Make ticketing fair

Singer at concert

After a CHOICE investigation found dodgy practices in the ticket resale industry, we launched our international campaign to make ticketing fairer for all fans.

We asked over 1000 fans to tell us about their problems with ticket resale and found that:

  • 76% thought they were buying from the original seller
  • 11% had their credit cards overcharged with unwanted fees
  • 8% said their tickets were fake

We think the industry and government can do better, which is why we’ve suggested:

  • Better information online for fans about the seat they’re buying
  • Innovation from ticketing companies to beat the bots and reduce fraud
  • Resale websites clearly tell fans they aren’t the original ticket sellers

A fair ticket resale market should be a boon for consumers, but the problems outweigh the benefits. Urgent reform is needed – sign up today to make ticketing fairer.

In October, the NSW Government announced reforms to make ticketing more transparent and fairer for all fans.

Thanks to intense pressure from people like you, they’ve announced a package of reforms to tackle problems in the secondary and primary ticketing market.

The key reforms include:

  • Resold tickets will be capped at 110% of the initial sale price
  • ‘Bot’ software is banned
  • Resold tickets must state the section and row numbers
  • Ticketing companies must state how many tickets are available for sale for a tour or match

A CHOICE investigation uncovered the shady world of ticket resale websites. Consumers reported paying excessive fees, receiving fake tickets, and lacklustre customer service.

The ticket scalping scene – politely called the “secondary ticket market” – has seen a huge change in the last few years, as dedicated resale websites have moved into the market.

Swiss-based Viagogo launched in Australia in late 2013, followed by Ticketmaster Resale in mid-2014.

These sites act as middlemen for ticket on-sellers and their customers, providing the platforms to list tickets, in addition to facilitating the transaction. Sellers can list tickets at any price they want, and the free market takes care of the rest. The website takes a commission. In many cases tickets are being on-sold to shows that haven’t even sold out yet. When CHOICE visited Viagogo to check out prices to Adele’s upcoming tour, we found listings for the “Cheapest in Sydney!” at $145. Far from it: these tickets were $41 more than the cheapest tickets still available through the official outlet.

It seems profiteering scalpers have moved their business to the very platforms which were designed to thwart them. Scalpers are also rumoured to let bots loose on primary market websites, buying up tickets faster than any human and on-selling to fans at a huge mark-up.

Following a complaint by CHOICE in March 2017, ticket reseller Viagogo is being taken to Federal Court by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after consumers lodged more than 400 complaints against the Switzerland-based company in one year alone.

The competition watchdog is alleging Viagogo breached Australian Consumer Law by making false and misleading representations, and by engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct.

The court action comes after a CHOICE investigation into ticket resellers found Viagogo was among the worst for a number of reasons, including its use of drip pricing and its opaque advertising methods.

Find out more.