Posts Tagged ‘tickets’
Buying tickets for a sporting or music event is often wildly frustrating. When an event sells out, then punters find themselves looking for resales, and it is here that people from the world of entertainment and sports want a rethink.
They’d like to see new controls on websites selling event tickets and would like to see resellers publishing the names of ticket sellers and face value of tickets, in a bid to stop fans getting ripped off. There’s a letter, which was published in the Independent which was signed by heads of sporting and cultural bodies, as well as the management companies of entertainers.
This is a bid to stop touts making a fast buck and, indeed, control the market that resells tickets for needlessly inflated prices. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport are on record as saying that they don’t see a change in law happening, but the industry is pushing MPs to do something as secondary ticketing sites are able to add whatever surcharges they like, getting themselves a nice commission.
So, if these companies buy tickets for a popular event in bulk, they can resell them for profit, meaning that tickets at face-value aren’t getting into the hands of the people trying to attend the event. This is undermining the efforts of sum to keep ticket prices fair.
The letter says: “It’s high time the government stopped sticking up for secondary platforms, and decided to put fans first.” They want to see measures that ensure secondary ticketing platforms publish; the name of the seller and whether they are affiliated to a larger organisation; the face value of the ticket; whether the resale contravenes terms and conditions agreed to by the original buyer and the seat number of the ticket.
These proposals have been suggested as a change to the Consumer Rights Bill
Of course, this would be a win for both sides – if a band cares about fans getting face-value tickets, they’ll be happy. Also, it means profits go to the band’s organisations, rather than being siphoned off by someone creating false demand.
The government’s culture spokesman, Viscount Younger of Leckie, thinks that forcing companies to play along with this isn’t needed, saying: ”I believe that a voluntary approach with improved guidance and with better point-of-sale electronic means to control ticketing is the way forward.”
If you’ve ever bought a ticket to a gig or event, you will probably have shouted at your computer screen about astronomical booking fees and credit card charges.
And for good reason. In fact, random and unclear extra charges on gig tickets can sometimes add up to 38% of the price of the actual tickets. That’s according to Which!, who also found that some ticket agencies are breaking the LAW by adding on the sneaky charges without telling anyone.
For example, Which! mystery shoppers bought a ticket to see Jimmy Carr (will these people stop at nothing to protect the consumer??) from the See Tickets website. On top of the £25 for the ticket, there was a £3 booking fee and a whopping £6.50 ‘transaction fee’. Ticketweb, who give Ryanair a run for their money, also charged customers £2.50 for printing out their tickets at home.
7 out of 20 ticket agencies failed to reveal their hidden charges upfront, which breaches a code of practice by the ASA. Which! are now urging ticketing companies to be nice with their ‘Play Fair’ campaign, and stop ripping off their customers with stupid fees.
And here’s Richard Lloyd, standing on stage, mic in hand, wearing a pair of leather chaps.
‘Consumers tell us they are feeling ripped off by the level of ticketing charges, and the lack of transparency means it is almost impossible for people to compare prices when booking online. We want to see the ticketing industry ‘Play Fair on Ticket Fees’, so all charges are displayed upfront and with a clear explanation of what they’re for.’
The Government have announced that they’re curbing train operators’ ability to increase ticket prices in 2014. Thus far, rail companies have been able to slap on an additional 5% to fares, provided the average rise of regulated fares is maintained at 1% above inflation. However, that will now be limited to 2%.
It isn’t a decrease, but it is better than a kick in the arse.
The rise in the new year will be based on the July 2013 RPI inflation rate, which means the old flexible system has gone, and thereby ending tickets going up by eye-watering amounts (some season tickets could have gone up by nearly 10% under the old rules).
This review was published today by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, who said: ”By capping fares we are protecting passengers from large rises at a time when family incomes are already being squeezed. We will need to wait for the rail industry to calculate individual ticket prices for next year, but this cap could save some commuters as much as £200 a year.”
The review also looks at a potential end to paper tickets, flexible season tickets and a code of conduct for train companies in the hope that they’ll actually give passengers some confidence that they are getting the best deal for their journey.
McLoughlin added: “Today is just the start of a Government-wide programme to help hardworking people and reduce the cost of living. The Government will be announcing a range of initiatives to help put money back in people’s pockets over the next few weeks. Alongside this, the Government is investing over £16bn to transform our rail network, which will make sure we can respond to increasing passenger demand and drive forward economic growth that will help strengthen our economy.”
Elengo -who I like to imagine as a dark handsome type in a fedora carrying a guitar case in the desert – doesn’t exist on the UK Electoral roll, but he’s still managed to con people who have been selling festival tickets online.
