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Are transaction fees fair?

by Bryony Harrison (follow)
I'm a freelance writer & poet; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page' from tinyurl.com/pgyyx76
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These days when you buy tickets online or over the phone there is a transaction/booking fee? Why is this? When booking online, surely it is cheaper for the company than having to have someone serve you at the desk of the box office. Online, everything is done automatically, so why do we have to pay?

On the phone it is a bit more understandable, since there is someone at the other end having to work, and be paid for the job. But still, that is the same for collecting at the box office, which doesn't have a transaction fee. Shouldn't this all be included as part of the service anyway?

Some transaction fees are about 50p, but I've seen sites go over the 7 mark. Why is there such a discrepancy? If companies are going to charge, shouldn't it be the same price across the board? After all, the process of the transaction doesn't change, no matter what you are buying.

I don't remember there always being a transaction fee (although admittedly I only started buying tickets online in the last five years or so. Does anyone know when fees started coming in?

Do you think it is fair to charge transaction fees when it is a necessary part of buying tickets?

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I do not think there should be a transaction fee. To me it seems just a way to cheat people out of their money. Most people won't be going to the box office to book, particularly since the trip of travelling there will cost anyway. The transaction is a necessary part of the service, and should be included as such. Ridiculously priced fees should be banned all together.
Absolutely agreed
Absolutely agreed
Absolutely agreed
In a word

No!
I don't have them, so I do not know if they are fair.

It all depends on what sort of account it is.
I cannot see why we should pay a bank if it is a savings account and they are making money which of course they must.

However, they ARE a business and need to make money so I guess in some cases it is justified -it all depends on what type of account etc.
by Finy
Hi Finy

This isn't about accounts, it is about buying tickets to events like exhibitions, concerts or the theatre. As well as paying the price of the ticket, you usually have to pay a fee for the process of buying a ticket - which when done online is completely automatic.
My ING account actually pays me to use it right now. You get a 5% cash back on every pay wave transaction made under $100, and if you spend like I do and use the card for petrol and food and pretty much everything, it soon adds up. Sure beats paying fees for a change.
I don't think they're fair. Especially when the ticket is expensive to begin with. And there is only one way to buy the ticket for a lot of venues. Surely they could build the transaction fee into the price.
I think transaction fees are a way for businesses to milk money out of their customers for a service which does not cost them a cent. I think transaction fees should be waved, and it will give an incentive to people to shop online.
I only feel they are fair when I feel there has been an actual service provided. So my advice is to shop around and make sure that you are getting the best bang for your buck.
Unfortunately, a lot of tickets can only be bought from one place.
I think the idea of transaction fees is a great idea. How else would most of these online businesses make their money? If I operated an online business i would want to earn through the collection of fees. As a customer though I would not want to pay more than 3% on any transaction.
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