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Google searches for genuine ticket resellers

CHOICE welcomes Google's new certification program for ticket resellers

23 November 2017

Consumer group CHOICE has welcomed Google's decision to force ticket resellers to gain certification before they can advertise on the search engine.

Google's crackdown, which will come in to force in January 2018, came following a sustained campaign from CHOICE and other consumer and fan groups around the world. 

To achieve certification, ticket resellers will have to: 

  • Clearly disclose they are a secondary market and are not the primary provider of tickets.
  • Not imply in advertisements that they are primary providers of tickets through the use of words such as "official".
  • Disclose the face value of the ticket and the resale price.
  • Provide a price breakdown, including any taxes and fees, in the online checkout before payment is required.

"It's great to see Google has acted to protect people from dodgy ticket resellers," says CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey.

In August this year CHOICE called out search engines such as Google for being complicit in the confusion around online ticketing because they allow resale websites to place paid links above official sites in search results.

"Our research found 76% of fans in our survey who used Google to find event tickets didn't know they were dealing with a ticket resale site[1]," Mr Godfrey says.

"Once you land on a resale site you don't really stand a chance, with resellers using tricky tactics such as disguising buttons to look similar to authorised sellers, not disclosing the full price before you pay, or making 'official' claims.

"Given the extent of poor practice across the ticket resale industry, it's great to see Google is playing its part to dry up their site traffic."

Earlier this year CHOICE referred Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale to the ACCC for potential breaches of Australian Consumer Law and the consumer group also awarded Viagogo a Shonky Award for its poor practices.

If you have been tricked into buying resold tickets, join our campaign to let Federal Treasury know about your experience: Ticket Scalping and Resale Websites

Media enquiries

Tom Godfrey, Head of Media and Spokesperson - 0430 172 669 - @choice_news

[1] August 2017, CHOICE's Sold Out report