Clifford Roland says he paid far too much money to see k.d. lang perform in Sydney, N.S., last week.
Roland, from North Sydney, says his girlfriend tried to get through to the Centre 200 box office in Sydney, but when she couldn't get through, the couple went online and purchased tickets for $53 each.
Or so they thought.
"What started out as two $53 tickets ended up costing $280," Roland said.
The tickets appear to be from tickets.capebreton.ca, the website that sells tickets for events at both Centre 200 and the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay.
Visa bill was a shock
Roland didn't realize anything was amiss until his Visa bill arrived.
The tickets were charged to a U.S. address called "ticketscentrede." The total cost was $215.50 US, or $278.80 Cdn.
Paul MacDonald, the manager of Centre 200, says it appears Roland bought the tickets from someone in Colorado, who purchased a handful of tickets online and then offered them for resale on a bogus website at a considerable markup.
"It looks legitimate," he said. "And then all of a sudden, they make a purchase and realize after the fact that they purchased from someone who's reselling tickets from a third party, and they get kind of taken to the cleaners."
'We don't have his money'
Roland took his concerns to Centre 200 and asked for a refund.
But MacDonald says the venue can't give him his money back.
"We don't have his money. Somebody else has his money."
MacDonald says tickets.capebreton.ca limits the number of tickets that can be purchased at any one time. But he says there's no way to scrutinize who will offer tickets for resale.
"What if this individual was from Colorado as they said and as their address said, and were coming to Sydney to watch the show? I mean, who knows? I just don't know how you'd control all that."
MacDonald advises people to check web pages carefully to make sure they're dealing with a valid site, and to check the final purchase price before they enter credit card information.
Roland is not happy with the outcome.
He says Centre 200 should hire more staff to sell tickets in person or by phone.
And although he did get to see k.d. lang, he says the price was far too high.
"K.d. lang is not worth $300," Roland said.