If it’s not your birthday or anniversary, the date April 13th probably has little meaning for you.
If you’re a die-hard Lakers fan, then you know it’s the day Kobe Bryant plays his final home game, and it’s for sure one of the hottest tickets in town.
Atlee Gallimore said he knew he had to be at Staples Center from the moment Kobe announced his retirement.
“I was like, ‘I gotta go to that final home game,’” he said.
Gallimore is a 21-year-old LA kid, and short of his family, it’s Kobe over everyone else. His room is a shrine to Mamba.
So the day of Kobe’s retirement announcements, he bought two tickets to the game.
“I want to be there clapping and wiping a tear and hoping no one sees, I want to be in the building,” he said.
He bought them for the final home game of the season from ticket vendor ScoreBig/SeatGeek for $427, and received confirmation of his purchase.
Then he received a second email from the ticket vendor.
“They told me the tickets have been lost, so they couldn’t locate them. As a result they’ll give me a credit on my account, but I was no longer going.”
Gallimore questioned how an e-ticket could be lost. When he checked back with ScoreBig/SeatGeek, the same seats he bought for $427 were still for sale — now for around $4,000.
Steve McFarland, president of the LA Better Business Bureau warns against purchasing tickets from third party sites, especially for big events.
He said until tickets are in hand, the only guarantee you have is that you’ve spent money on the promise of attending.
“If you’re looking for tickets for big events or any events make sure you take a look at the contract,” McFarland suggested.
The NBC4 I-Team contacted ScoreBig and SeatGeek. Both confirmed Gallimore’s purchase, and the cancellation of his original order.
At our request, the companies agreed to review his case and, calling it all a “miscommunication,” promptly allowed him to repurchase the tickets at the original price he’d paid.
Neither SeatGeek or ScoreBig cited a specific reason for the miscommunication, but told the I-Team they’re happy they were able to provide a resolution for Gallimore.
He’s thrilled he’ll be joining the chorus of applause, saying thank you to his childhood idol, one last time.
“Seeing the injures, the bounceback, the championships. Everything — Kobe epitomizes LA.”
Here are some tips for buying tickets online:
Online Ticket Buying Tips:
1. Check company ratings with the Better Business Bureau.
2. Verify ticket brokers are members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers
3. Check ticket vendor’s guarantee policy
4. Always buy with a credit card so you can dispute unfair/unauthorized charges if necessary
5. Read the fine print — some artists/venues sell restricted paperless tickets, requiring the buyer to show up at the venue and present the purchasing credit card and photo ID
Here are more from the Better Business Bureau
Full Statement from ScoreBig & SeatGeek:
"ScoreBig and SeatGeek are both extremely committed to ensuring our fans have a positive experience, and we're happy to say that we were able to provide Atlee with a pair of replacement tickets so that he will be able to see the game. There are several ways to help guarantee a positive experience when buying tickets. Most importantly, we encourage fans to purchase only from trusted sites that have guarantees. This way, if in the rare occurrence that something does go wrong with the ticket order, the customer will at least be fully reimbursed for the tickets and in many cases will be given another set of tickets. Both SeatGeek and ScoreBig have excellent customer service teams that work to support our mission of giving users the best experience possible, so we were very pleased that we were able to resolve Atlee’s issue."