Montreal firm sues Ticketmaster over pricing for 'Official Platinum' Drake tickets
MONTREAL — A Quebec man who paid a premium for tickets to an upcoming Drake concert has applied for a class-action lawsuit against Ticketmaster, alleging the American ticket sales company intentionally misled customers for financial gain.
Montreal law firm LPC Avocat Inc. says in a filing that the lead plaintiff, described as a huge fan of Drake, purchased a pair of "Official Platinum" tickets for a July 14 show in Montreal for $789.54 each. But the day after he bought the tickets, a second Drake concert was announced in the city and Ticketmaster was selling the same seats for $427.06 each.
The class-action application, filed earlier this week in Laval, Que., just north of Montreal, says Ticketmaster advertised its official platinum tickets as "some of the best seats in the house," but the lawsuit says the seats secured by the plaintiff were in the upper deck of the Bell Centre — about 13 rows down from the very top of the arena.
"I think it is illegal to advertise as some of the best seats in the house, tickets that are in fact some of the worst seats in the house and … charge a premium compared to other seats," lawyer Joey Zukran with LPC Avocat Inc. said in an interview.
Ticketmaster did not respond Friday to an email seeking comment.
The court filing alleges Ticketmaster unilaterally decides what is sold as "official platinum.”
"The result is that most, if not all, of the tickets advertised and sold as 'Official Platinum' are neither 'premium tickets' nor 'some of the best seats in the house' and are, in fact, just regular tickets sold by Ticketmaster at an artificially inflated premium in bad faith," the filing reads.
The lawsuit also alleges that Ticketmaster was aware in advance that there would be more than one Drake show in Montreal this summer.
Zukran said his client purchased his ticket at a premium based on the idea there was only one show with limited supply. "Therefore, when he finds out the next day that there's another show, what happens is that the market is flooded with more tickets — another 21,000 tickets — and the price goes down."
The lawsuit said that "Ticketmaster was very well aware that Drake — one of the most famous singers in the world today — would be performing two concerts in Montreal when it initially released tickets for the first concert, but concealed this information from the public in order to squeeze out as much money as possible from real fans who lined up (virtually) to purchase tickets for the first show."
The class action is seeking an injunction to stop Ticketmaster from branding tickets as "official platinum" when they're not the best seats in the house, and for each member of the potential class action to be refunded for the difference in price and paid $300 each in damages.
The allegations have not been tested in court, and the Quebec Superior Court has not yet ruled on whether it would allow the class action to move forward.
Zukran said lawyers will seek a national class to include any Canadian ticket purchasers, but added that Ticketmaster may or may not raise arguments to limit the scope to Quebec.
"The legal claim is based on the Consumer Protection Act of Quebec, as well as the Competition Act, which applies nationally. So we could potentially have a national class, but that's a debate for the court," Zukran said.
It's unclear how many people could be included in the class action, Zukran said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 24, 2023.
Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press