Crowded House @ The Sydney Opera House Forecourt, 2016 / Photo: Maria Boyadgis

CHOICE Files Complaints Against Ticket Resale Sites For “Dodgy Pricing Practices”

Popular ticket reselling websites Ticketmaster Resale and Viagogo have had complaints filed against them by CHOICE, after an investigation by the consumer advocacy group found that punters face paying highly inflated prices for tickets when using the services.

CHOICE, which has referred the findings of its investigation to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), says that “buying tickets from reseller websites such as Ticketmaster Resale and Viagogo can see you over-paying, having your ticket cancelled by the venue and facing significant fines”.

“We found Viagogo was the worst offender when it comes to dodgy pricing practices [and] cheap ticket claims,” the organisation says.

Both Ticketmaster Resale and Viagogo are used by consumers to resell tickets they no longer need or want, often for around their original price, but the sites are also used by scalpers, who advertise tickets (which are sometimes fake) on the sites for many times their original price.

A number of popular tours have seen tickets resold for many times their original price recently, including for Australian shows by Midnight Oil, Adele, Justin Bieber and Crowded House.

In a statement to Music Feeds, Ticketmaster says it will take “appropriate action” against any sellers who display “non-compliance”.

“Sellers are responsible for setting the prices they want for the tickets they sell and the restrictions that apply in Queensland are made very clear in the listing process,” the company says — Queensland has some of the toughest scalping laws in the country, as both buyers and sellers of scalped tickets can face fines.

Ticketmaster also says it “will continue to work to provide customers with fair and transparent pricing structures”.

Viagogo is yet to respond to Music Feeds‘ request for comment.

Following CHOICE’s announcement that it has filed complaints against Ticketmaster and Viagogo, Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett took to Twitter to praise CHOICE, while also offering ideas for the next course of action.

“1. Change the law to make it a criminal offense [sic] to use ‘bots’ to buy tickets,” Garrett says, pointing to Barack Obama’s legislation in the US.

“2.Change the law to place cap on the premium anybody can seek to charge on a resold concert ticket – already applies to some sports events.

“3. Get the ACCC and/or Fair Trading Departments to enforce the Trade Practices Act et al to stop ViaGoGo’s deceptive and misleading conduct.”

The ABC has also confirmed that touring company Frontier Touring, which is promoting Midnight Oil’s 2017 reunion tour, is preparing a submission to the ACCC about “misleading sales tactics and language” it says some resale sites employ.

For more information about ticket scalping and how to protect yourself, head to the CHOICE website.

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