Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Ipswich Regent: Suffolk'n Ripoff!

Splendid as it may be that The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will be playing at that most august of venues in the county town of Ipswich, namely The Regent, it's more than a little flabbergasting to discover that the price of each ticket is inflated by an extortionate £2.00 if they are purchased with a credit card, debit card or a cheque.

Four £23 tickets in the stalls should cost £92 (not cheap by any means, but positively inflated when one considers the downbeat ambience of this parochial venue) but it seems nothing short of daylight robbery when the venue bumps up the total to £100.

Just to set this ticket price scam in context, The Barbican (which is neither downbeat nor--except for those living on the Barbican estate--parochial) charges a booking fee of £2.50 per telephone transaction, and that includes first class postage if there's time! (if not, the tickets are held at the box office). There's a charge of £1.50 for online bookings and again, tickets are sent via first class post (in lovely little orange envelopes).

The Southbank Centre doesn't stiff concert-goers either: there's a £2.50 fee per telephone booking or £1.45 for online booking. As with the Barbican, the fee is applied to each transaction, not each ticket.

I think that in order to register my displeasure at the contempt Ipswich Borough Council/The Regent clearly displays toward the mugs who pay their wages ticket-buying public, it would be fitting to buy tickets in person at the box office and offer payment in pennies. Unfortunately, however, as the Royal Mint points out that 1p and 2p coins are legal tender up to 20p, I might have to be a bit more creative. The 5p coin is legal tender up to £5, as is the 10p. The 20p is legal tender up to £10, and so it the 50p. The £1 is legal tender in any amount. It looks like it could be £30 in silver and sixty-two pound coins. Unless I go with my chums and we buy one ticket each, maxing out the disconvenience of paying with 5p, 10, 20p and 50p coins. On the other hand, I could save myself the hassle of getting lots of coins out of the bank and let the poxy Regent stick its tickets where the sun don't shine.

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