Saturday, October 11, 2008

Be aware

I wanted to reward a friend with tickets to a Yankee game - one of the final games of the year. I decided to purchase tickets from StubHub. I realizing the tickets had been marked-up; nevertheless, this was a special event.

Not including the tickets, I spent $4k to in hotel, air and more just to travel to and from NYC.

The "expensive" tickets: over $2k

The original owner of the tickets: A Yankee season ticket holder. Ask me for his name.

When I attempted to use the tickets, the Yankees refused me at the gate. The tickets are invalid.

I telephoned StubHub. The phone rang and rang. I telephoned back and was placed on hold for - well, I gave up. How is a fan going to resolve a serious problem at the gate, when StubHub places us on hold forever?

I complained to StubHub. I was sent the Invalid Ticket Claim Form" and was told by Deju, "this type of situation is rare..."

Deju: "this type of situation is rare"

A StubHub representative, Sue at 415-222-3961, telephoned me prior to receiving the form. She encouraged me to complete the form and return it ASAP; she too stated this type of situation (selling tickets to fans that are fake or invalid) is rare. She said that she would be back in touch with me; that if I wanted to phone her I could...but that her voice mail (at customer service) doesn't work.

I completed the Invalid Ticket Claim Form (odd how the form is titled; they said this was a rare situation) and attempted to fax it back to StubHub using the fax number listed on their form. The fax number doesn't work! Maybe it seems rare to StubHub, because fans are not allowed to actually submit a claim. The form was sent on 9/28/08I telephoned StubHub and informed them that the fax number didn't work. They gave me another: 800-996-7298 I faxed the form, and copies of the tickets for which I paid $2,651.95

No Answers

I attempted to reach "Sue" at her 415-222-3961 a number of times. I left voice mails figuring StubHub - an eBay company - would fix it eventually. No returned call.

I sent them an email: I really want a call back ASAP. To fly myself and a client to NYC, pay for hotels, car service and an over-priced ticket is fine, provided the ticket is valid. YOU must provide more than your fan protection plan which doesn't solve the problem - only provide a refund. Being turned away isn't acceptable. YOU must verify premium tickets BEFORE the client attempts to use them.


Sue telephoned me again; I missed the call and was unable to reach her when I phoned back 8x. Her voice mail doesn't work.

I sent this email: I have rec'd two voice mails (one before I submitted the form) to date about this situation. Unfortunately, I have not received a single answer. I want an immediate refund and a very good answer as to why and how this happened. If I go one more week without an answer I will turn this over to the NY Attorney Generals office and forward a copy to Mike Jacobson from EBay. The game you sold me invalid tickets to was on September 18th. How long will it take for an answer as to why you or the owner sold me bad tickets? I already sent the owner of the tickets a request for an answer as well. He has not responded. Failure to respond is not wise. Not only do I expect an answer, I want to know who screwed this up - you or the owner of the tickets (James Manfredonia).

No Answers Still; However They Send Me a $200 Coupon

Their email: Dear , You have been given a $200.00 discount towards your next purchase of tickets on!

Still No Calls; No More Emails; What Happened to Sue?

I thought I would begin to leverage the power of the Internet. I began to post the following message on a number of blogs, beginning with the Wall Street Journal. I also sent the email listed down below to the corporate media department at StubHub. Remember, I just wanted a few simple answers: a) Did the owner of the Yankee tickets sell them to me via StubHub only to cancel the tickets later? b) Why did StubHub not verify the tickets considering the cost?

My email as posted on a number of websites/blog: Stubhub sold invalid tickets to me, belonging to James Manfredonia of NYC, for the September 18th Yankees game. I have asked several times for an answer: Did they or the owner of the tickets commit fraud? I want to know why or how this happened and yet, still no answer. Oh - they did send me a $200 credit. The cost of my trip exceeded $4k I do plan to submit a complaint to the NY Attorney General's office. I hope this will work; I have my doubts. I see StubHub (an EBAY Co) donated to the AG's political fund. I am open to joining a class action, if others want to do the same.

I also sent this email to www. ebayink@ebayebay’s the parent company to StubHub. You can post comments on pages featuring the CEO of eBay.

The Power of the Internet Must Work; Stephen Wichlac Responds

On THE day I post my comments on eBay’s website featuring their CEO, Stephen Wichlac from StubHub responds to me in writing – not by telephone.

He writes: We have attempted to reach you 3 times to discuss this issue with you. On 9/27 we called and we called again on 10/1 and on 10/1 we sent an email. As we had not heard back from you, we proceeded with the investigation and you have been refunded in full on 10/10.

We would like to discuss this matter with you and have made attempts to get in contact with you. I know that this issue has been upsetting and we do appreciate you allowing us to investigate this matter fully. From what we have been able to find, it sees that your seller originally purchased these tickets from another party and then resold them on our site. It is clear that there are some issues with this seller and I can assure you that the seller has been deactivated from our site and StubHub is currently looking in to all available forms of recourse to this seller.

My thoughts: How can I get back to you when your “customer service” voice mail doesn’t work? And, are you saying that you are reselling stolen tickets? Are you saying the original ticket owner scammed all of us, that he “sold them” and them reported them stolen to the Yankees?

