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Old Apr 29, 19, 1:52 am
  #154  
AndresinMexico
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 1
With Viagogo, All's Well that Ends Well (?)

Let me add my Carp ticket experience with .... the dreaded Viagogo.

I needed only one ticket, and the game was six days away, so I figured there would be one out there somewhere. But I was shut out using Loppi at Lawson's (and super dismayed when I put in a bunch of other way-future game dates, and there were no tickets for those games, either). Later, I looked on Stubhub - and there was nothing available.

Then Viagogo came up in a web search, and, lo and behold, there were a few random singles in a couple of sections. Along with the message about tickets going fast; you'd better hurry up; that kind of stuff. I had a fuzzy memory that Viagogo was iffy, but I really didn't know anything concrete at that point --- and those messages were working on me. I thought: Geez, maybe a few tickets really did just become available, and if I don't nab one right now, I won't get one. So I bought it. I panicked, and I bought it.

Two things: 1) The price ended up being much higher after they tacked on their service fee, which you don't see until the very end. I believe the ticket I selected was about 4,300, and the final screen showed a charge of 6,730. Yikes! and 2) Then I had time to look up reviews on Viagogo. My heart sank. It was only one ticket, so I wouldn't be out a ton of money, but now I figured chances of me actually getting this ticket and seeing the Sunday afternoon game on April 21, 2019 were minimal. And then I'd have to fight for a refund, contact my credit card company, etc. Blehhh.

Then came more woe. I bought the ticket on Tuesday, April 16, but the order doesn't confirm right away. You have to wait ... nervously. The next day, Wednesday, April 17, it was confirmed (some 24 hours after my order was placed!) but then it added information about shipping: It said the ticket was in "processing" mode and would ship on Thursday, April 18. Uh, OK. I needed to get the tickets by Saturday, April 20 at my Kyoto hotel, because I'd be leaving early Sunday for the game that day. The next day, in the afternoon of April 18, my ticket was still "processing" and hadn't shipped. Now I was really getting nervous. I sent customer service a note with my concerns, and (to their credit) they got back to me in short order and told me they understood how I "must be anxious" and that a "specialist customer support team" was "now monitoring your purchase to ensure your seller sends the tickets as soon as possible." They explained how sometimes teams release tickets late.

Well, that calmed me a bit. Sort of. But when it got to be earlhy afternoon on Friday, April 19, and my ticket was still "processing," I thought I was doomed. I contacted customer service again. Again, a quick reply (to their credit). I was assured, "I've just looked into your order today and I'm happy to say your seller has confirmed that you will receive your tickets no later than 20 April 2019. It's become common practice now for event organisers to only release tickets (or batches of tickets) very close to the event date - often the week of the event." The week of the event? It was now TWO DAYS before the event. Should I take comfort in their use of the word "confirmed"?

Long story short, later that afternoon, at about 3 p.m., I received an email from Viagogo saying my order was on its way to me via Japan Post Letter Pack Light, and it provided a tracking number. I was able to enter that number on a Japan Post website to get an email when the letter delivered (gotta love Japan efficiency, right?). The letter did arrive on Saturday, April 20 (one day before the game) at 11:23 a.m. When I got back to my hotel from a long hike and opened the envelope, I was beaming. The game turned out to be a great one, on a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon, with a packed house (of course) in a fabulous ballpark (my first visit there, but my sixth NPB venue) with incredible pre-game energy all around the stadium. The Carp scored six runs in the first two innings, hung on for a 7-4 win over the Yokohama DeNa Stars --- and I guess all's well that ends well.

I am not "recommending" or "not recommending" Viagogo, just sharing my tale. Oh, also, one last thing: the ticket turned out to be a face value of 2,100. So I paid more than three times than that. But I got to see a game in Hiroshima, which friends in Japan tell me is semi-impossible, so I'm not complaining.
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