DCSIMG

Scandal in the wind as Elton fees rocket

TICKET agents have sparked fury by charging a £6 booking fee to Elton John fans who want to see the rock legend at Easter Road this summer.

A sell-out 22,000-strong crowd is expected for the one-off gig at the Hibs ground in June.

Ticket outlets today came under fire for forcing fans to pay a booking charge up to 13 per cent of the ticket price.

Those seeking the most expensive seats are having to pay a greater sum for their ticket to be processed and printed than concert-goers with cheaper tickets.

Online agents such as aloud.com and seetickets.com are charging a 6 booking fee on each ticket costing 60 and 75.

Fans buying the cheapest tickets, priced 35, are being forced to pay an extra 4.50 - a 13 per cent surcharge.

Civil servant Dougie Sinclair expected to pay a booking fee when he phoned Glasgow’s SECC box office to secure nine tickets for his friends and family.

But he was stunned when he was told he would have to pay out 37 in booking fees.

The 51-year-old, from Cockenzie, East Lothian, said: "It was a 90-second phone call.

"I couldn’t grasp how they can justify charging that much as a handling fee for something that took so little time.

"To rub salt in the wound, they then said it would cost me another 1.40 to pay for postage if the tickets were sent to my house.

"I think the girl on the phone must have realised how ridiculous that seemed and she said she’d waive the postage fee.

"I expected to have to pay a booking fee on the tickets, but I don’t understand why it would cost them more to process a 60 ticket than a 40 one. Most people probably don’t even realise, they just accept the charge they are given.

"It was only because I said I’d buy tickets for a friend who wanted the 60 ones that I realised the booking fees for her tickets were higher than mine.

"I expected the girl on the phone to say: ‘Excuse me, I have to move to a more expensive computer to process these tickets’. How can they justify more expensive tickets being more expensive to process? It’s not like they’re printed on different paper or anything.

"The prices are really misleading - you don’t expect extras to be that much.

"I think for that amount of money we should get to sit on the stage with Elton himself."

A spokeswoman for SECC said the fees were necessary to cover the cost of the box office service and credit card commission, which she said increased relative to the ticket price.

She added: "It is not uncommon for ticket agencies to charge booking fees of ten to 15 per cent and we believe ours to be comparatively low with an average booking fee of around ten per cent for a first-class sales and after-sales service."

No-one from aloud.com or seetickets.com could be contacted for comment.

The concert, on June 25, marks Elton John’s first full-scale concert appearance in the Capital for almost 30 years.

The singer last performed in the city in July 2000, when he played hits with his piano at Edinburgh Castle.

But his last performance with a full backing band was in 1976 when he appeared at the Playhouse.

 
 
 

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