Lion of the Blogosphere

Only stupid tourists pay full price

In the news today, greedy class-action lawyers are suing the Metropolitan Museum of Art for its deceptive “recommended” admission fee:

If you still feel guilty about not paying the full price, consider that the museum receives annual grants from the city without paying taxes or rent, has a $2.5 billion investment portfolio, and uses admissions to cover only 11 percent of its operating costs. Six in ten Met tourists don’t pay the full $25, but as the AP reporting reveals, many of the people who don’t pay are locals who know they don’t have to, while it’s the unwitting out-of-towners who get yoked into chucking up the full price. Third-party websites don’t say the fee is recommended.

I actually agree with the spirit of the lawsuit, they are pretty sneaky about making it appear to tourists that you have to pay $25. The idea that you could just pay a penny seems too good to be true. But it’s really true. (Because paying a penny feels too cheap, I always pay a dollar.)

However, it annoys me that some greedy class-action lawyers are going to make a lot of money if they win the lawsuit, but the terms of the settlement won’t benefit any actual duped tourists.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 25, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Posted in Law

31 Responses

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  1. I largely agree with you, but what’s the alternative?

    Dan

    March 25, 2013 at 4:48 PM

  2. At the main London museums you don’t have to pay at all.

    Francis

    March 25, 2013 at 5:29 PM

  3. Could you explain the background here? What language is used to make tourists pay a higher price?

    eh

    March 25, 2013 at 5:32 PM

  4. I had an Asian girlfriend who needed to go to New York for some sort of training (she’s an evil banker, not born in America). She arrives in JFK and looks for a cab. Out comes a guy in a Mercedes, very friendly, and begins loading her things in. He’s driving and she notices there’s no meter. “How much is this gonna cost?” He says $4.75 a mile. “How many miles?” “Maybe 40?”

    Now this girl is unbelievably ignorant when it comes to almost everything… except money. “This is gonna cost almost $200??” “Yeah, but this is the Big Apple. Take in the sights. You can get to your hotel in style.” She pulls out her iphone and maps it (which apparently came to 26 miles, but she lied and said it was 21). Still paid way too much.

    Vince, the Lionhearted

    March 25, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    • Aren’t there prominent signs at the JFK terminals listing taxi fares to Manhattan.

      Peter

      ironrailsironweights

      March 26, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    • What country was she from? I always warn Japanese friends, who are used to paying nearly $8.00 just to sit down in a cab before it even moves, that cab fares are nowhere near as expensive in NYC as they are in Tokyo.

      Kyo

      March 26, 2013 at 12:01 PM

  5. A dollar is too much. I always give them a quarter and enjoy the dirty looks from the cashier.

    Mike Eisenstadt

    March 25, 2013 at 6:21 PM

  6. “the museum receives annual grants from the city” – that means the locals have already paid. So it’s right that the hicks pay.

    dearieme

    March 25, 2013 at 6:55 PM

  7. Here’s an idea: drop the fee to $15 or so, but make it mandatory.

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    March 25, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    • This is probably what will happen, and then *everyone* except the ignorant tourists will lose. I love the fact that this museum has a sliding-scale admission price. As an impoverished college student, I paid very little. If I ever become very rich, I can pay more. This is much better than totally closing off these works of art to everybody who can’t afford $15.

      Kyo

      March 26, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      • $15 for admission to one of the world’s greatest art museums is not a bad deal by any stretch of the imagination. Especially considering it entitles you to spend the entire day inside. You’ll pay almost that much to watch a 2-hour movie that you’ll forget within a few days. And let’s not even get started on the cost of tickets to sporting events.
        Obviously the Met’s situation is more complicated in that admissions are such a small percentage of its total revenues. Even so, it’s not as if $15 – or, dare I say, $25 – is exorbitant considering what you get in return.

        Peter

        ironrailsironweights

        March 27, 2013 at 7:10 PM

  8. I was on a date with a girl once, and we went there. She told me “you don’t have to pay anything,” but I felt super guilty not paying. So I paid $10 for the both of us.

    Human psychology is an interesting thing – if there was no girl and the ticket agent was replaced by a machine, would I still have paid $10? Probably not.

    AsianDude

    March 25, 2013 at 7:29 PM

  9. You have a law degree. Why didn’t you become a class action lawyer? Googling around they mostly are not grads of top schools. It seems mostly to be secular looking Jews from 2nd tier law schools.

    Zok

    March 25, 2013 at 9:14 PM

  10. it annoys me that some greedy class-action lawyers are going to make a lot of money if they win the lawsuit, but the terms of the settlement won’t benefit any actual duped tourists.

    My dad worked for a major corporation for almost 19 years. When the company went under the managers looted the pension fund and hid the money. The employees filed a class-action suit that dragged on for years. They finally settled for just enough money to pay the lawyers.

    “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” — Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4, scene 2

    destructure

    March 26, 2013 at 6:15 AM

  11. The people who run the Metropolitan Museum of Art are quite declasse.

    S_McCoy The Winged Lion of Irony

    March 26, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    • True, we haven’t seen the likes of Thomas Hoving or Philippe de Montebello in a while.

