Dear Scalpers, not all of you get off Scot-free and that’s what one scalper is learning; the hard way.
A man in Ohio tried to cash in on the craziness surrounding The Interview, the James Franco-Seth Rogen starring film which went from a “probably won’t even break even” film to one of the most talked about films of 2014 all thanks to the assassination of Kim Jong-un plot.
A man named Jason Best learned that a local movie theater in Clifton, OH would be one of the 300 places screening the controversial flick around the time when Sony was still trying to figure out how to release the film, and decided to purchase 50 passes (at $13 each) to the showing.
Sensing that this would be a way to make a little extra cash, Best decided that he would turn around and sell them online at a higher price; you know, what scalpers do.
“I saw all the hype about ‘The Interview’ on the 23rd and thought, ‘hey, folks are selling these tickets in other cities and it seems like that’s the thing to do right now so why not give it a shot so see how it goes,”’ he said.
And how it went was not what he imagined. His plan backfired.
Soon after the tickets had been purchased, Sony announced they would be streaming the film on sites like YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix for half the price of a movie theater ticket. No need to actually go to a theater.
Now, Best is demanding a refund for the tickets he purchased at the Esquire Theater.
“I thought I’d get my money back because the theater’s website *very clearly* said the tickets were refundable,” he said.
Again, things did not turn out in Best’s favor. He tried to get in touch with the theater and was told they did not have a website and that The Interview was considered a special event.
Turns out, Best had bought the tickets from MovieTickets.com which informs customers that “theater owners reserve the right to withhold refunds for special events.”
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the manager of the theater called Best out by telling him that trying to re-sell those tickets, scalping, was illegal.