Consumer organisations join forces to warn about risks of event ticket reselling websites

PRESS RELEASE - 06.06.2019

As the festival season gets underway, BEUC and eight of its member consumer organisations [1] are launching an awareness campaign today about the risks of buying tickets from online resellers. The main advice is to buy tickets from the official seller and authorised resales channels [2], and not to pay more than the price set by the organiser.

 

The problems consumers can face range from paying several times the official ticket price, finding out that the ticket did not correspond to the description of the seller, or discovering that the ticket is in another person’ name, or being turned away at the entrance of the event [3].

The consumer groups are also writing to their national consumer authorities urging them to investigate current unfair practices of ticket reselling websites to make sure they comply with consumer law.

In some EU countries, it is illegal to resell tickets online in a systematic way to make a profit and there are also additional restrictions in other countries [4].

Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC, said:

“Buying a ticket for an event from an unauthorised online reseller is risky and can be very costly. Our advice to consumers is simple: buy tickets from the ticket office or from an authorised reseller who is not charging more than the official ticket price.

“Problems with tickets bought on the secondary online market are spreading quickly across the EU. Companies using such unfair practices often work across borders. National authorities need to work together to investigate ticket reselling websites across the EU to make sure they comply with consumer law. Where these websites don’t comply, the authorities should step in to make sure they do.”

Among the activities launched today, BEUC and the participating consumer organisations have released three short videos to help consumers know about the risks of ticket reselling online [5].

ENDS

A Questions and Answers document is available .

Notes to editors

  • [1] The consumer organisations taking part are dtest (Czech Republic), Kuluttajaliitto – Konsumentförbundet ry (Finland), OCU (Spain), Spoločnosť ochrany spotrebiteľov (S.O.S.) Poprad (Slovakia), Stowarzyszenie Konsumentów Polskich – SKP and Fundacja Konsumentow (both Poland), Test Achats/Test Aankoop (Belgium), Zveza Potrošnikov Slovenije – ZPS (Slovenia). The Swiss consumer group Fédération Romande des Consommateurs is also taking part in today’s action by continuing its efforts to inform Swiss consumers of the risks around the resale of tickets. Today’s action is an expansion of the started by Fédération Romande des Consommateurs in 2018
  • [2] An authorised reseller is a website which has received clearance from the official event organisers to resell tickets. In cases where event organisers only accept certain resales channels, they indicate this on their websites. When such a list exists, it can be consulted on the event organiser’s webpages.
  • [3] See for example research by the Bavarian regional member of German consumer federation vzbv into the problems people face with online ticket reselling: .
  • [4] For an overview of national laws in place regulating the resale of tickets in some EU countries, see the following page prepared by the network of European Consumer Centres: .
  • [5] The videos are available by clicking on the images below.
Wrong seating category Hidden charges Never received ticket