CMA persuades ticket resellers to provide consumers with proper information
Secondary ticketing can be a minefield. If you aren’t lucky enough to get tickets first time round, from the official retailer, being able to find tickets that people can no longer use- or when people just want to make a profit on their tickets- is a valuable service to consumers. However, the whole secondary ticket market has been subject to a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA, the new OFT) as they were concerned that consumers were shopping without full information, preventing them from making an informed purchasing decision. Now, 4 of the largest UK secondary ticket platforms – GET ME IN!, Seatwave, StubHub and viagogo – have promised to pull their collective socks up and provide improved information to buyers about the tickets listed on their sites- including original face value.
While no-one is saying that ticket resellers can’t charge more than face value for tickets, particularly those hot tickets that sold out in nine seconds, the CMA want the face value to be clearly stated so that those buying them are explicitly aware of the premium they are paying. Other undertakings adopted by the resellers include information on restricted entry conditions (eg for children) and restricted view, whether or not multiple seats that are listed together are located together and whether there are any additional charges not included in the listed ticket price. They will also all provide a contact email address for buyers to use if something goes wrong.
But the CMA isn’t stopping there. They are also writing to other major ticket resellers and businesses to inform them of the CMA’s “expectations about their conduct and their obligations under consumer law”. They have also produced a handy guide for consumers so you know what to look for when buying tickets from a reseller.
Nisha Arora, CMA Senior Director, said:
“A well-functioning secondary ticket market benefits fans by helping them to get tickets for events they want to see and by helping them when they can no longer make use of their tickets. As a result of the CMA’s action, and the constructive response of the major secondary ticket platforms, buyers will now have more of the key information they need before buying.”
“Businesses that do not provide secondary ticket consumers with information they need to help them know what they are buying may find themselves subject to action under consumer protection law, including possible financial penalties from Trading Standards Services to drive future compliance.”
Shahriar Coupal (Advertising Standards Authority) said:
“Hiding or omitting information about charges that consumers have to pay is not only misleading it’s simply unfair. In tandem with the CMA, we’ve been working closely with the secondary ticket sector to help make sure it’s clear and upfront about costs so that consumers get a fair deal and businesses play by the same rules.”