Spitzer screwed you too.
Long before he was paying $5k a pop for a night of illegal entertainment, Client #9 decided to wage war on those charging $1.50 a pop on top of a ticket to a night of legal entertainment.
Yep, our un-clothed crusader had a thing for facility fees.
In 2003, Elliot wrote a missive to several entertainment venues in the city, including Radio City, Madison Square Garden, and yes, Broadway Theaters, warning them that charging $1 or $1.50 or $4.50 in addition to the ticket price was illegal.
For a moment, Producers and General Managers thought the facility fee (aka the additional profit center fee) might vanish, because no one was stronger than The Spitz.
Here’s what happened.
Before Spitz, the consumers were given information like this:
$99 ticket + $1.50 facility fee = $100.50 total cost.
Spitz said this was not truthful advertising. So after he stirred up the muck, Producers were forced to give the information to the consumer like this:
Can you see how we got Spitzed?
We all know our consumers constantly complain about our high prices. At least the first scenario allowed us to explain that it wasn’t the Producers charging this extra buck fifty.
An even bigger problem is that for those of us who use psychological pricing. If we want a price under $100, then we have to further reduce by the facility fee. In the above scenario, a $99 ticket would only net us $97.50.
Somehow, while Spitzer was taking a swipe at the theater and facility owners, the Producers got smacked instead.
Oh, and PS. The Altar Boyz are taking back their endorsement.
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.