TicketSearch is focused on providing businesses, organisations, and venues with affordable, efficient, and powerful self-managed ticketing solutions. The organisation has offices in Australia, New…read more
Choice chief executive slams ticketing industry ‘rip offs’
Alan Kirkland, Chief Executive of leading consumer advocacy group CHOICE, has slammed the ticketing industry as being one of the worst offenders for ripping off consumers.
In an opinion piece ‘Ticket to take us for a ride’ Kirkland states “when it comes to ripping off consumers, some industries are repeat offenders. And the ticketing industry is one of the worst.”
He continues “in 2012, we gave Ticketek and Ticketmaster a Shonky award for their outrageous charges - which forced you to pay extra fees on top of the advertised price, even if you chose to print the tickets out on your home printer.
“The ACCC ultimately cracked down on these charges as an example of 'drip pricing', which is banned under the Australian Consumer Law. Ticketek and Ticketmaster agreed to change the way they advertise prices, to include the charges that you can’t avoid paying.
“This wasn't the industry's first run in with the ACCC. In 2011, ACCC action led the Federal Court to fine Ticketek $2.5 million for misusing its market power by trying to undermine competitor Lasttix.
“Sadly that did little to rein in the power of Ticketek or its main competitor, Ticketmaster.
“Ticketmaster has now expanded into the secondary market (a dressed up version of scalping). The new business Ticketmaster Resale purports to be a 'safe and secure' way to buy tickets for events that have been sold.”
However, as a recent CHOICE investigation showed, consumers can’t be sure that the tickets will be honoured when they turn up at the door.
Kirkland continued “whereas tickets that have originally been sold through Ticketmaster are verified and reissued, that's not the case for other tickets. And you can’t tell which ones these are.
“While Ticketmaster Resale offers a guarantee (subject to lots of conditions), a refund is cold comfort when you've spent hundreds of dollars travelling to an event or bought the tickets as a gift somebody special.
“This racket is so lucrative that we've now got international rivals moving in - in particular Viagogo, which operates on a similar model to Ticketmaster Resale. This has forced CHOICE to move our ticketing campaign to the international stage, working with consumer groups in the UK and New Zealand to gather information on the problems experienced by consumers who use these sites.
“But why, of all things, is the ticketing industry a place for such practices? For a start, buying tickets is often an emotional decision - if you're an Adele fan, you'll probably only get one chance to see her live, so you'll do almost anything to get a ticket. The resale market plays on this emotional hook even more, because it targets people who have already missed out and are looking for a second chance.
“But the other problem is one of competition: the ticket market in Australia is basically a duopoly, meaning that Ticketmaster and Ticketek can comfortably mimic each other's scams without fear of being undermined by a competitor.
“With both consumers and performers angry with the raw deal they get from the big two, this industry is ripe for disruption.”
In a related development, Ticketek has launched a promotion, ‘Fans First’, that warns ticketbuyers of the dangers of buying from unauthorised sellers.
It advises that venues for which Ticketek is the authorised seller have “NO obligation to honour tickets purchased from or through unauthorised re-sellers.”
Notices placed on the websites of Ticketek venues advise “if you attend the event with a ticket purchased via an unauthorised seller such as Viagogo, Ticketmaster Resale, Tickets, eBay, Gumtree, Tickets Australia, Ticket Merchant, Ticket Blaster, TicketBis, Queenoftickets or any other unauthorised re-sellers, you may be refused entry to the event.”
20th April 2017 - CONSUMER NZ INVESTIGATES TICKET RESELLERS
9th March 2017 - TICKETMASTER DEFENDS RESALE WEBSITE
8th March 2017 - CHOICE MAGAZINE ACCUSES TICKET RESALE SITES OF MISLEADING FANS
23rd February 2017 - TICKET RESELLER VIAGOGO HIT BY MULTIPLE SPANISH LEGAL ACTIONS
7th December 2016 - OVERSEAS AUTHORITIES INTRODUCE ANTI TICKET SCALPING LEGISLATION
18th December 2015 - LIVE PERFORMANCE AUSTRALIA DEMANDS THAT TICKETING COMPANIES PROTECT CONSUMERS
31st October 2012 - TICKETEK AND TICKETMASTER LISTED AMONG AUSTRALIA’S ‘SHONKIEST’ PRODUCTS
22nd December 2011 - TICKETEK PTY LTD PENALISED $2.5 MILLION FOR MISUSING ITS MARKET POWER
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…read more
As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as Vivaticket Pty Ltd. Vivaticket is the ideal strategic partner for the organisation and management of your…read more
Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…read more
Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…read more
TPEC Pool Enclosures provide a large range of premium commercial and residential retractable swimming pool, spa and terrace enclosures throughout Australia, servicing residential, local government…read more
The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/novofit/read more
Email for trade enquiries: Enquiriesapac@myzone.org Customer support desk - Click Myzone support or go to ‘help’ on myzone app to access live support. Myzone® is the leading…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!