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Ticketek and Ticketmaster listed among Australia’s ‘shonkiest’ products

Ticketek and Ticketmaster listed among Australia’s ‘shonkiest’ products
October 31, 2012

Consumer watchdog organisation CHOICE has named Ticketek and Ticketmaster in a shortlist of eight of Australia's 'shonkiest' goods and services.

CHOICE, which runs the annual Shonky Awards to highlight "unscrupulous" products, named eight so-called 'lemons' on this year's list.

Ticketmaster and Ticketek - which was fined $2.5 million late last year for anti-competitive behaviour - were included for "over-the-top and inescapable fees" applied when customers purchase tickets to an event.

While fees vary depending on the ticketing company and venue, Choice says the companies can include a $9.50 handling fee, $5.20 to receive an email ticket to print at home, or $7.60 to have the ticket delivered by regular mail.

CHOICE said consumers "have little choice other than to use the Big Two (ticketing companies), which have wrapped up exclusive ticketing rights to many venues around the country."

CHOICE added "we pay a lot to see big international acts in Australia, but it's the issue of the additional ticketing charges, courtesy of the ticket selling duopoly Ticketek and Ticketmaster, that's so irksome.

"Take Elton John, for example, touring in November. The cheapest Ticketmaster tickets for the Sydney Entertainment Centre cost $119.90. But add the credit card surcharge of $2.64 and a 'handling fee' of $9.50, and you're looking at $132.04. We guess that's why they call it the music-fan blues.

"But it's not just Ticketmaster - Ticketek, the other half of the Aussie ticket-sales duopoly, also add on extra charges, including a 'service/delivery fee' and credit card surcharge. The cheapest Jennifer Lopez tickets at the Rod Laver Arena cost $101.60, with a service/delivery fee ranging from $5.20 to $11.10, depending on how the tickets are delivered, and a credit card surcharge of 1.75% – and no alternative method of online payment.

"While the service/delivery fee is the same regardless of whether you buy one or 10 tickets, you still have to pay if you print them out yourself. On your own printer. With your own ink and paper. How J Lo can they go?

"Unfortunately consumers – and the event managers themselves – have little choice other than to use the Big Two, which have wrapped up exclusive ticketing rights to many venues around the country. Competitors with better pricing and service for consumers are unable to compete without being impeded, and the ACCC's action against Ticketek last year, which saw them charged with anti-competitive behaviour and fined $2.5 million, appears to have had little trickle-down effect in terms of benefits for consumers and probably didn't put much of a dent in their reported $50 million profit that year."

Consumers can vote on the other Shonky winners, which include the Jetset Travelworld Group, Nature’s Way Kids Smart Natural Medicines and Cabcharge at www.choice.com.au/reviews-and-tests/awards/shonky-awards/shonkys/the-2012-shonky-awards.aspx

8th June 2012 - CONSUMER GROUP SLAMS TICKETING AGENCIES’ 'EXCESSIVE CHARGES'

29th May 2012 - TICKETEK CONFIRMED AS PERTH ARENA TICKETING PROVIDER

22nd December 2011 - TICKETEK PTY LTD PENALISED $2.5 MILLION FOR MISUSING ITS MARKET POWER

13th October 2011 - TICKETMASTER DELIVERS SOCIAL CONNECTIVITY INTO INTERACTIVE SEAT MAPS

7th September 2011 - AEG LAUNCHES TICKETING AND ENTERTAINMENT PLATFORM


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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.

 

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