships that they are in charge of selling?

I asked what good the membership card is- does it bare anything for a member when purchasing items or recieving anything special?- Diane responded that it's just like any other membership card. I followed that up by saying, "Well at Sam's Club, you can't purchase their products without being a member with a membership card?" And I can't remember but I think Sam's Club memberships are about the same price as the U2 membership card- and look how little you get back in that aspect from U2.com. So I guess our cool little membership card is really nothing but a peice of plastic that gets us nowhere but to that happy little place in our head. I asked why couldn't FanFire, U2's merchant, have maybe offered a t-shirt or something of that nature. A t-shirt is what, less than $5 wholesale, and they can't even do that? Not even a newsletter or a typewritten thank you, like almost all other fanclubs would do? It's bogus.

I honestly didn't expect Diane to be able to answer most of these questions and figure out these problems- I am a rational person, but this whole membership fiasco is nearly all profit for U2 and U2.com and Fanfire. I believe they barely lose any of that profit towards the cheapo keychain, plastic membership card, 25% off (which means you still have to buy something), and the chance to get tickets.


It's not like they won't be sponsored on this tour and have to make the difference up to pay for all the high production costs. It looks to me that this whole operation is being fed by greed and lack of care, because lies are still being told to people up to this day to make people buy into the 'sales pitch' and it's worked over the last 2 months. SERIOUSLY, I bet you can find that a majority of the membership buyers bought this because the wording and phrasing led many to believe that there was more than one opportunity to but tickets to a show, that you had seeral, no specific amount given, but not every show.

So there are no answers here, but hopefully you get an idea how screwed up this whole mess is, and in my opinion fans of U2 were fleeced. Perfect timing to finally tell the really important details about the # of shows you could but presale for- 3 days before. I wonder how many bought their memberships prior to that date? I bet alot.



Later,
mofo82
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Old 01-25-2005, 04:40 AM   #2
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You signed up based on the Terms and Conditions of the website. That is the contract you agreed on and that is what is binding.

The limitations of one show two customers per member is does not in any way violate their alleged email declarations to you of "can buy U2 tickets at all venues before they are offered to the general public" and "priority ticketing options on all venues". You still get presale which is what they promised. And you can still choose from ALL the venues and not selected venues where you will exercise your presale privilge.

Now, if U2 were to exclude their major markets sure to sell out tickets - like Chicago and New York - from the presale then that would be contrary to the terms and conditions. All they did was put a limitations on the number of shows and number of tickets. It is only reasonable to put limitations.

What the reps/employees told you on the phone was probably their own interpretation of the terms set forth in the website. But as you probably know, reps are just reps. What they say is not gospel truth and they can be wrong often. The fault of the rep cannot be the fault of U2.

You cannot overburden the reps with questions too complicated. Even you said that you "honestly didn't expect [the rep] to be able to answer most of these questions and figure out these problems" because you are a "rational person." So perhaps excercise this rationality and come to the realization that questions about the relationship of U2, U2.com and FanFire is not something the rep can easily answer. Also the question about the presale promo could have been something they could not have answered at the time of your query. If there was any problem, it was probably because they "tried" to answer your query and provided the wrong interpretation of the website's presale promo details. But being a rational person, you have probably read the terms and conditions and realized that it was the binding contract and it is subject to different possible interpretations. The important thing is that U2 did not violate any of the terms and conditions.

There is no "mess" to speak of whatsoever. Just a case of a fan asking questions to the rep which the rep could not answer yet tried to answer. Also, you clearly knew what you were getting for the $40 - it is not just the keychain, card and the presale promo. There is also "U2.com email address, unrivaled online content, memers community, and 25% discount on U2 merchandise."

It seems your "mess" is only between you and the rep. I suggest you write U2.com or U2 a letter about their incompetent reps so perhaps they can fire them.

Back to the beginning, the bottom line of this all is that the terms and conditions are the binding agreement and the contract between you and U2. Check them out in http://www.u2.com/subscribe/ and http://www.u2.com/subscribefaq/

If you take these terms in isolation (and forget what the incompetent reps have told you), it is clear that U2 did not violate any of this. And that is what really matters.

