Move to stamp out scalping

The Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council reviews ticket onselling
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01.Now showing: Ticket review

The Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council (CCAAC) is conducting a review into ticket onselling and scalping to find out if it causes consumer detriment and, if so, its severity. Unauthorised ticket onselling includes “opportunistic onselling” of a ticket that was originally obtained for personal use as well as “ticket scalping” where tickets are bought from authorised sellers and sold at a higher price for profit. Ticket scalpers normally bulk purchase the tickets and re-sell them in online marketplaces at a much higher prices, bypassing state laws that prohibit unauthorised ticket onselling. Though ticket giants such as Ticketek and Ticketmaster impose limits to the number of tickets that can be bought with one credit card, the CCAAC is also looking into the effectiveness of current legislation related to ticket onselling. So far, only Victoria and Queensland have laws against unauthorised ticket onselling, while NSW, Queensland and South Australia have only location-specific legislation.

The CCAAC’s initiative is supported by NSW Fair Trading, which has launched an online ticketing scalping consumer survey to obtain information about your experiences and views on ticket scalping. NSW Fair Trading minister Virginia Judge said while there was plenty of anecdotal evidence that ticket scalping was a major concern for NSW consumers, NSW Fair Trading had received only 40 complaints about the issue in the last five years. “People expect and deserve fair access to tickets for popular events at the stated ticket price," Ms Judge said. “Scalpers can restrict supply and unfairly inflate prices, sometimes by hundreds of dollars, and their activities hurt legitimate businesses as well as individuals.”

Last year, CHOICE looked into the high price of tickets and uncovered the exorbitant ticketing add-on charges decided and controlled by ticketing agencies. We are of the view that the various hidden surcharges such as booking fees, print-your-own ticket as well as handling and credit card surcharges are detrimental to consumers. Consumers are also seldom aware of the inequitable choices they have when it comes to seat access, where the best seats are usually reserved for corporate sponsors. Unauthorised ticket onselling ply on additional costs with one ultimate effect: consumers are at the losing end. Says CHOICE spokesman Christopher Zinn: “It is high time there was a national review because there are different laws in different states. There is a great lack of transparency and consumers are not getting fair access to enjoy to attend an event.”



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