Earlier this year, online resellers of concert tickets hit headlines when several entities, including Choice Magazine and Frontier Touring, lodged complaints to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). “We found Ticketmaster Resale listed VIP tickets to Justin Bieber’s concert at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane for $2,555, a 374 per cent mark up on the face value of $539,” Tom Godfrey, a spokesperson for Choice Magazine, told the ABC.
Exorbitant marking up of tickets is just one of many issues: in 2016, Australians reported $299.8 million worth of online scams to the ACCC ScamWatch, the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) and other relevant organisations.
In response, Live Performance Australia, the peak body for the performance industry, has published Safe Tix Guide: Tips for Buying Tickets Safely and Securely.
“It’s time consumers were armed with the facts about online ticket sales because informed buyers can protect themselves from being ripped off,” said Evelyn Richardson, chief executive, Live Performance Australia. “It really is ‘buyer beware’ and fans need to take some simple steps to ensure they know what they’re buying … A key message is to all fans is buy from the ‘authorised seller’ for the event you want to attend.”
The guide is comprised of twelve tips, organised according to three categories: ‘Before you buy’, ‘When you buy’ and ‘If things go wrong’.
The first advises consumers to research ‘authorised’ ticket sellers, sign up for official alerts, organise official accounts, avoid panic during busy sales periods and apply caution when using search engines, which sometimes list unauthorised resellers above authorised sellers. The second category encourages buyers to check tickets carefully, read all terms and conditions, and pay by debit or credit card, rather than bank transfer.
The third section outlines steps to take if a ticket turns out to be fake or does not arrive. These include knowing one’s rights for a refund or exchange, contacting the ticket resale website, requesting a charge back and reporting one’s experiences to a state consumer protection agency, such as NSW Fair Trading, Consumer Affairs Victoria or QLD Office of Fair Trading.
The guide can be read online over here.