/ Travel & Leisure

Olympics tickets warning – don’t be caught out on the road to Rio

Olympic tickets

Which? is warning anyone planning a trip to the Rio Olympics to be aware of suspicious sites selling tickets to the games. Would you know what to look out for?

Following on from our work on ticketing scams for the European Championships last month, we’ve been looking at websites selling Olympics tickets. We’ve uncovered one website in breach of official ticketing restrictions for the games…

Olympics tickets warning

The site in question is Bookriogames2016.com – and it isn’t an authorised ticketing seller listed by the organising committee of the Rio 2016 Olympics.

However, it ranks higher in internet searches than official sites like CoSport – the Rio 2016 authorised ticket seller for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Even though the website states ‘you’re protected with us’, people buying from them risk not being allowed into the event. The Rio 2016 Olympic Games terms and conditions strictly forbid entry if your ticket is purchased from an unauthorised source.

But we actually have a number of other concerns about this website and the risk it could pose to Olympics ticket buyers.

Our concerns are:

  • Tickets sold in breach of terms and conditions – this site also allows customers to buy as many as 20 tickets, even though official rules only allow 4 tickets per customer.
  • Vague contact details – the site lists no office address. We found it’s hosted in India but its actual address is hidden.
  • Unsubstantiated review claims – we can’t find any evidence of online reviews, although the site claims to have five stars.
  • Consumer-unfriendly terms and conditions – the site ‘reserves the right to deliver tickets at any point between the time of purchase and the day of the event’ meaning some fans may have to travel to Rio before receiving their ticket.
  • Imitation website design – the site design, graphics and fonts are very similar to that of the official Rio Olympics ticket site which may be an attempt to confuse consumers into thinking that it is the official site.
  • Dodgy domain – the site is registered using a domain service which has been linked to several scams.

Bookriogames2016.com uncontactable

We tried contacting Bookriogames2016.com using the email address and phone number listed on their website to discuss our concerns. We’ve had no reply and the telephone number has since been removed from the website.

We’ve reported our findings to Action Fraud, but more must be done both in the UK and internationally to ensure ticket restrictions are made clear to consumers.

Action Fraud is also warning against potential scams linked to the games. With over a week to go until the opening ceremony they’ve already received reports of fraud relating to the Rio Olympics with victims losing a total of nearly £300,000, mainly due to ticketing and lottery scams.

Our advice is simple. If you’re planning to buy a ticket for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, make sure you buy from one of the authorised ticket sellers listed on the Rio 2016 Olympics website, otherwise you risk being turned away at the gates.

But is it that easy, would you know how to spot an unauthorised site or would you be tempted to run the risk?

Ruth Lawrenson says:
2 July 2020

Ticketmaster are a disgrace. They are refusing to refund my Cirque du Soleil tickets as the show was not ‘cancelled or rescheduled’. I pointed out that it is clearly one or the other since the event didn’t take place, even if we don’t know which yet!

Karen howes says:
2 July 2020

I have bought tickets through the drive in cinema for lumley castle durham. Payment taken and tickets issued by fatsoma. I mistakenly clicked on 2 tickets instead of 1 and my request for a partial refund is being ignored. There is no valid contact number to call either

Dave says:
9 July 2020

I have just received a refund for my 2 tickets in respect of Jack Savoretti’s cancelled gig at Kew Gardens. However the ticket agent, SEE, are refusing to refund the £16.76 booking fee as this is stated in the T&Cs. I go to many concerts and pay what I consider a rip off booking fee, but the action of these ticket agents not to refund is the final straw. No more gigs with booking fees will I attend ever again. I will stick to tribute bands!

Sergio says:
23 July 2020

How to get full refund ticket from opodo ‘ because I ask them to rebook they didn’t do it. So now I want to ask for full refund’ but I don’t know? Please help me

George Spiteri says:
27 July 2020

We booked to attend the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and had to but tickets through TicketSellers. We paid £166 which included a £16 booking fee (more than 10% of the face value of the tickets. The Fiesta was cancelled by the organisers and TicketSellers are refunding the £150 face value but not the booking fee. They claims that the booking fee is non-refundable and it states this in their terms and conditions(T&Cs). This doesn’t seem fair on the consumer who gets charged through no fault of their own. They even state that their T&Cs are in line with Which? Guidance and provide a link; see below.
In the event of cancellation, the full value of the ticket less any booking fees, transaction fees, postage, and insurance will be refunded. Please note that some tickets contain a hidden booking fee, so it appears as £0 to the customer. If you would like to know this fee before purchasing, please call. In some cases there will be a deadline for a refund / new date request which may invalidate your refund request if not responded to in time.
Our ts and cs are in line with ‘Which? Consumer Rights’ – http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/problem/tickets-and-events

Did you get this resolved? Or did you just writeoff the booking fee?

Janice Fremont says:
8 August 2020

I bought tickets from AXS for a Billie Eilish concert at the O2, the original concert has been cancelled and now they have postponed without a new date to who knows when. I have requested a refund but they will not refund they said I must wait for the new date and use the tickets then which is absurd. I paid for the tickets months ago. This can’t be legal. I need to know my rights as my credit card company said they can’t do anything about my cost of the tickets is almost £700.

Daniella says:
17 August 2020

I am in the same position but have not found a solution

I booked 2 venues,they cancelled.i asked for refund, the told me to go to paypal resolution,knowing it had gone past pp moneyback deadline,i told merchant this now there saying they don.t refund,only vouchers,i thing they giving me the run round,i paid over 100 for both venues,i want my money back.how can i ensure that i get is.i book last year.

John Langdale says:
26 August 2020

I booked for two shows in the West End with Encore Tickets 1/ A Dolls House performance 16/07 ticket £39.95 and The Tina Turner Musical performance 15/08 £220.23 both lots were paid for in Jan. and Feb. this year! I have e-mailed them three times without a reply and you cant get them on the phone.

Heather says:
14 September 2020

Any luck with Encore Tickets yet!? I’m in the same position.

I had a ticket for the Rugby Carling Cup final which was supposed to be 18th July still no information on refund or new match date, absolutely nothing from Rugby league or Ticketmaster they are just ignoring everything

Emma says:
8 October 2020

Booked concert ticket through Groupon, dates postponed, they emailed to say tickets valid for new date. Turned up on new date, organisers refused entry to us saying they wrote to Groupon the week before to tell them to write to all Groupon purchasers and cancel. Groupon didnt, everyone turned up to concert with their Groupon code and were refused entry. It was horrendous, especially as this was a birthday gift for my partner. what can i do? The tickets were £39 each and paid by Paypal so cant go through them so now having to write to Groupon to try to recoup fees and costs.

I booked 2 tickets for Dougie MacLean on 4 Dec at Baljaffrey which was cancelled. JMS still haven’t responded to any of the 8 emails I’ve sent them. I eventually found a mobile number and was told a refund would be arranged. No refund and still no response to emails.

Chris Moloney says:
25 January 2021

Queen Concert Viagogo – The initial date was postponed due to Covid. It has been rescheduled for May 2021. If this does not go ahead do we get a full refund or can they postpone indefinitely

Kay Leggett says:
6 March 2021

Same boat as you Chris re Queen tickets. Now I’d prefer a refund but they are saying I won’t get it until after the concert in 2022!

Michael Clarke says:
29 January 2021

Booked 2 tickets for the Nottingham reggae festival in May 2021 they have cancelled twice how comes I can’t contact or get a refund help

Brought 2 vip tickets for the Nottingham reggae festival it has been cancelled twice why is there no contact and under the consumer rights I want a full refund