The BBC is very proud of itself that 'tickets for the Electric Proms are only £10'. Once you add on the booking fee, that's £12. Fair enough, the booking agency has got to pay its running costs which include bank charges and guaranteeing users a level of security.
But adding a £4.80 "transaction fee" is not just taking the piss, it's increasing the cover charge by nearly 50%. If £10 is too cheap a price for a ticket, then don't boast about "only" charging £10.
If I bought a sandwich this lunchtime and the baker said, "That'll be £2. Plus 20p handling. Oh, and don't forget my transaction fee of £1. £3.20 please, sir," I'd take my custom elsewhere.
But I can't take my custom elsewhere for the BBC Electric Proms because it's only selling tickets through one agency, seetickets, who are milking this cash cow as much as they can.
There's a maximum of 2 tickets per purchase for the Edwyn gig at Dingwalls, so that means a minimum of a £2.40 "transaction fee" per ticket on top of the booking fee. Let's not forget that a booking fee traditionally covers all costs associated with transactions, so seetickets are just profiteering by applying this grossly over-inflated charge.
The only two mates I know who are going have already bought their tickets together; other friends already have tickets for the Arts Theatre gig and have balked not so much at the overall cost of the Dingwalls gig, but at the overall greed of the mark-up, and have declined to go.
So, if I were to buy just one ticket (and I want to go, but I don't like being ripped off), the "transaction fee" charged by seetickets would represent a 48% charge. This doesn't compare favourably to other tickets sold by the agency. As an example:
Spice Girls: £2.25 is 3% "transaction fee" on a £75 ticket;
Amy Winehouse: £4.80 is 21.3% "transaction fee" on a £22.50 ticket (but you can buy up to 4 tickets per purchase, thus reducing the mark up to 5.3% per ticket);
Frank Skinner: £2 is 10% "transaction fee" on a £20 ticket.
What's clear is that seetickets' "transaction fee" is a way of charging your booking fee twice. What's more depressing is that the "transaction fee" on the Edwyn Collins tickets has a bigger mark up than all the other tickets they're selling.
Perhaps, though, seetickets are innocent. They rip off their customers ruthlessly as a general rule. The reason the rip-off's so exploitative for the BBC Electric Proms might be that the BBC is smarting over the hefty fines imposed by Ofcom for its phone-in scandals and needs some more cash.