8 October 2017
CHOICE has welcomed the NSW Government's decision to reform the ticketing industry and has called for ticketing companies to do more to protect fans.
The reforms come following the consumer group's international study of the ticket resale market that found fans are fed up with a market that uses unfair sales tactics to deliberately confuse, overcharge and hit them with sneaky fees.
"The resale industry is in utter shambles and these reforms are the first step to cleaning up the market for NSW consumers," says CHOICE head of media, Tom Godfrey.
"While the government is making a serious effort to stop fans getting ripped off, one of the world's dodgiest resellers Viagogo may remain untouched because it's based overseas."
"The primary ticketing market needs to step up and invest in innovations to reduce fraud within the industry," Mr Godfrey says.
"Allowing name changes on tickets or developing better ticketing systems to allow more sales to genuine fans rather than professional scalpers would be a strong first step in protecting desperate fans."
CHOICE is also urging promoters, venues and ticketing companies to specify the number of tickets available for pre-sale and general sale, the number of events scheduled for a tour, and the number of seats in a venue.
It's vital that the secondary market gives consumers as much information as possible so they can make an informed purchase, including row and section number, and any restrictions on the ticket.
"Our latest research found 15% of complaints said the seat or area wasn't as described," Mr Godfrey says.
"In one case, an AFL fan was duped into paying a 900% mark up after being slugged $70 for a ticket for a match in Perth, which was later revealed to be a $7 children's ticket."
"Consumers will continue to be saddled with back row seats for front row prices if they aren't able to find out exactly what they're buying, and that's why CHOICE is calling on the primary ticketing companies to be more transparent."
"While the Government's reforms go to lengths to protect consumers, CHOICE is still concerned venues and ticketing companies have the power to cancel resold tickets."
"Over 75% of the case studies who contacted CHOICE did not even know they were purchasing a resold ticket. They've bought their ticket in good faith with their hard earned cash."
"Cancelling these tickets at the gate would punish consumers, leaving them hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars out of pocket - while the ticketing companies and resale websites cash in," says Mr Godfrey.
Tom Godfrey, Head of Media and Spokesperson, 0430 172 669, @choice_news