Which? calls on ticket resellers to "take responsibility" for misleading sales

Consumer association Which? has called on resale companies to "take responsibility" for misleading ticketing information posted on their websites, following research into false listings.

Which? has called out secondary ticketing websites on their transparency (Creative Commons: Kiley)
Which? has called out secondary ticketing websites on their transparency (Creative Commons: Kiley)

Which? claims that some well-known ticket resale websites are in breach of the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA), which requires that key details - such as the face value of the ticket and seating area – should be given at the time of resale.

The consumer action group examined the sites of GetMeIn, Seatwave, StubHub, Viagogo and WorldTicketShop, and claimed that it found booking information missing in a number of instances.

The research raised a number of anecdotal cases that were in breach of the CRA, such as a Six Nations Scotland vs England game being given a face value of £0.00 and a single seat for the Rugby World Cup Final 2015 being touted at £12,000 – with no guarantee of entry, according to the event’s ticketing policy. 

Which? stated that all of the companies were found to be reselling some tickets with no clear information as to where the buyers would be sitting at the event.

Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which?, said: "It’s unacceptable that these ticket resale sites are getting away with not providing fans with key ticket information, leaving them unsure whether their ticket is a good deal, where they’ll be seated or if they’ll even get in. 

"Reselling sites cannot continue to push the blame onto individual ticket sellers. Instead they must take responsibility for information displayed on their websites and ensure consumers have enough details to make an informed choice."

"Not working in the interests of consumers"

In response to the research, StubHub has stated: "We would like to emphasise that StubHub of course requires that any seller listing a ticket for sale on the StubHub website must at all times comply with applicable laws and regulations."

However it added: "It is clear that the requirements of the CRA in relation to the sale of certain tickets are not working in the interests of consumers. We are encouraged by the Competition and Markets Authority, which…made clear that a term which undermines a consumer’s right to sell what they own is at risk of being regarded as unfair. 

"The safeguards against the cancellation of tickets on legitimate sites such as StubHub are currently not robust enough to work in the interests of fans. The legislation therefore risks pushing ticket resale away from safe marketplaces like StubHub, which offers extensive protection to consumers, and back into the shadows where fraud and counterfeit tickets abound."

Which? said that GetMeIn, Seatwave and Stubhub told it that the seller who lists the tickets on their digital platform is responsible for providing the correct information. However they all added that they take action if tickets are incorrectly listed.

WorldTicketShop said it is working with lawyers and organisations to ensure compliance with the CRA, while Viagogo was yet to respond to both Which? and Event at the time of publication.

More: Four secondary ticketing websites offer further transparency

Event ticketing reform rejected in government

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