Ticket site ticks off U.P. with ‘bunch of forests’ jab

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

The co-CEO of a ticket retailer plans to show his appreciation for the Upper Peninsula after a company representative snubbed the northern half our state, calling it “just a bunch of forests.”

Brett Goldberg, co-founder of New York-based ticket resale and swapping site TickPick, plans to buy drinks for everyone at Blackrocks Brewery in Marquette around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a spokesman said.

A social media uproar began after a Facebook user, Kyla Mae Vasseau, pointed out to the company on Monday that the Upper Peninsula was missing on the event map.

A rep’s reply to the Marquette woman: “Kyla - we got the important part of Michigan, isn’t that good enough?”

After another Facebook user, Michaela Skewis, took issue with that response, the company had another reply:

“Michaela- We’re sure the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a lovely place to live, and I assure you we didn’t intentionally leave it off the map. But seriously, it’s just a bunch of forests....”

The responses didn’t go over too well with Yoopers. As of Tuesday, more than 900 one-star reviews dropped the company to a 1.8-star rating on Facebook.

“Are you kidding me!” wrote Wendy Barber “I am a lifelong YOOPER.. I live in Marquette...Look it up..Yes it is on the map.. I hope you fired the idiot that thought they were funny. You insulted the wrong part of the state..”

The company’s spokesman declined to say if the representative received disciplinary action, only stating that the matter was handled internally.

Goldberg stepped in with a statement on Facebook and Twitter apologizing for the team member’s action.

“To say one of our customer support team members handled the initial outreach improperly would be an understatement,” Goldberg wrote. “I’d like to apologize to the first person who reached out to us and was seriously just trying to help us. Now I am sincerely sorry to everyone else who was offended by this. When I was just showed the comments that one of our representative wrote I was shocked and appalled as well. Yes this person thought they were being funny: they were not.”

Goldberg outlined in his statement how the company is addressing the issue:

Many Facebook users appeared forgiving when commenting on Goldberg’s statement.

“Thanks for the sincere apology,” wrote Kristie Buruse. “I’ll be deleting my bad review. Yoopers are not only tenacious, we know how to accept an apology.”

Michael Edwin Shrake wrote “Shout out to Brett Goldberg for handling this in a kind way. More than forests and the world's largest reserve of fresh water, we have thousands of people who drive hundreds of miles for ticketed events.”


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