Dice Admits to Sneaking Booking Fees Into the Price of Tickets

Dice Admits to Sneaking Booking Fees Into the Price of Tickets
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Since when has DICE charged users booking fees without telling them?  January 2017, that’s when.

Want to buy the tickets to the best gigs in the UK without any hidden booking fees?  Then, you’d better not head to Dice.fm or use the DICE app.

Quietly foregoing its slogan “Best Gigs. No Booking Fees” last year, the online music discovery and mobile ticketing app admitted to charging users booking fees without their knowledge.  The stunning admission came after British post-punk Shame band issued the following statement on Twitter.

The post-punk band added,

We’ve used Dice for every headline show for the last year because it benefits music fans who don’t want to get ripped off by fees.  Here they are charging £20.85 for a £16 show.  We will not be using Dice again from here on out.  F—ing money grabbers.

Citing that it hasn’t made money from ticket sales, the company attempted to defend itself from the accusations.  In a back-and-forth with Shame, DICE wrote,

“We believe there’s no such thing as “face value” and “booking fees”.  Just tell the fan how much the ticket is upfront.  Don’t try and trick them.”

Shifting the blame over “hidden fees” to concert promoters, the company added,

To be honest, we don’t spend our energy defending why we charge promoters a small fee to have their tix on DICE.  We’re focused on building tech to make sure tix don’t get sold at insane prices by touts.  Like £45+ on Viagogo for your Bristol show.  No DICE ticket can be resold.

Clearly backtracking from its original statements, DICE Managing Director Russ Tannen wrote on the company’s blog,

When we started Dice in 2014 our tagline was ‘Best Gigs. No Booking Fees’.  For the whole time we used that line we didn’t have booking fees and lost money on every ticket sold.  Why?  We were trying to figure out how this thing works.  As we grew we discovered that to get a significant allocation of tickets for bigger shows, we had to agree to include a ‘booking fee.’

Instead of explaining why the company didn’t tell users about charging booking fees, Tannen stated how the fees worked.  He said that the extra charge constitutes “a small markup that covers some of our costs, and fulfills contractual obligations to some of our partners.”  The booking fees don’t apply to all shows.

He later admitted that when dropping the fees, the company should’ve made this clear to music fans.

“I wish we had written a blog post explaining all of this back then.  And I’m sorry for not posting this sooner.”


Featured image by Tookapic (CC0)