We’ve been working to ensure that secondary ticket websites are transparent about pricing and deal fairly with consumers. Alongside this, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has also taken action to help improve the information consumers are provided with when using secondary ticket websites.
Just the ticket?
Secondary ticket websites enable individuals or businesses to re-sell tickets they have bought for sports, music or other events.
Pricing information that omits or hides
charges that consumers have to pay is
not only misleading it’s simply unfair.
ASA Director of Advertising Policy and Practice
We’ve taken action over the last 12 months to clamp down on websites that display misleading price information. Consumers have been misled by ticket pricing information that has not made clear, or has not included, additional fees that apply per ticket or fees that apply to each order. These consumer facing websites have also quoted prices exclusive of VAT – something prohibited by the advertising rules. As a result of our work, various companies have amended their websites to be more clear and upfront.
Work in this area is ongoing. We’ve placed several operators on our non-compliant advertiser list, including one of the largest Viagogo. This sanction serves to highlight problem practices and to increase pressure on these companies to bring their advertising into line. Our Compliance team is currently exploring if further sanctions are necessary.
The CMA’s action has resulted in four of the largest UK secondary ticket platforms giving undertakings to give buyers improved information about the tickets listed on their sites. This includes:
- Information on restrictions on entry or view that may apply to the ticket
- Whether or not multiple seats that are listed together are located together
- Whether there are any additional charges not included in the listed ticket price
- The face value of the ticket, which may be different from the price the ticket is available for through the secondary ticketing website
Shahriar Coupal, ASA Director of Advertising Policy and Practice, said:
“Pricing information that omits or hides charges that consumers have to pay is not only misleading it’s simply unfair. In tandem with the CMA, we’ve been working closely with the secondary ticket sector to help make sure it’s clear and upfront about costs so that consumers get a fair deal and businesses play by the same rules.”
CAP’s Advice Online entry on Ticketing Pricing
CMA’s ‘60-second summary’ advice for consumers