Never mind the excuses about additional ticketing platforms and third-party agencies, the only compelling explanation for the inexorable rise of the online booking fee is still straight-out commercial shamelessness.
The latest research suggests that some of London's major theatres are among the worst offenders. Never mind that ticket prices for some of the capital's biggest shows are already heading up towards the £100 mark, many commercial venues are then slapping anything up to £12.25 on top just for the privilege of booking over the internet. Such charges are at best opportunistic, at worst downright unscrupulous, and indefensible either way.
It is quite simple. Theatres – and concert halls, sports venues, budget airlines, and the rest – should do their customers the courtesy of telling them up front how much they can expect to pay. Is that really too much to ask?