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Consumer investigating ticket resellers

Consumer NZ is joining forces with consumer groups in Australia and the UK to investigate complaints about ticket reselling sites such as Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale.

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Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin says complaints about ticket resellers have been on the rise both here and overseas.

“We’ve heard reports of tickets being sold on resale sites in New Zealand for up to 20 times their face value. Customers also routinely report being stung by steep fees on these sites,” she says.

In one recent case, an Auckland woman paid $1000 for VIP tickets to see Adele but later found she’d been sold stall seats worth $100.

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

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

  • 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.

Australian consumer group Choice and UK consumer watchdog Which? are also participating in the research.

Ms 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.

Ms Chetwin is encouraging consumers who have bought from a ticket resale site to complete the survey.

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

Our survey has now closed. But if you’ve got a complaint about a ticket reseller, you can contact our campaign coordinator aneleise@consumer.org.nz.