NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — From concerts to Broadway shows, tickets to events can seemingly cost a small fortune unto themselves.

But making it worse are surcharges for everything from processing to printing – or even fees with no explanation at all.

CBS2’s Kristine Johnson found out what you need to know.

Maria Bruno was still steaming more than a year after buying concert tickets. She called the whole process a “ripoff” and a “scam.”

It was supposed to be a big night out with her niece and nephew to see the Allman’s Brothers Band.

“It was very exciting, and I was very, very much looking forward to it,” Bruno said.

Tickets were steep, but Bruno, finally back in her house after it was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, needed a pick-me-up.

“I thought, I’ll splurge after what I’ve been through,” she said.

She went to Online City Tickets, a Chicago broker, and was willing to pay $1,500 for the three tickets plus tax. But after the sale went through, she said she was blindsided by $584 in fees.

Online City Tickets said the fee was disclosed, but Bruno said it was not.

“I was stunned,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Online said they offered to refund half the surcharge, but Bruno said that was not so.

“They said, ‘No refunds; absolutely no refunds,” she said.

Claire Rosenzweig of the Better Business Bureau said it is up to the consumer to inquire about extra fees, and vendors should be expected to disclose.

“The consumer absolutely needs to know what those fees are and how much they are before they make a purchase, not after,” she said. “If there’s not a way to do that, then walk away.”

But even if fees are disclosed, consumers told CBS2 surcharges are out of control.

“I think it stinks,” one said.

“It’s just so unnecessary,” another said. “You already pay so much for a ticket.”

“I think they’re ridiculous,” a third said.

The Chicago Better Business Bureau said consumers have complained about Online City Tickets not disclosing “exorbitant fees.” But in a statement online, Online said they “adamantly maintain that we always have indicated all fees.”

But Bruno said if that was so, she would not be out nearly $2,500.

“That’s a lot,” she said. “That’s a lot of money to pay.”

Bruno said she learned her lesson.

“I’ll be very careful — that’s for sure,” she said.

Bruno never did get to the concert. She said she complained to her bank and was told to return the tickets and they would get her a refund, but they lost the dispute.


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