Monday, December 3, 2007

Danny Gans MUST be coddled!

Here we go again with this silliness. You might recall that back in June, we took aim at the bizarro restrictions placed on subscribers of HouseseatsLV.com, a day-of free-tickets service that was scolding its patrons for telling non-members (well, they were telling me, anyhow) what tickets they were getting.

At the time, our heroes in this game was HouseSeatsLV.Com's competitor, VegasSeatFillers.Com, which didn't play such cloak-and-dagger games.

But then VegasSeatFillers.Com changed hands and became ShowTickets4Locals.Com, in part because the earlier domain name was far too honest for the bruisable egos of stars playing to half-empty theaters.

The other day, ShowTickets4Locals.Com went over to the dark side to "protect" the Mirage headliner Danny Gans. They may have been dwelling there for a while, but we just learned of it now. In normal notifications of ticket availability, the service includes a discreet, polite and seemingly optional paragraph about how showgoers are supposed to behave. Here's the one off the Fashionistas free-ticket notice:

"Please do not print this email and bring it to the box office. Once your ticket is confirmed with our operators, your name will be given to the box office directly. Valid ID required to receive your tickets. Please just let the box office know that you are on the guest list and do not let paying customers know you are receiving free tickets."

See that? Reasonable requests, asked reasonably. A little unrealistic, but whatever.

The Danny Gans ticket offers, however, included that paragraph but also included this, in these colors:

***YOUR MEMBERSHIP WILL BE DELETED IF YOU DO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

-Call the Mirage Box Office;
-Go to the Box Office before 7:00 PM;
-Go to the Box Office after 7:30 PM;
-Reserve tickets and do not show up.

SCALPERS WILL BE PROSECUTED

If you do not pick up your tickets by 7:30pm they will be released for sale to the public.

Only call 671-0049 now to reserve your free tickets for tonight's show. If our lines are busy, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CALL THE MIRAGE OR BOX OFFICE DIRECTLY.


Wow. It's especially weird because when you go to the ShowTickets4Locals.Com site, Danny is right out front, so it's not like they're hiding from ANYONE that they give away Her Highness' seats.

In addition, this additional sentence was added -- hastily, it seems, based on the misspelling -- to the boilerplate quoted before:
If you breat the above rules you WILL be deleted from our system. If you are a Premium Member, you will not be entitled to a refund.

What I don't get is, what's the big deal? When you go to New York City to see shows, you're aware that some people around you had coupons, some people got comps, some people got group rates, some people were there at an appointed time to get specially discounted seats. Same goes for airlines; you must know that there are a silly list of reasons why your seat could cost twice that of the guy next to you.

And we're in Vegas! Even if it's less true than it once was, everyone already knows that comps are currency in this town. Some people are smarter, luckier or more savvy than others; they listen to shows like FiveHundy and "The Strip," they read sites like RateVegas and VegasTripping, they subscribe to the Las Vegas Advisor and the Las Vegas list-servs. They've done their homework, they're aware of how to find the good deals, they grab them and they enjoy.

Is someone who paid a full price going to be mad? I doubt that. Will they not buy their tickets next time in advance and wait for an online freebie instead? They might, but there's no way to predict that the shows they're here to see will be offered for free on the nights they want to see them, so it's their loss if they try that. And if they're not locals, this one's not for them anyhow.
Tourists can grasp the notion that living through the miserable heat of a Vegas summer and dodging slobs sucking on Eiffel Tower margaritas all year round ought to be worth something.

No, this is entirely about image. The Danny Gans crew clearly gave a stern talking-to to the ShowTickets4Locals.Com folks, indicating that Gans doesn't like having the perception that he can't fill a room without some help. And I honestly don't know if he can or can't, but this is the slowest time of the year, so there's especially little shame in it right now.

The irony is that all of these warnings and threats have done more to tarnish Gans' image than bragging to some eavesdropper that you're getting to see the show gratis. Consider this comment from one listener/reader who forwarded me the email: "
Can you believe this? F*ck Danny Gans. No other artist or show has all these warnings. Next it will be 'Don't look into Mr. Gans' eyes.' "

Ya think?

6 comments:

Jeff Leatherock said...

Since Danny is sold out for the next 3 years, this obviously means these tickets are donated to underprivileged locals. They must be less than Strip quality patrons in appearance and hygene, necessitating that they be spoken to in this manner.

Anonymous said...

Who says Danny's sold out for 3 years? I thought that was Carrot Top!

Anonymous said...

In addition to this nonsense, I used to work at MGM and can tell you that box office specialists are told that "Mr. Gans may choose not to perform if the first 5 rows are not full 30 minutes prior to showtime. Therefore it is very important to remind guests in those rows to be in their seats on time or their seats will be filled by upgrading the tickets of those in rows further back"

Troy from Las Vegas said...

Thanks for reminding me of The Rules. I went back to read them again for a laugh. My favorite is "any complaint about a house seats member by a theater or venue will result in a $40 fee plus a review of the that member's account, during which time no reservations can be made and membership privileges may be revoked." Wow. So some hung over college student who is in a bad mood has it out for a HouseSeater and complains about this or that and the Member is fined? Crazy.
Also, their website is so annoying. How come they do not capitalize their sentences? How come they capitalize "Strip" but not "las vegas"?
Anyway, Danny Gans was the only show in Las Vegas I almost walked out on. Don't waste your money or time.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why anyone would want to do business with these clowns.

Anonymous said...

http://fromgoodtogold.blogspot.com/2007/11/internet-story-india-rail-tickets.html