The Journal Gazette
Saturday, August 07, 2021 1:00 am

Candid about COVID

Fee small price to pay for time with a friend

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Fees. Surcharges. Whatever you call them, I don’t like them.

They might just add $3 or $4 to the cost, but if I can avoid them, I will.

Yes, I’m cheap that way.

But I wasn’t able to avoid a fee last month for an event I planned to attend with a friend – someone I hadn’t seen in a couple years.

The ticket price for the July event we were considering was already skirting the higher end of what I typically am willing to pay, but my interest picked up when my friend said it would provide an opportunity for her to visit the venue for the first time. I was curious, having heard about the event before and knew the venue to be nice, based on previous events.

After we both reviewed online ticketing, I offered to investigate the possibility of buying tickets in person – based on a website reference. I sent a private Facebook message to the event organizers and in less than an hour got a response.

I was impressed with the attentiveness, particularly because it was a Sunday evening, even though I didn’t get the answer I had hoped.

In the past, tickets for the event could be bought in person, but that was before the pandemic.

“This was something we instituted initially because of COVID but actually seems to be working well for everyone, so will continue, ...” the reply said.

I suspect that many event organizers who have made similar shifts in the past year will continue. Certainly there are many people who would prefer to spend a few extra dollars for an online transaction than spend that on gas driving to a ticket office, assuming the office hours are compatible with their personal schedule.

The fee using the designated platform for the July event raised the cost of attending by more than 10%, but I realize those online services that make such transactions possible and quick deserve a cut.

The July event was for a good cause, and attending it allowed me to catch up in person with an old friend.

And yes, as I expected, the event itself was enjoyable. 

If the event is held next year, I suspect I’ll be ready to buy tickets again – even if I must pay an online surcharge.

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