Stephen then reprimanded me by stating I had NOT returned their Invalid Ticket Form. He writes: One issue that caused a delay in resolving this issue was that we never received your invalid ticket claim form, a vital piece of documentation that we use as your official statement in these matters. We were able to extract the necessary information to resolve this claim from the notes our Customer Service representatives placed on this order. Please understand that it is never StubHub’s intention to allow disreputable sellers on our site and cause the level of grief you have experienced. I understand that your stated intent may be to pursue this issue further and through another manner. That is certainly at your discretion and you are free to pursue this as you choose. However, I would encourage you to review the StubHub Fan Protect and User Agreement very closely. Should we be contacted by any formal agency, the Executive Customer Care Department will respond accordingly.

Stephen Wichlac
Executive Customer Care Specialist
2 Gateway Boulevard
East Granby, CT 06026
Phone: 860.408.5812

What? Of course I returned your form – the one designed although it is “rare” to sell invalid tickets to the public. I had to phone and ask for a working fax number!! You can tell by now, my relationship with Stephen wasn’t off to a good start.

I Wrote Back To My New Friend: Stephen Wichlac

My email: When I phoned Stubhub back a handful of times, the phone rang and rang. When it went to vm, I left a message even though Sue (your employee) said her vm didn't work. I have been watching and answering this, my cell phone when it rings - hoping someone would call.
Yes, you did receive my claim form and photocopies of the tickets marked invalid by the Yankees. I know that because the number of the claim form - your number - didn't work. I phoned and rec'd another. I telephoned back to confirm the fax was rec'd. I also have the fax receipt.

This is fraud. You might say the fraud was conducted by the individual from whom you purchased the tickets. However, you sold them to me and in doing so, represented them as actual tickets. The 200 credit will not satisfy me. I will continue to wait for your call, here on my cell. As I mentioned to you earlier, I stopped phoning you days ago - nobody answers. Yes I will file a complaint with the NY Attorney Generals office as well as Colorado and continue to post updates to this story to financial blogs. I will also encourage a class action unless this matter can be resolved to my satisfaction. I was shocked to find page after page of unhappy comments on the web. A class action shouldn't be difficult. I spent a small fortune to travel to NY. Your name, the name of the ticket owner and his reputation will continue to be placed forward by me until resolved. I have attempted to reach James - the NY Yankees ticket owner. He has not yet returned my call. I want to know if he sold these tickets to the individual from whom you purchased them or had they been stolen.


I wrote back again: This email is a follow-up to the one I sent to you yesterday. I want to get to the bottom of this situation. Therefore, I am requesting that you turn over to me, the name, address and contact information of the individual(s) listing the invalid tickets on your website.

I also posted an update on the eBay website:

I encourage all unhappy Stubhub customers to do the same. Add your comments to stories about their CEO. You can bet he reads those pages. Also, under “you say” you will find a number of financial stories about eBay. Go to those websites and post your complaint as well, even if your complaint isn’t related to the story.

I’ll Give Stephen Wichlac Credit – He Works Saturdays

Stephen writes back to say, go pound sand: I can understand your frustration with this issue and your want to get to a resolution on this matter however, StubHub can not release any information about the seller to you as outlined in our Privacy Policy and Fan Protect Guarantee. It is StubHub’s policy to maintain the privacy and security of all of its users. Your seller does face the consequences of his actions and, as I have stated before, StubHub is looking in to all available forms of recourse. I do apologize that I can not be of more help however; if you choose to pursue this I will have to refer you to our legal department for more information.

My thoughts: Well, I don’t know who actually the guilty party is. StubHub will hide the seller of the ticket from me. It could be the original ticket owner. I suppose my next step is to hunt him down and ask him to comment.

I will go ahead and complete the complaint with both the NY and CO AG office. I completed a complaint with various other agencies. I also listed my complaint online with a number of law firms (If you google StubHub and legal complaints, you will find a number of firms tracking this company; again it is eBay).

I will continue to update the 100+ websites and blogs with the story. What lousy customer service.

And do you remember their claim; “this is rare,” it really isn’t rare at all. I found pages of similar comments and complaints by StubHub customers. StubHub sells invalid tickets all of the time! No wonder they have an invalid ticket form.

So, I am launching this blog. We will gather similar stories and begin to build a case for, perhaps a class action. StubHub must verify their tickets. Read more at:


Jeremy said...

I have a similar story and I am on board with any class action you wish to pursue. My e-mail is Please contact me and I will happily share all the documents I received from StubHub. I drove over 800 miles to see a Jimmy Buffett concert and was denied due to fradulant tickets. I have also had many discussions with Mr. Wichlac and I received the same treatment as you. said...

Thanks. Encourage others. And, vote on the site here.

Let's work to gather a list in an effort to form a class action. said...


Update from ColoradoJimH:

Today I had a pleasant conversation with Jennifer Norberg, Executive Customer Care Supervisor (415-222-8530). Jennifer telephoned after learning of my situation and my displeasure with StubHub. She assured me the investigation is still underway. She, unlike Steve (see earlier comments), didn’t give a pass to the actual owner of the Yankee tickets. He might have sold them only to have them reprinted for his use.

I told her the $200 credit would not satisfy me. Someone owes me $4k. Either StubHub, the firm representing the transaction, the original Yankee ticket holder or (if this person is real) the individual that purchased the ticket from the owner only to sell them to me via StubHub. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it?

I assisted StubHub by giving them the name of the ticket owner (shouldn’t they have this information) and his address.

BTW, I also tried a number of times to let Jennifer know the fax number of their invalid ticket claim form didn’t work. She never tried the number, but assured me it worked. Geez.

I am not happy. I have posted my story on numerous websites and blogs. I have posted my information on eBay’s blog (learn how to do this by reading my story and looking at the links my blog) and several key financial pages.

Jennifer promised to give me an update in a week.