The scam is as follows: Elengo snaps up your gig tickets using PayPal. Some time later, he/it/them orders a ‘chargeback’ on the payment, which is the facility you can use to get your money back if your goods don’t arrive or are unsatisfactory.
After a BBC Wales documentary exposed the scam, they got a reply from someone claiming to be Elengo, who complained that he received the tickets and it was PayPal’s fault. The plot thickens…
With dozens of victims taking to the Internet to complain about the fraud, PayPal has since closed Elengo’s account. But don’t be surprised if he springs up in another guise. If Stelios Shufflebottom or Regina Felangi contacts you wanting to buy Glastonbury tickets, report it to the eBay police, OK?
The ASA is going to town on those who sell theatre tickets with “misleading hidden costs”, after ruling against four theatre websites. If they could have a pop at pointless costs attached to gig tickets as well, that’d be great.
The Old Vic, Ambassador Theatre Group, the AKA Group’s site for A Chorus of Disapproval and Charing Cross Theatre all gave misleading ticket prices, said the watchdog, noting that up to £3 extra in costs were being slapped on, and it wasn’t exactly clear why.
ASA’s chief executive Guy Parker said: “We are clamping down on misleading hidden costs. The rulings about advertised prices for theatre tickets make clear that sellers must include all compulsory fees and charges in quoted ticket prices and be more up-front about booking fees.”
“These pricing practices are simply not fair. They draw us in on a false promise. Our rulings send a clear signal to advertisers: sort out your pricing so we all get a fair deal.”
A statement from the Ambassador Theatre Group said: “The ASA advised us that informing customers at the beginning of the booking process that a fee or charge may apply and to then confirm the amount of that fee later in the booking process needed revision.”
“We have embarked on a series of improvements to the information on our website to ensure that ticket prices and any fees charged for purchasing online are clearly available to customers at the beginning of the booking process as well.”
They then flounced off quoting Shakespeare before talking to themselves in the mirror, blind drunk on gin and turps, before taking it out on a lackey and trying to make improper passes at them. Probably.
A BBC investigation has learned that that almost 350,000 parking fines (totalling £23m) might have been issued unlawfully to London motorists. The investigation will be screen on Inside Out, on BBC1 London at 7.30pm on Monday, and will be viewable on iPlayer afterwards.
It all hinges on a ticket that was issued in a suspended parking bay in Camden, where the council didn’t have authorization for the signage. The sleuths at the Beeb have learned that 14 councils still have no authorisation for the signage. Which is a bit embarrassing.
In a stunning piece of loopholery, it seems that the Department for Transport (DfT) designs road signs for most situations, which authorities must use, but it has never produced a suspended parking bay sign. If no sign is set out by the DfT, the law says councils must ask the transport secretary to authorise their own creations.
The aforementioned 14 councils have no authorisation for their own versions of the signs while others didn’t get authorisation for years.
The councils with no DfT authorisation for their signs are: Greenwich, Southwark, Westminster, Barnet, Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Hillingdon, Kingston-upon-Thames, Merton, Redbridge, Sutton and Waltham Forest.
The following councils received authorisation in 2010 or after: Camden, Islington, Hackney, Lambeth, Harrow, Wandsworth, Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Newham, Hounslow, Lewisham and Haringey.
Essentially, if you’ve received a ticket relating to a suspended parking bay from one of those councils, you could have a strong case for challenging it. Find out more on Inside Out or by consulting the forums at PePiPoo.
As we all know, the price of train tickets has been leaping wildly upward for too long, with some going up by double in ten years. And are our trains running more efficiently and all shiny and new? Arse they are.
And so, ministers – far too late to the party, as usual – are saying that future price hikes could be scrapped. Rail minister Norman Baker said he wanted to stop further increases, but showed typical insensitivity by saying that current fares were ‘not nearly as expensive as is being presented’.
Tell that to those who have seen tickets going up by almost 90% and everyone else who has noticed that fares have outstripped salary rises.
Baker said: ‘We want to end the era of above-inflation rises as soon as we possibly can, and we’re working towards that. I’m engaged in the fares and ticketing review… which will aim to make fares more transparent and simpler for the passenger. I think in an ideal world we wouldn’t be having fare increases above inflation.’
Stephen Joseph, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport said: “The impact of successive Government’s policies on rail fares is appalling. It’s truly shocking that we have deliberately made getting the train to work an extravagance that many struggle to afford. The time has come not just to stop the rises but to reduce fares.”
Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), said: “We understand commuters don’t like to pay more to travel to work but it is the government, not train companies, that decides how much season tickets should rise on average each year. Successive governments have required train companies to increase the average price of season tickets every January since 2004 by more than inflation. Ministers want passengers to pay a larger share of railway running costs to reduce the contribution from taxpayers while sustaining investment in better stations, new trains and faster services.”
Bob Crow, leader of the RMT transport union, spits: “Passengers getting another inflation-busting kick in the teeth know that their hard-earned cash is being bled out of the railways and into the pockets of a bunch of spivs and chancers.”
The Rolling Stones are BACK! Yes, AGAIN! Arguably the world’s biggest still-surviving rock and roll act, Jagger, Richards, Watts, Wood, Jones, Starr, Holder and Bullard have announced a few gigs to help promote their new 50th anniversary greatest hits album.
It all sounds pretty good until you look at the cost of the tickets for their show at the O2 Arena, formerly know as the Millennium Dome. The cheapest ones are £106 and they go up all the way to a whopping £406. Yes, £406! Those prices include some fairly mammoth booking fees as well (£31 in the case of the most expensive tickets).
Are the Stones worth that amount of money (bear in mind that they probably won’t be doing this kind of thing for that much longer)? Is any artist worth that amount of money? TELL US!*
(*before noon on Tuesday)
We all like to laugh, and one of the country’s most popular laugh-bringers is Sarah Millican. But Sarah has just rebranded herself as a consumer champion as well, making a stand against unscrupulous theatres and their vile ticket fees.
Sarah has announced a vast UK tour for 2013/14 but she WON’T be setting foot in any of the 39 venues owned by the Ambassador Theatre Group, and it’s all because of the added fees they slap on to the cost of the tickets for their shows.
On her site, Sarah says:
‘Some of you will notice that I’m not playing some of the venues I played on my last tour, those venues are owned and run by The Ambassador Theatre Group. I don’t agree with the extra charges ATG put on top of the face value ticket price to you the customer and a number of other restrictions they have in place so that’s why I’ve avoided their venues this time round. We’ve booked alternative theatres though across the country so you will still be able to find somewhere close to you to come and see the show.’
ATG, which has a separate ticketing agency arm, adds up to £4.90 to the face value of each purchased ticket, plus a transaction fee that can be as high as £4. Plus, if the prices of the drinks in the bar at their Sunderland Empire venue are anything to go by, they’re stinging the punters that way as well.
As noted on the Chortle website, a £25 ticket for Alan Davies at the Oxford New Theatre will actually set you back £32.90 if you buy it from the website – with an extra £7.90 in fees and charges slapped on for your pleasure. Having said that, Ticketmaster aren’t much better, and Ms Millican is using them to sell the tickets for her non-ATG tour. A £25 ticket has a booking fee of £4.40 and a £2.25 charge for you to have the privilege of printing it out yourself in the comfort of your own home (weirdly, to have it posted to you is only £2.05). So that’s an added £6.65 bunged on to the face value of your ticket. Nice.
ATG have said: ‘All, or the vast majority, of the sales income from tickets in our venues goes to the producer of the show, hence the need to charge for ticketing operations separately. ATG and its ticketing arm also provide an extremely high level of customer service and the ticketing fees cover the costs of providing this service. However booking fees only apply to customers who buy on the phone or online.’
Perhaps by denying them what would be a significant amount of income, Sarah Millican might have started to force the beginning of a change in attitudes. Mind you, it’s a pity that she couldn’t have found a way to sell her tickets without lining the pockets of Ticketmaster as well…
What’s more, the weather forecast says it’s only going to rain a little bit.
Fancy going along for free? This link is what you need. Get ‘em while you can…
EDIT: If you were lucky enough to get some of these, it has been confirmed that they ARE valid. Also, a comment that was left under this story yesterday about a Bitterwallet competition was fake.
Beleaguered travel agent Thomas Cook has got egg on its face at the moment after scrapping its efforts to sell deluxe Olympic packages for about £6,500. The problem was that no one wanted to buy them.
They have now scaled back their plans and have loads of packages of Olympic tickets and hotel accommodation starting at just £79 per person. Which represents a pretty good deal if you’ve already tried and failed to get to see the festival of running, jumping and throwing stuff which starts next month.
You won’t be staying in the lap of luxury in the middle of the Olympic village but you can get to see the preliminaries of the men’s volleyball and have a night in the Ibis in Heathrow for £79 per person. It looks like a bit of a fire sale, but worth considering if you are completely desperate to get a sniff of Olympic fever.
It’s an extra tenner for the women’s volleyball. Ahem.
If you’re after event tickets and want to beat the venal scum that is ‘official resellers’ and online touts, up until now, you’ve been fairly stuck for choice. The delightfully ethical Scarlet Mist is a ticket exchange site where you’ll only pay face value for tickets but that’s generally it.
