Why do electronic ticket purchases cost extra?

I recently bought tickets to a Nationals baseball game through their Web site. When I went to check out, I noticed a $3.50 “convenience” fee for buying the tickets online, and an additional $1.75 per ticket if I wanted to print them out myself.

Why is there an extra $5.25 charge for e-ticketing? E-ticketing saves the organization selling tickets both time and money. When I print out an e-ticket, the Nationals do not waste work hours as no one has to physically put the tickets in an envelope, address the envelope, pay the postage and take it to the post office. Nor do I waste the time of the person at the will call office. The e-ticket does not take time away from the box office attendant, keeping them free to help someone that actually needs aid.

E-ticketing saves printing and production fees for the Nationals as well. The Nationals do not have to print tickets, use ink, etc.

The automated ticket program does not ask for a raise, need a break, or take time off and it works 24 hours a day, always. In fact, it is three times as efficient as any living person. Explain to me why I should pay extra when I’m saving the Nationals all this money. I should be charged LESS when I use the automated systems and print their own tickets. By this convenience fee logic, I should charge the Nationals when I use my paper and ink, because its a lot more convenient for them to use my resources to print their tickets than it is for the Nationals to supply the physical tickets I just purchased with my money.

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2 Responses to Why do electronic ticket purchases cost extra?

  1. Jon says:

    I think the answer is “they do it because they can.” Major League Baseball is a monopoly, and they own Tickets.com, which is the #2 distributor in a duopolistic ticket sales market (along with Ticketmaster). Of all the things wrong with baseball, and there are a lot of them, this might be the most egregious.

  2. Mike says:

    I completely agree… this also applies to online/over-the-phone bill payment. There’s no reason companies should be charging a convenience fee for people who actually SAVE the company money, by doing some of the dirty work for them.

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