Topic: Entertainment

Rise in complaints sparks investigation into ticket resellers

By Online News - Rereātea

An investigation into ticket reselling sites such as Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale will be conducted by Consumer NZ and various consumer groups in Australia and the UK.

This comes after a significant rise in the number of complaints about ticket resellers in New Zealand and overseas. 

Consumer NZ Chief Executive Sue Chetwin says, “We’ve heard reports of tickets being sold on resale sites in New Zealand for up to twenty times their face value. Customers also routinely report being stung by steep fees on these sites.”

Last month, Te Kāea covered a story on two Adele fans who were ripped off after being told they had wheelchair access at the concert only to find out there wasn't. 

Maia Marshall-Amai bought two Adele concert tickets from the website Viagogo last year at a cost of $1252AUD.  She says it looked legitimate and it was the only site advertising tickets, so she purchased aisle seats close to the stage.

Marshall-Amai soon discovered they were in fact worth just NZ$204.50 each and for seats high up in the stand in the middle of a row.

Maia Marshall-Amai and Letitia Butler talk about the tickets they purchased off Viagogo. 

Consumer NZ is inviting anyone who has bought a ticket through a resale site to complete its online survey.

Chetwin says it’s particularly interested to hear examples of the following:

• Exorbitant or inflated ticket prices
• Fake tickets
• Seats not being as described
• Fans being denied access to venues
• Tickets not being delivered
• High fees
• Incorrect credit card charges
• Poor customer service

Survey results will be used to identify problems in the ticket resale market and what needs to be done to protect consumers.

Chetwin says reselling sites have already come under scrutiny from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. In December, the authority opened an investigation into suspected breaches of UK consumer protection law by resellers. Issues identified include the adequacy of information disclosed by the sites.

Chetwin is encouraging consumers who have bought from a ticket resale site to complete its online survey. The survey can be found on the Consumer's website.

Tips for buying tickets online:

- Sign up for presale ticket alerts to avoid disappointment
- Buy tickets directly from the venue or the official ticket seller
- Check with the venue about resale restrictions before buying a resold ticket