Beware of undisclosed fees from online ticket exchanges

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Mesa woman is hoping she won't miss her favorite singer after buying Ed Sheeran concert tickets on an unfamiliar website. She claims she was massively overcharged and the ticket seller won't communicate with her.

Popular concerts sell out quickly, forcing many fans to resort to ticket exchanges where you buy the ticket directly from another fan -- usually well over face value. The exchange makes money on fees. Some charge outrageous amounts and may not properly disclosed them upfront.

"Don't trust these people, they overcharge," Lilly Bunting said.

Bunting is a big Ed Sheeran fan. She got an unsolicited email offer from a company called Secure Tix to buy tickets to Sheeran's Phoenix-area concert on August 5, before the public sale date. She says the $175 price made her feel pretty good.

"Until I looked at my bank balance the next day, I saw that they pretty much doubled the charges," Bunting said.

Bunting says Secure Tix never disclosed the fees they would charge before she paid. Her confirmation email showed a base ticket price of $275 and with all the added fees, a total charge of $361. No cancellations or refunds are permitted.

"They did have a 'chat' connection, so I could chat with somebody and I waited for probably 15-20 minutes, and obviously nobody was going to come on," Bunting said.

Bunting says Secure Tix hasn't responded to her emails either. On a fixed income, she says she never would have paid $361 for this event.

"I think it's very unfair to overcharge somebody when I did not agree to that price," Bunting said.

Bunting says it was out of character for her to use an unknown ticket seller. She won't make the same mistake again.

"Usually, I'm pretty cautious about what I do, but I was excited that I could even get a ticket because I knew they were going to go fast," Bunting said.

Besides the outrageous, undisclosed price, Bunting didn't even have her ticket when CBS 5 News interviewed her, which was a week before the show. Secure Tix only promised to email the ticket two days before the show. She did receive the ticket and hopes it's legitimate.

Bottom Line: Using known exchanges like StubHub or TicketMaster will guarantee you know the full cost before hitting 'purchase.'

CBS 5 News reached out to Secure Tix many times for comment and didn't hear back.

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Dave CherryCBS 5 Advocate Dave Cherry works to resolve your consumer problems and protect your money. If he can't help, he'll do his best to point you in the right direction.

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Dave Cherry
CBS 5 Advocate

Dave was born and raised in Philadelphia and considers himself one of the biggest Philly sports fans. At 6-feet, 5-inches, he's probably right! Dave started on a different career path before fulfilling his lifelong dream of reporting the news and helping consumers. Dave graduated from Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting; he later earned an MBA degree in Finance from Temple University in Philadelphia. Dave also spent ten years as Vice President and Director of Sales and Marketing for two of America's leading real estate franchise companies. Dave started his 21-year news career at WHP in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as news anchor and reporter, then moved to KOLD in Tucson, as the morning news anchor. From Tucson, he went to KRON in San Francisco as a freelance news reporter before moving east to COMCAST in Philadelphia as a general assignment reporter. In the fall of 2003, Dave moved west and joined KPNX in Phoenix and spent nine years as the station Call for Action Consumer Reporter. Through his on-air advocacy work in 2011, Dave and his team were able to help consumers save more than $1 million. Dave joined CBS 5 News as our CBS 5 Advocate in December 2012. Dave is a vegan and likes to eat the amazing vegan food prepared by his lovely wife, Carmen. Dave's also a big Bruce Springsteen fan (he's seen more than 70 shows!), the man who inspired him to learn the guitar. Besides playing many of the boss' songs, Dave writes and sings his own songs and recorded a CD of original music.

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