As a member of the press, I'm typically shielded from the ticketing headaches of the average theatergoer, but occasionally I opt to pay for my tickets through the usual channels and receive yet another reminder of why theatergoing for the average person can feel like a losing proposition.
So does this ever happen to you: You order tickets for a show, then realize within five days of the reservation that you need to switch them to another night, and you call the ticket service (OvationTix, in my case) and ask about their policy, and they tell you: No exchanges or refunds? Understand, availability is not an issue—there are plenty of seats at all performances. But this no-change policy effectively means I'm out the price of two tickets for a show I can't attend, and to attend another performance I've got to fork over for another two tickets?
I mean, I've dealt with Ticketmaster and Telecharge and their evil fees, and I've missed one-night-only concerts I'd paid full price for and didn't fuss about it (because they were one-night-only deals, and the demand was understood to be relatively high). And I know that it must be a headache to have people trying to switch their reservations all the time; presumably that's what the "service charges" are for. But with Zipcar, for instance, you've got within 24 hours of your reservation to change or cancel it for a car; it just seems exceedingly stupid that you can do nothing similar about reservations for two seats at the theater.
End of rant.