By Jim McCarthy Jan 10, 2011 0 comments

The Difference…

Last week, I wrote about how it would be a bad year for the secondary market, except for those in the lead.  I’m primarily talking about Stubhub, of course, and one of the reasons I believe that it’s going to be tough to be in the secondary biz and NOT be Stubhub is, as I said in the piece, they are getting better at their job.

Now, you may be asking why I would say that on a day when Stubhub is recovering from a crisis of providing tickets to the BCS National Championship Game.  I’ll tell you why: because they showed that they can mean what they say when it comes to their fan guarantee and because they figured out a way to solve the problem.

To sum up, one of the broker sellers on Stubhub was unable to meet its obligations to provide tickets it had sold on the site.  Once Stubhub knew this, they offered customers who had bought BCS Game tickets double the price they paid.  Gradually, they bought enough tickets and took enough purchases off the board to make sure that everyone who still wanted to go would in fact get in.

It was, undoubtedly, expensive and a giant hassle.  It was also, of course, something they had an obligation to do because of their Fan Protect Guarantee, but the temptation, when things go badly wrong like this, to renege on such promises are pretty strong.

This is the difference between this company and almost all the rest of the secondary ticket industry.  I’ve always believed that “service recovery” (what a company does AFTER it screws up) shows you what they’re really about.  Eventually, every company screws up.  The difference is the reaction.

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