Cheers,

J


PS: By the way, I love you statement: "but this whole membership fiasco is nearly all profit for U2 and U2.com and Fanfire. I believe they barely lose any of that profit towards the cheapo keychain, plastic membership card, 25% off (which means you still have to buy something), and the chance to get tickets." It goes to show what great businessmen U2 really are, and that they don't do charity work for their fans who can shell out $40, they do it only for the Africans and those who have less in life.
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Old 01-25-2005, 05:15 AM   #3
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90,000 signups.. ........Holy crap! That is a ton of interest. I would guess a few thousand are duplicate signups like myself but still. ..that is a lot of people looking to get tickets during a presale.
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Old 01-25-2005, 08:14 AM   #4
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option? what option?


We signed up on the basis we would be given a choice between standing and seated tickets, and that we could even select which block to sit in. As I will be 9 months pregnant, this is pretty important for us.

When we finally got through to the website, we were given no option but standing tickets, so we navigated back a few pages and tried to start again, at which point the website wouldn't accept our code. It said it had already been used. I cannot believe this mess. Yes, the code had been used to view a webpage, not to buy a ticket. I'd like to see codes tied up to transactions.

I tried to e-mail u2.com, they directed us to ticketmaster, who haven't replied. SO now we have no tickets and no usable code. I guess we could always queue up with everyone else on friday, but this isn't fair. It will also mean me taking a day off work. I don't usually work fridays, but this week I have to be on a course, so looks like if I want tickets I'll have to miss the course and stay home on the phone.

They whole thing has made me think twice about how U2 are treating their fans
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Old 01-25-2005, 08:30 AM   #5
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uh oh, you just answered my question.

So when you enter your code, that's it, whatever comes up you have to accept, or your code won't work anymore.

And you're so right, the code should have been programmed by TM so that it is only unusable after a transaction is completed and a buy made, not just looking for tickets. All their other presale passwords, you can keep going back and forth and keep looking for tickets.

What a fiasco indeed!

Now U2.Com is going to have to put out fires for all the messed up ticket orders, or those that never even got to use their code at all, when it could have been done so smoothly. If they had 90k members, then they know based on the addresses of those members where most likely they will buy their tickets for, and thus at those arenas a supply to meet that demand should have been available, or else they should not have sold those memberships.

U2.com, you got work to do.
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Old 01-25-2005, 09:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by sarahlou
option? what option?


We signed up on the basis we would be given a choice between standing and seated tickets, and that we could even select which block to sit in. As I will be 9 months pregnant, this is pretty important for us.

No you signed up on the basis that you would be given an early CHANCE at getting tickets. There are thousands of fans trying to do the same thing you are. You are in no way guaranteed anything but a chance at getting whatever tickets you want before the general public does.

CHANCE being the operable word here.
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Old 01-25-2005, 10:13 AM   #7
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U2.com membership

So basically what you're telling me is we all got screwed?? I am so furious right now it's not even funny. I am furious about not being able to buy more than show - I have a trip scheduled to Ireland in June to see them thinking that I was going to be able to purchase tickets to Philly and Dublin. Then I get online this morning at exactly 10 a.m. and select GA tickets and Gee wiz - there weren't any - can you tell me how that's possible?????? The only thing that came up was nose bleed and I refuse to sit there.
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Old 01-25-2005, 10:18 AM   #8
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90k members for 16 possible shows with only a couple thousand tickets allotted for each show. DO THE MATH. They unfairly promoted this as a good oppurtunity to purchase tickets.
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Old 01-25-2005, 10:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Ya'll


No you signed up on the basis that you would be given an early CHANCE at getting tickets. There are thousands of fans trying to do the same thing you are. You are in no way guaranteed anything but a chance at getting whatever tickets you want before the general public does.

