Have you ever tried to buy a gig ticket on a resale website with no knowledge of where you’ll be sitting or how much the ticket originally cost? We have.
So, you’ve overslept and missed the big One Direction ticket sale – now what?
There always seem to be plenty of ‘fans’ happy to sell their sought-after tickets on resale sites soon afterwards. But how many sellers have no interest in the event and are simply setting themselves up as unnecessary middle men – turning a profit at the expense of real fans? Aka ‘touts’.
Consumer Rights Act breaches
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 is supposed to make the secondary ticketing market more transparent and safe for us as fans. This means we should know the precise details of the tickets we’re buying, including the row, seat, face value, age restrictions, original seller and the original terms and conditions of sale.
However, our investigation of five resale ticketing websites found legally-required booking information, including seating information and the ticket’s face value, missing for top concerts and sporting events. This includes tickets for popular gigs like One Direction’s ‘On the Road Again’, U2’s ‘iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE’ tour and sporting events including the rugby Six Nations tournament.
We found tickets listed for sale on Seatwave, Viagogo and World Ticket Shop which failed to display the original face value of tickets. For example, tickets were being sold on Viagogo to a One Direction concert last month where the original cost was merely stated as between £44.55 and £72.60.
And we found tickets listed on Get Me In!, Seatwave, Stubhub, Viagogo and World Ticket Shop without clear information on where you’d be sitting. This would leave you unable to tell whether or not you’d have a good view or how far away you’ll be. After all, you wouldn’t want your view of Harry Styles et al obscured by a sound engineer.
Will your tickets get you in?
Plus, even though we saw a single ticket for the Rugby World Cup 2015 final being sold on Viagogo for a crazy £12,000, it wasn’t clear in the terms and conditions whether you’d actually be allowed past the turnstiles if you bought this ticket from the site.
Imagine the scene: a herd of rugby fans furious after parting with hundreds or even thousands of pounds and travelling all the way to the venue only to be turned away!
Resale sites must take responsibility
So is it the responsibility of the ticketing websites or the ticket sellers themselves to ensure that consumers get all this information? Sadly, the Consumer Rights Act isn’t clear on this.
Get Me In!, Seatwave (both owned by Ticketmaster) and StubHub all told us that the seller who lists the tickets on their platform is responsible for providing the correct information – but they do take action against tickets incorrectly listed.
WorldTicketShop told us it’s working with lawyers and organisations like Which? ‘to ensure our marketplaces comply with the provisions of the Act’. Viagogo is yet to respond.
We think the ticket companies should take responsibility for their websites and do the right thing. In short, they should only list tickets for sale which meet the legal requirements.
Have you benefited from buying or selling tickets on a resale site – or have you had problems that could have been resolved if you’d had the correct information?