How the Dr Phillips Center Reclaimed 270 Tickets and Protected $25K in Revenue from Suspicious Brokers with True Tickets

Matthew Zarracina
4 min readNov 27, 2023


Credit me — Dr Phillips Center 2022

The Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando, Florida has been live with True Tickets for over 3 years, and they continue to reap the benefits of the True Tickets service daily. Early this year, they faced a significant challenge when ticket sales for a particular show were threatened by suspicious broker activity. With the risk of potential revenue loss, the Center leveraged True Tickets to act proactively to pre-empt a potential chargeback and fraud situation. Here’s the story of how they protected tens of thousands in revenue for one of their shows.

Slow Initial Sales Becomes an Opportunity for Brokers

Tickets for a show featuring a popular act went on sale in March, seven months prior to the performance. Ticket sales were consistent on a daily and weekly basis for the first few months. However, in May sales started to spike. Upon further inspection, there were telltale signs that these ticket buyers had no intention of going to the show:

- The tickets were bought by dozens of people over 3,000 miles away.

- Orders were usually maxed out (8 tickets) and almost always in lower-priced areas.

- Most of the accounts were new to file with similar email address formats.

- Purchases were from shared IP addresses and typically occurred at the same time on the same day of the week.

- VISA cards were the preferred method of payment.

The Center was very confident these buyers were in violation of their ticket terms and conditions which prohibit secondary resale, and they decided to act.

How Did True Tickets Help?

While the Center has always taken appropriate precautions to implement controls around a sale (ticket limits, delivery embargos, device, and IP activity, etc.), True Tickets gives the Center new superpowers with configurable ticket sharing rules and the ability to fully reclaim a ticket to combat bad actors.

For these orders, knowing exactly who had possession of the ticket gave the Center a huge leg up. Having the ability to catch the purchaser before the tickets were listed on the secondary market was wonderful. However, even if some slipped through the cracks and were listed, True Tickets enables venues to communicate with everyone involved — from the original buyer to the folks that had tickets shared with them. It allows event organizers to take more control of their product, processes, and procedures — while at the same time getting tickets to the right people.

The first step the Center took was to lock down the tickets for the buyers suspected of violating the Center’s terms and conditions and disable ticket sharing. Once the orders were locked down, the Center attempted to reach out to the buyers in question (first via phone and then email). To no one’s surprise, nearly EVERY attempted call went to a voicemail that wasn’t set up, or the number wasn’t taking calls. Email outreach did not result in a response, either. With the last email, the Center informed the buyers that their tickets were cancelled.

The Center then used True Tickets to reclaim all 270 tickets — and it held MOST of the revenue for these transactions to get ahead of potential chargebacks.

So, What Happened to Those 270 tickets?!

The Center ended up reselling 267 of the 270 reclaimed tickets. Of the 267 resold tickets, 252 of those tickets scanned in on the night of the show, either as the actual ticket buyer or someone they had shared the ticket with. 93% of the ticket revenue (over $23,000) that was identified as at risk in May was protected and delivered in October. Overall, the Center sold 2,663 out of 2,711 tickets (98%) for the event with an actual attendance of 2,492 (92% of capacity). In addition to generating ticket revenue, filling up seats boosts a venue’s bottom line through concessions and merchandise sales.

But what about the dozens of suspicious buyers and the $25K in additional revenue the Center was holding on to? A couple days before the show, the Center heard from two of the suspected buyers…and they were, in fact, in violation of the ticket terms and conditions. A week after the show, the Center received a couple of chargebacks for the money they were withholding and they are dealing with those accordingly. However, the Center had NO chargebacks for 267 tickets that were reclaimed and resold. All the chargebacks are for disputes that the Center had already acted on to protect the show, enabling them to resell the tickets.

Chargeback Mitigation 24/7/365

While this case study is for one show at the Dr Phillips Center involving 270 tickets, it highlights how the Center has effectively used True Tickets over the past three and a half years to protect hundreds of thousands of tickets and tens of millions in revenue.

With a proactive identification and action process coupled with the ability to lock down and reclaim tickets, the Center can effectively protect themselves financially while also ensuring a seamless experience for genuine patrons.



Matthew Zarracina

Co-founder & CEO of True Tickets | reader, rower, & former pilot | amateur ball player & guitarist | full-time husband & dad | intellectually curious by nature