Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ticketmaster Is Evil

I'm sure this is not the first time that I've said this, but I just bought some Merriwether Post Pavillion Lawn tickets to go see the Decemeberists in June. The tickets were $30/ea. Ticket master has the following mandatory charges:
  • $8.55 per order ticket "convenience charge"
  • $4 per order
Furthermore, the only free delivery mechanism is US mail. If you have them e-mail you the tickets (assumably a PDF like they do at some sporting events) you have to pay an additional $4.95!!! Want to get insurance in case you can't make it for the show $6.

So for my $60 of concert money I spent $21.05 and if I had wanted to print the tickets and get insurance it would've been $32! As much as one of the tickets itself.

I know they're a business, etc. etc. But these prices seem ridiculous given the nature of the service. I'm certain that things would be different if they had some competitive pressure.

Friday, February 27, 2009

McDonaldization of America

This has been brewing since Thanksgiving... I've been thinking a lot about local Economy (after reading stuff by Wendell Berry and Bill McKibben), globalization, peak oil, etc. On our trip home from Plymouth, MA after Thanksgiving I was particularly sick of the fact that it is difficult to eat good food at a local establishment when you're travelling. So armed with my brother-in-law's Nuvi I *commited* to eating dinner at some place local.

We were near Wilkes-Barre / Plains on I-81 in Pennsylvania and there appeared to be lots of options. Here's what we tried.
  • Chicken Coop (out of business)
  • That Dough Guy (out of business)
  • Two Gals Pizza and Subs (closed)
  • Antony's Giant Hot Dog (closed)
  • Michael's Family Restaurant (closed)
After 30 minutes of trying we gave up and ended, in defeat, eating at Subway (at least it was marginally healhy). The subway closed at 10PM!

McDonald's within 10 miles: *9*!!!!