Okay, this entry is more a question for readers than any sort of discussion of issues. Basically, I would like to know how many price levels of tickets do you put on sale online?
When I was working in Hawaii, my colleagues at the other campuses and I put most of our base ticket prices for sale online- Adult, Student/Senior/Military, Under 12 and University Student.
When I arrived at my current job, I noticed only the top level ticket price for each area was listed online even though we offer just about the same discount categories as we did in Hawaii. Thinking it a mistake, I asked my box office manager why that was and she told me the software vendor suggested we only offer the highest level because people would take advantage.
[N.B. From a question I received, I wanted to clarify that this listing was on the purchase screen. When it came time to buy the ticket, they were advised to only let people buy full price tickets and not make the other price levels available. The other ticket prices were advertised both on and off line]
This was not my experience at all in Hawaii or other places I worked which also offered lower ticket prices online. Most of the time people wanted to pay the difference when someone couldn’t make it and they brought a person who didn’t qualify for discounts.
I admit I was a little riled when I heard that the ticket office was given this advice because I think that making people call or walk in to buy discounted tickets places a barrier to entry to many. I felt like this went against everything I have been working toward with my own practices and adovocating this blog.
Not to mention that someone can call and misrepresent their eligibility for discounts over the phone as easily as they can place the order online so you really aren’t preventing people who want to from taking advantage.
It’s not that my ticket office can’t ask that the internet site be set to offer more price levels, I just felt this advice reflected big corporate indifference. And that there was no effort on the company’s part to help venues facilitate the process for their customers.
But as I started to look around, I realized that many performing arts venues only seem to offer the highest level ticket online, even if they don’t use the same vendor we do.
So now my question is, what are people’s experiences and practices putting multiple levels of prices online?