Normally, I am neutral when it comes to convention difficulties. I give the organizer and the staff the benefit of the doubt and I make a conscious effort to refrain from all the con bashing that I witness online. Now I hear some pitchforks getting sharpened so let me say that I do not disagree nor do I think it is wrong if you go and bash a con; it is your right to express your opinion. Many times there are issues that organizations and individuals need to be called on the carpet about. Which brings me to the topic and reason for this article, New York Comic Con 2016.
I understand the Fan Verification and I was quick to register as well as to share the link repeatedly on social media since there was a new requirement to attend the convention. Eliminating scalping of tickets was their goal and I admit, I agree scalping is bad. However, there is a thing called overkill and NYCC 2016 blundered head first into it. In the effort to eliminate scalping, they have inconvenienced the very people they are supposedly trying to protect, you and me, the fans. The new rules are so strict, that if you have a ticket and end up not being able to attend, the ticket cannot be transferred in any way shape or form to another person. Even if they are a verified fan like you and could actually get to the convention, you are both out of luck and well the one upside is that the lines at the con are a little shorter. If you think I am incorrect, well you can ask them yourself like I did when I wanted to use a ticket of someone who was not going to be able to attend. I would like to commend them on the promptness of their reply to my inquiry, honestly it was under five minutes.
Protecting the fans from scalpers is a noble endeavor but when you make it impossible for someone to unload, give away, and refuse to refund their purchase, you have crossed into the arena of hurting the very people you were striving to protect. If an individual can't go, why can't they return the ticket to you? It isn't like your convention would have a hard time selling it to another qualified, verified fan, there are a ton of people who would like to purchase it. Just because you are one of the largest conventions in the country, don't think that you are able to disregard customer service. So in my case, the individual who can't go is out $100 (they had Friday and Saturday tickets), I am unable to attend because I didn't click the magic button at exactly the right moment, and this is all done for our protection from the evil scalpers of the world.
I would like to think that this article would make someone from NYCC 2016 reconsider their position and policies, but it is a situation where I do not give the convention the benefit of the doubt. I don't take it personally and I also understand how things can be overlooked when you have the all-star lineup coming to one of the biggest events in the country, who really cares if a few fans get inconvenienced right? Yet, there is an opportunity here. Since everyone who has a ticket took the time to make a Fan Profile, all you need to do is create a ticket exchange on the site. Simply put, there could be a board where verified fan 1 places their ticket for sale locked at face value, verified fan 2 purchases said ticket and there is no scalping and no customers stuck with useless tickets.
Now, I hope NYCC 2016 is a blast, I hope everyone has a wonderful time and the convention continues to be an amazing event to attend. I have a lot of friends who will be attending but I hope that NYCC 2016 realizes there are a lot of fans who would like to be there are the only reason they won't be is NYCC 2016 itself. Everyone have a great con, and to those of you who are just out of luck, I hope you aren't out financially on the deal as well.