U.K. Consumer Groups Take Aim at Secondary Ticket Sales

With high-priced ticket resales drawing more attention than ever in the U.K., several groups are highlighting potential problems for consumers. One is gathering consumer experiences, while another is offering a guide with tips on how to "beat" the resellers.

Think ticket prices are getting out of hand? A consumer group wants to hear about your pain points with ticket resellers.

The U.K. consumer group Which? has launched a consumer survey asking the public to describe their experiences buying tickets from online ticket resellers—whether the event was sports-related, a concert, a play, a talk, or a large-scale festival.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, told The Guardian that the rise of secondary resellers, despite regulatory efforts in the U.K. and elsewhere, has led to substandard experiences, especially as tickets fade from standard sites. The British government last month even passed a bill that takes a crack at secondary-market ticketing issues.

“Time and time again, people are unable to get tickets to events through primary ticketing sites and are, instead, left with no choice but to resort to secondary sites, where they may struggle to find the basic information about the tickets being resold,” Neill said. “We want to hear people’s experiences of using secondary ticketing sites to help identify what more needs to be done to make things work better for consumers.”

Meanwhile, the FanFair Alliance in recent months has also drawn attention to what it calls “a black mark on the U.K.’s live music scene.” The group launched a guide in March to advise fans on how to beat resellers in buying tickets. One of its major tips? Don’t base your buying strategy on search engine results, which are dominated by resellers.

“For the most sought-after events, you will inevitably see unauthorized resale sites at the top of Google, above the authorized ticket sellers,” the FanFair Alliance told The Guardian last week. “It’s deceptive and confusing.”

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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