MOLINE, Illinois - A Quad City man thought he had tickets to see Bob Seger in concert in Moline on Saturday, but what he found out when he arrived hit him like a rock.
"We get into the venue, we got to our seats, and two of our seats were taken", said Tom Roemer.
He and his wife and another couple had bought their tickets on StubHub, and found more than one set of tickets for two of the seats had been issued by a third party broker for the sold out show.
"A little shock and dismay, especially when you're being told to leave the actual venue and go outside of the gates to go and purchase another ticket," he said.
He paid $296 for a pair of Seger tickets, and soon learned, they would not be accepted. The other ticket holders who had purchased the very same seats had arrived first, and their tickets were scanned and in the system. In these cases, it is first come, first serve.
And it happens these days more than you might think.
"On a big show, we'll see five or six instances of that a night," said Greg Mouw, box office manager at the I-Wireless Center, the site of Seeger's show.
"StubHub is a reliable site, but remember, the people who are posting the tickets don't work for StubHub. They work for themselves and somebody posts a ticket on StubHub is also going to take that same ticket and post it on possibly five other broker sites," said Mouw.
If the seller is unscrupulous, he or she will sell multiple versions of the e-ticket to unsuspecting customers.
"Legally, there's nothing we can do to stop this. It's definitely buyer beware if you want to make sure somebody is legitimate. You might not want to buy it from someone who is not an authorized seller for the business, and in our case, it's Ticketmaster," Mouw said.
Roemer and company managed to buy what appeared to be the last remaining two seats in the sold out arena, "in the nosebleed section", and missed a good part of the show.
He reported the scam to StubHub, which says it will handle the problem.
"It sounds like we are going to get a refund which is wonderful. We just wanted to see Bob Seger."