StubHub misstep brings ire; ESPN skirts FTC rules

Internet users lashed back against the ticket company after it reneged on a sale, and the sports organization’s broadcasters forgot to mark their tweets as ads.

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StubHub felt the Internet’s ire after a seller reneged on a transaction that would have put Lakers fan Jesse Sandler and three friends at Kobe Bryant’s final game for the bargain price of roughly $900.

Sandler wisely bought the tickets before Bryant announced his retirement. After the superstar made his announcement, Sandler received an email that the order had been canceled because the “tickets were listed below market value at $195.89.” The seller had decided the price was incorrect—probably when he or she noticed that ticket prices for that game had shot up to nearly $1,500 per ticket.

Though Sandler received several vouchers from StubHub totaling $250 as compensation, that wasn’t the point. After several tries and a number of StubHub employees telling him their hands were tied, Sandler took his story to The Lead Sports, which published his account. A Reddit thread brought the story to the masses.

That’s about the time that brand managers started to take note.

StubHub publicly acknowledged its blunder:

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