This is a “buyer beware” story.

The Maine State Ballet “Nutcracker” performance at Merrill Auditorium was delightful; the ripoff I experienced in purchasing tickets for the show was disgusting.

A $35 ticket cost me $91.34. Why? Because I purchased my ticket online from what, unbeknownst to me, was what is called a third-party reseller. This reseller, Best Time Entertainment, posted the ticket cost of $64 (incorrect), added a service fee of $19.84 and then a “shipping fee” (for “will call” tickets, no less) of $7.50. All of the fees were tacked on after my tickets were selected.

When, after the show, I inquired at the Merrill Auditorium box office why I had been so outrageously overcharged, I learned that these third-party re-sellers are not prohibited by law from posing online as legitimate sellers and charging whatever they want, hoping that you will think, as I naively did, that they represent Merrill Auditorium. They do not.

What to do? Thank you, PortTIX, for giving me instructions on how to dispute these charges, and how to ensure next time that my purchase is done through PortTIX itself, which is “the only legitimate ticket seller for events” that Merrill Auditorium offers.

I also was encouraged to contact state legislators to see what law might be considered to put these (mostly out-of-state) resellers out of business.

If you have been overcharged for an event, as I was, please contact PortTIX to learn more and let their staff know we support them in their efforts to shut down nefarious resellers, scalpers and the like.

Christine Palmer


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