Convenience Fees, a Logical Fallacy

Rachel and I are going to Portland this weekend (after we were preempted by a family emergency)!

Rachel suggested we see Ovo, a Cirque du Soleil touring production, and I thought it was a great idea!1.

I went to go purchase tickets2 and was about ready to check out when I noticed there was $26 in fees3.

“Convenience fees” are nothing new, Ticketmaster has been making untold millions on them for years. And perhaps in the beginning it really was a convenience for people to not have to trudge down to the ticket office. However, these days I believe that offering tickets online is more of a convenience for the seller instead of the buyer. So why the fees?

I called Hadley Media, the marketing group that was responsible for the discount, and asked about it. Their response was something that I’ve grown all to accustomed to hearing: “That’s a fee typical of the industry.”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is an argumentum ad populum4 and is a logical fallacy.

Why not simply include the “fee” in the actual cost of the ticket? What would you do if a company listed hamburgers on their menu for $2.65 and then charged you $1 for actually consuming the food?

To me, that’s lying. They are not disclosing the true cost of the item in a place where such costs are purported to be. When a company uses such tactics, my trust of them lessens.

I should make clear that Hadley Media doesn’t actually sell the tickets or charge the fee, they’re fault in this matter was explaining the fees as: “everyone does it”. Shockingly, even Ticketmaster isn’t behind this. Interestingly enough, this fee appears to be the result of a joint venture between AEG, Outbox Technology, and Cirque du Soleil presumably designed to compete against Ticketmaster.


  1. We had wanted to see Cavalia when it was in Seattle, but didn’t jump on it fast enough. 

  2. Noticing that I have a 15% discount through work! 

  3. Technically, five of those dollars were for sending me my e-Ticket, however the only alternative was to pay $7 for will call 

  4. appeal to the people 

The Great American Beer Festival

The Great American Beer Festival (10/11/2007) was pretty awesome.

I’ve never seen so many different beers before in my life, and therein lies the problem. Being of the analytical sort, I was completely overwhelmed with my choices of beer. I knew I couldn’t taste them all, but I was unprepared for a coming with a methodology to taste what I could.

In short, I was frozen with the overwhelming task of trying to sample beer.

I basically decided that the best course of action was to follow those I knew. I followed Trevor around for a while before breaking off to go find some food.

The floor is ordered by region, which is makes it nice and easy to find the beers I knew I wanted: Alaskan Amber, Full Sail, and Buttface.

For whatever reason, The Ram didn’t have Buttface on tap! So I had to settle for the Blonde (yea, I know…poor me). Nick introduced me to the strongest commercial beer in the world: Samuel Adam’s Utopias. Holy crap. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I can assure that it does not go down like beer, and at 25% ABV1 I wouldn’t expect it to go down like a normal beer either. Oh, and at $100 a bottle, it ain’t cheap either.

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do for next time. I’ll definitely need a better plan.

Other notes:
There is a purposely sour beer floating around the GABF. I don’t remember it’s name. I think it’s out of Nevada, but I’m not sure.

ferg_characture There was a free caricature artist there, Alan J. Lewis, he drew a picture of me and we chatted for a while. He’s not like most caricature artists who draw really fast. He took his time and we chatted for a while. We eventually got to talking about the Northwest and how I was from Seattle and he wanted to move to Portland. It was pretty cool and he even drew the Space Needle in the background of my caricature.

Do not drop your sampling glass on the floor. It makes a “tink tink tink” sound and everybody turns and boos you.

There are few things more amazing then a bunch of drunk people watching the Rockies play post-season baseball.

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1 Alcohol by Volume