Until now. The increasingly useful Twitter service has thrown up an account called @twickets and it works thus. If you’ve got a spare ticket or tickets for an event, all you do is tweet about it and use the #twickets hashtag. The good people at @twickets will then pick it up and retweet it to their followers. Only tickets that are to be moved on at face value or less are allowed to be retweeted via the account so that there’s no nasty sharkery at play.
In the past few hours, we’ve managed to nab ourselves tickets for Primus, Alan Davies and Ladies’ Day at Aintree! Result!
Well, there’ll be some awkward moments in the office at Viagogo this morning after last night’s Dispatches documentary on Channel 4. We all know that the event tickets game is riddled with things that make us all want to vomit everywhere, like booking fees, bewildering fees for tickets that you print at home, touting and getting a seat behind a tall, hat-wearing person.
The ‘fan-to-fan’ reselling websites are pretty disgusting too. We’re talking about the likes of Viagogo, Seatwave and Getmein. That sector got a bit of a shoeing on last night’s documentary, with Viagogo taking the worst of it.
Undercover reporters showed how Viagogo staff snapped up tickets for gigs as they went on sale, using multiple credit cards, before listing them on the site at inflated prices. Additionally, allegations were made that blocks of tickets were sold to Viagogo directly from promoters, with the money being split between both parties. We’ve got a feeling that this won’t be the last we hear of all of this.
If you missed it, the Dispatches programme can now be seen over at the 4OD website. And if you do want to get involved in fan-to-fan ticket reselling, we’d recommend Scarlet Mist, where tickets can be purchased at face value.
Here’s the news – the Olympics are coming! Yes, in case you didn’t know, the Olympic Games are coming to That London, and some other places around the country. It’s a celebration of all things British, and should prove to be a major shot in the arm for our economy. Oh, except for the ticket-printing industry.
That’s because the ELEVEN MILLION tickets that will be doled out to slavering Olympic fans will all be printed in Fort Smith, Arkansas, The United States Of A. That’s 16 tonnes of tickets, all of which will have to be flown 4,500 miles by airfreight. They’ll then be dispatched to the lucky purchasers – who will be paying a £6.00 postage charge.
If a piece in the Evening Standard is to be believed, it could well be that some major UK ticketing companies were not even offered the chance to bid for the Olympic gig, although whether that is sour grapes is up for debate. But it seems a shame that such a large piece of work for the London Games is being outsourced abroad. Or does it? TELL US.
We’ve all heard of some poor sod who’s bought tickets to see Diana Ross live only to discover the tickets never arrive/are fake/are for a non-existent event and so ends up crying into his hankie. However, a crackdown from the EU of all places now means the internet is a safer place for ticket buying.
In 2009, about 35% of EU online-purchasing consumers bought tickets either for a cultural or sporting event. Although buying such tickets online can mean better deals and more choice, historically there have also been a large number of consumer complaints in this product category. The European Consumer Centres (ECCs) reported in 2009 that 30% of the complaints about online shopping which they handled concerned Recreation and Culture services.
The EU ‘Sweep’ investigation was launched in September 2010 by national authorities in all Member States, plus Norway and Iceland. Most sites complied voluntarily when challenged, but in some cases penalties were imposed. Of the 414 websites originally checked, 88% now comply with EU-wide consumer rules, compared with only 40% in 2010. In terms of the main problems which were identified initially:
Missing, incomplete or misleading information about the price (e.g. hidden taxes or handling charges): 94% of sites now display clear, and accurate information about the total cost (including delivery charges and all other extra costs), compared with 55% in 2010;
Unfair terms and conditions (e.g. ticket delivery was not guaranteed on time, or the site failed to explain whether the buyer would get a refund or not, if the event was cancelled: 92% of the websites checked now display fair terms and conditions, compared to 57% in 2010.
Missing, incomplete or misleading information about the trader (e.g. the trader falsely claiming to be an authorised representative): 93% of the websites checked now provide the required trader details such as the name, address and e-mail, compared with 72% in 2010.
EU Health and Consumer Commissioner John Dalli said: “This is a major achievement for EU consumers : the enforcement ‘sweeps’ are delivering results, targeting problematic sectors, and cleaning up the market, so that pricing is clear and information is truthful. People are using the internet more and more to check their entertainment options and to compare prices and offers – they must be able to do so without falling victim to scams’.
Each national authority will continue to work on the outstanding cases, and in conjunction with their neighbours in cross-border cases. The EU-wide sweep investigation system has been so successful, a new sweep is currently being prepared and more joint actions are planned for 2012.