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New mobile tickets cause problems for concert goers without smartphones


An Ontario woman says she experienced a roadblock when trying to purchase concert tickets because she didn't have a smartphone.

When Brampton resident Debbie Ervine found out Elton John was coming to Toronto after cancelling previous appearances due to the pandemic she was excited to try and purchase tickets.

“I heard he was having a final tour and he would never be coming to Toronto again, so I thought this is my big chance to finally see him," Ervine said.

More venues are switching to mobile digital tickets to prevent hard copy tickets from being stolen or counterfeited. However, to get a mobile ticket you need to download it to a smartphone--and millions of Canadians including Ervine don’t have one.

According to Statistics Canada, about 90 per cent of Canadians over the age of 15 have a smartphone. For the 10 per cent who don’t, they could start to find it difficult to purchase tickets to certain events.

"I think they must realize that not every human being has a smartphone," Ervine said.

Ervine signed up for advance ticket sales and was elated to see she could buy two tickets for the concert, but even though she has a landline phone and a flip phone for emergencies, neither would allow her to purchase tickets.

“I can't believe I can't see Elton John because i don't have a smartphone," she said.

On the Ticketmaster website it explains how to use mobile tickets. You need to download the Ticketmaster app, locate your order, view your tickets and to get into the venue your phone will have a ticket barcode that will be scanned at the door.

When CTV News Toronto reached out to Ticketmaster to ask about Ervine’s situation, the company told us to contact the Rogers Centre when the Elton John concert is being held.

A Rogers spokesperson said “while mobile ticketing is now the primary means of ticket delivery at Rogers Centre, guests who require accommodations, including those without a smartphone, can contact the box office for assistance.”

Ervine’s friend who has a smartphone was able to buy her tickets, but the concert is September 7, 2022 and with the concert date so far away both said they'd feel more comfortable with hard copy tickets they could hold onto.

“What if you lose your phone? What if you lose the file? What if you lose the link you are supposed to send yourself? It just doesn't seem like the best option," Ervine said.

Ticketmaster says if you can't access your tickets because your phone battery dies or your phone is broken before the event, you'll have to go the venue's box office with proper identification for assistance to get in. Top Stories

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