CHANCE being the operable word here.
Yes, that's a fair point. However, there are tens of thousands of us with presale codes that register as being "invalid", despite the fact that we haven't used them. If the server doesn't work, and if U2.com and Ticketbastard don't cooperate properly in order to supply tickets, we aren't getting a fair chance AT ALL. That's what I'm pissed off about, as are a lot of others.
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Old 01-25-2005, 10:34 AM   #10
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oh my God, and I decided not to use my code for Glasgow, but wait for the chance to see the boys in Dublin. ...

seems like a stupid idea now.
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Old 01-25-2005, 10:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by jick
It goes to show what great businessmen U2 really are, and that they don't do charity work for their fans who can shell out $40, they do it only for the Africans and those who have less in life.
I really hope you're kidding.... firstly, while I applaud Bono's efforts in Africa, there are people who do much more then him. He still has copius amounts of money, probably to an extent none of us could imagine. So I could just as easily call him a hypocrite for having so much money and not giving more to Africa (although I'm not doing so). Secondly, let's assume hypothetically that U2 is ripping off fans with intentions of helping out Africa, that is still quite shameful. That would be imposing their will of charity unto the fans through ripping them off.

Please don't interpret these as "anti-charity in Africa", but instead realize that the charity work of U2 is no justification of screwing fans.

Mike
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Old 01-25-2005, 10:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Ya'll


No you signed up on the basis that you would be given an early CHANCE at getting tickets. There are thousands of fans trying to do the same thing you are. You are in no way guaranteed anything but a chance at getting whatever tickets you want before the general public does.

CHANCE being the operable word here.
well the information I received might well have told me I had a CHANCE, but more importantly, it said I could choose standing or sitting. Clearly, I need sitting, but was not given this choice. I understand the concept of CHANCE, there are not unlimited tickets, but I do not understand where the CHOICE went.

From your message, I take it you work on behalf of Ticketbastard. Your attitude smacks of "told you so". This isn't particularly helpful and doesn't make pissed off fans feel any better, so cheers for the empathy.
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Old 01-25-2005, 01:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Ya'll


No you signed up on the basis that you would be given an early CHANCE at getting tickets. There are thousands of fans trying to do the same thing you are. You are in no way guaranteed anything but a chance at getting whatever tickets you want before the general public does.

CHANCE being the operable word here.
first off i got the tix i want but i also have problems with the way u2com handled it. I took a chance at becoming a member but all those things (if its guaranteed or not for example) werent clear to me. I emailed them several time weeks before the presale and all i got back was a confimation email that they gor my email. But still waiting on a reply.

Im glad i became a member because i did get the tix i want...but its hard to name a site that handles things worse than u2,com
(especially since all the profits of the crew ups goes to them..make you wonder if its not done on purpose)
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:16 PM   #14
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I have a problem with this wording in the official terms that U2.com members signed:

"You will be able to buy two tickets for any indoor U2 show or four tickets for any outdoor U2 show during your membership term."

There are many possible ways to state the above, and "you will be able to" smacks strongly of a guarantee. I am sure that a bevvy of corporate lawyers pored over the agreement to make sure that it contained no guarantees at all, and I never took it as such personally. However, what about saying "you will have the oppotunity to" or "chance to"? It's obvious what they were implying. And for that (as well as all of the other communication breakdowns, willfully obtuse email responses, mishandling of former Propaganda accounts, and abysmally shortsighted planning) I can and will put a good portion of the blame for the current ticketing situation squarely on the U2 organization.

Note - this is not stemming from bitterness. My code is still functional, and a friend got GA tickets for the show we most wanted to attend. I just think it's an unfortunate way to do business, after all these years.
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:26 PM   #15
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I knew we were in trouble on Saturday when I found out that they were accepting memberships in the fan club up until MONDAY NIGHT. Every other *****reputable***** fan club cuts off the memberships long before the tour is announced. Why? To reward the fans who stick with them and to make sure there isn't an avalanche of people who join at the very last minute.

This entire thing was about the money. That's all. Not about offering fans a value, or taking care of fans, it's about money. They didn't have to partner with Ticketmaster; they could have gone with Musictoday, but that was probably less lucrative.
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