Northern Ireland consumers get caught out on ticket resale websites

Date published: 09 February 2017

Trading Standards Service has urged potential ticket purchasers to exercise extreme caution when using online ticket booking services for concert and sporting events.

Northern Ireland consumers get caught out on ticket resale websites
Northern Ireland consumers get caught out on ticket resale websites

The warning comes following recent complaints to Consumerline from customers who, when buying tickets, have not checked whether they are using an official or secondary ticketing website.

Secondary ticketing (reseller) facilities often resell tickets at prices considerably higher than their face value. One County Tyrone consumer thought they were paying a total of £400 for four concert tickets whereas they were actually charged £2200 including £600 in fees. On the same website a consumer from County Down paid £156 plus a £53 booking fee for two tickets to a golfing tournament. On receipt of his tickets, he discovered that they had been bought by the reseller at the total face value of £90 from an official website after the consumer had paid for them on the resale website.   . 

Bill Malloy, Trading Standards Service said: “Consumers should not allow themselves to be distracted by the thrill of being at the head of an online queue, by screen timers, or information about the number of other potential customers looking for tickets. They should take their time and check each entire web page to read all the information on it. Rapid touch screen typing may prove rather costly.”

When buying tickets on any website, the customer should consider the following:

  • Establish whether they are dealing with an official site or secondary ticketing website.
  • The presence of seating plans on a website does not make it an official site. 
  • The displayed price may only be for one ticket, not the number you are ordering. Be vigilant and check how many tickets each and every displayed price relates to.
  • Are booking fees included? Fees of up to £150 per ticket are not unusual.
  • If you are using a smartphone, fees may not appear during the booking process.

Bill Malloy concluded: “If fans are determined to buy tickets for a particular concert or sporting event they should exercise caution, not rush their purchase, and consider using devices other than smartphones when making purchases on line.”

Consumers who feel that they are a victim of being over charged or misled about pricing should contact Consumerline on 0300 123 6262 or alternatively log onto the Consumerline website

Notes to editors: 

  1. For media enquiries contact DFE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.
  2. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI 

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