      Anthony

      March 27, 2013 at 12:42 AM

  12. I was against the whole thing until it turned out they are trying to get $25. Thats stone cold radicchio.

    Lion of the Turambar

    March 26, 2013 at 9:46 AM

  13. Lion, the court will toss this dumb ass lawsuit out of the window. This is what happens when one attends a low tier prole law school, idiots misinterpreting the laws.

    Just Speculating

    March 26, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    • Greedy art curators ripping off prole tourists? And con artist attorneys conning the egrieved prole parties? By God, I’d say this is a classic case of value transference, except nobody’s provided a definition for what value transference is. But I can certainly feel the great cycle of scamming sending its cosmic vibrations across space time…

      The Undiscovered Jew

      March 26, 2013 at 11:49 PM

      • Art loving SWPL residents usually join their annual membership, which grants them unlimited yearly access to the museum.

        $25 dollars for admissions isn’t too bad considering what tourists pay for accommodations, food and other forms of sightseeing that our lovely Bloomyberg wants them to do.

        Just Speculating

        March 27, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      • Oh, please. Let’s not allow facts get in the way of a good blog rant.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        March 27, 2013 at 6:26 PM

  14. OT:

    The following video, which lately has been going viral, enrages me to no end. I am a strong supporter of responsible gun ownership. Unfortunately, douche nozzles like Bradley Turner, the man in this video, are ruining it for everyone. Even if he gets the most of the criminal charges dropped he’ll probably lose his right to own a gun. Thank God.

    [Synopsis]: Turner thought that a car full of teens had cut off his family’s vehicle. He followed the teens until they stopped, went up to their car, and punched the driver. The driver and one of his friends, both of them skinny kids who should have been no physical match whatsoever for the strongly built Turner, swarmed on him like whirlwinds and gave him a good sound beating. Turner’s idiot wife Christy came out of the car with their legally owned pistol. The kids having stopped with their beating, she handed the gun to Turner, who then threatened the kids with it. Though it’s not shown on the video, he fired two shots into their car but didn’t hit anyone.

    Had Turner not had a gun none of this would have happened. He wouldn’t have thrown a punch at the driver, and after his beating he wouldn’t have tried to regain his lost honor with a gun. Basically, he’s a coward who can’t fight, who hides behind his “piece.” He and Christy are now facing a bunch of criminal charges.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2ae_1364236524

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    March 26, 2013 at 12:11 PM

  15. The family and I recently returned from a visit to New York (we were not impressed, for the most part). We skipped the museums because of the high admission charge.

    When people go home and tell their friends that it costs $25 or more to enter a museum it makes people less likely to visit the city. It’s in the city’s benefit to require museums that receive city funds to have a reasonable entrance fee.

    ColRebSez

    March 26, 2013 at 2:45 PM

  16. Tragedy of the commons. Lion appreciates the museums more than most, makes a good living, and yet is niggardly in his donations when visiting them. I agree that $25 is too steep, but $1 is too cheap. How about $10 next time?

    DaveinHackensack

    March 26, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    • It makes a lot of sense that the MET museum, a high end institution charges an entrance fee to exclude a certain segment of the population, and one that is reasonable for the type of people it wants to bring in. Lion may disagree, but a status conscious guy like him, he should be aware that anything with a minimal fee will draw the lowly undesirables into its fold, just like the public libraries, parks and pools which cost nothing and attracts the scourge of society.

      Just Speculating

      March 26, 2013 at 11:15 PM

      • The Smithosonian is free, and there weren’t any lowly undesirables the last time I was there. Lowly undesirables don’t like museums.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 27, 2013 at 7:10 AM

      • The MET is located in Central Park, a place where the homelessness are known to frequent around. Wait for the winter months, if the museum costs next to nothing, they would be heading to its doors to seek warmth and temporary shelter. There’s enough rowdy inner city kids running around the museum thanks to our PC culture, and by having these liberal lawyers change their admission policies, it could possibly become another McCarren park that would be out of control.

        Just Speculating

        March 27, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      • The museum has always cost, theoretically, only one cent since the early 1970s when the price was raised from free.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 27, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      • Lowly undesirables don’t like museums.

        They don’t attend non-porn museums? I thought all the black hoodrats who are anybody are blasting opera, Brahms, and von Karajan recordings at full blast from their car stereos? Why wouldn’t these critters indulge their taste in art museums?

        The Undiscovered Jew

        March 27, 2013 at 6:32 PM

  17. What is amazing is that there are many private tourist attractions that make most of their income off 20 dollar admission fees. Yet, the Metropolitan Museum of Art only gets 11% of its income from the same deal. I wonder how many no show, no work jobs exist at the Museum.

    superdestroyer

    March 27, 2013 at 7:02 AM

  18. hey I love only giving a dollar and a glare that says i dare you not to smile and say thankya master michael we sure nuf preciates your patronage. and i even like showing my kids or out of town guests the inside track yeah i hate them for the sneaky way it rally looks like its the admission but if you read the fine print it does say suggested. but why the hell not make the rubes pay in fact it should have a big sign that says out of towners pay $25 locals .25 cents dont they charge us to use their toll roads their beaches their roadside attractions maple syrup let em pay i say

    viking

    March 27, 2013 at 6:14 PM


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