A woman in Leduc, Alta., got a huge surprise Thursday when country music legend Charley Pride showed up at her workplace to give her back the money she paid an online reseller for tickets to his Edmonton show.
Jacqueline Sharp, 58, paid $933 US for two tickets to Pride's June 20 show at Edmonton's Jubilee Auditorium.
After the case was brought to Pride's attention, he flew from Dallas to Leduc to reimburse her.
"I've always made sure that ... none of the promoters or whoever charge too much for my tickets from the very beginning of my career," he said. "It's just a matter of what's fair … I wouldn't want to pay this much money to see myself!"
In addition to the $933 US, Pride gave Sharp two front-row tickets to his Edmonton show.
Sharp bought the original tickets in January.
"I saw him back in 1970 in Red Deer, and I thought it would be a good thing to go and see him again," she said.
It was the first time she ever tried to buy tickets online.
After putting the words "Charlie Pride, Edmonton" into a search engine, she landed on a website.
According to her bill, the site was abstix.com, a website operated by Absolute Tickets Incorporated from Los Angeles, a company that is not affiliated with Ticketmaster or its resale affiliate, TicketsNow.
Her final bill was $1,210.71 Cdn.
According to Ticketmaster Canada, tickets for Pride's Edmonton show cost $58.50 and $67.50 before service charges.
Sharp's son, Jay Cole, said he had a hard time falling asleep that night after his mother told him how much she paid.
"I think it's wrong to ask that much for tickets," he said.
After his attempt to contact the company failed, Cole sent a note to Pride's website.
Early last week, he heard from Pride's office, and arrangements were made for the singer to show up in person and surprise Cole's mother.
"He can't get any bigger in my eyes," Sharp said after meeting the singer. "Whether he was here or not ... He's just a wonderful person. He's a great guy. I appreciate what he did, and I'll never forget it. "
"I'm just glad that I was able to do this," Pride said.
The prices charged on ticket resale sites have become a controversial issue among concertgoers.
In Canada, two law firms have launched class-action procedures against Ticketmaster and related parties in Ontario.
The firms say they represent people who bought tickets at inflated prices from TicketsNow after not being able to find tickets on Ticketmaster.
Earlier this year, more than 2,000 fans complained that attempts to buy tickets on Ticketmaster for a Bruce Springsteen concert in New Jersey directed them to TicketsNow, where the tickets were offered at allegedly inflated prices.
In a settlement with the state of New Jersey, which investigated the complaints, Ticketmaster agreed to reimburse the complainants and change how it sells tickets.
Ticketmaster has said in response to prior complaints that the company's ticket-selling system is fair and doesn't violate the law.