Practical Tips for Consumers
An independent review of consumer protection
measures in ticketing was published by the UK Government in May
2016. This review took place as a requirement of the Consumer
Rights Act 2015 and was conducted by Michael Waterson, an economics
professor at Warwick University. His review included the following
tips for ticket buyers.
Buying tickets for a major event, such as a concert by a big
artist, is often subject to difficulty and frustration. Here is a
set of things to bear in mind and do.
Pre-event and before buying a ticket
||When an event has been announced, check the date
when the tickets go onsale.
||Do some research to see if there is a fan club
that provides preferential access to a pre-sale; is there a
particular credit card or other membership scheme that enables
preferential access? If so, consider subscribing to it.
||There are 3 types of ticket seller: official
ticket sellers chosen by event organisers to sell their tickets;
secondary ticket sellers, who look for tickets and sell them on,
often for more than the face value; and "fan to fan" sites where
individuals can sell on tickets at a price they set. Some people
use secondary or fan-to-fan sites because they cannot use a ticket
they have bought or because they are trying to make a profit.
||Set yourself a budget on what you are willing to
pay for an event. You should factor in any additional costs such as
travel and extra charges for the ticket; for example, booking
charges, handling fees, postage etc.
||You may want to see if there are alternative
venues nearer to you to see the artist (for example, if you live in
Milton Keynes, it may be quicker and easier and perhaps cheaper for
you to go to the Birmingham concert than a London concert).
||If you find that tickets are sold out, do not
panic. Additional dates may become available so keep checking the
internet. Later tickets may even be better than those sold earlier
and cheaper nearer the day of the event.
||** It may also be worth checking
one of the major commercial resellers,such as Stubhub, GETMEIN!,
Seatwave and Viagogo, because tickets will become cheaper as the
date of the event grows nearer, so do not panic buy and exceed your
budget by immediately transferring to a different website. Remember
that these sites also add on fees towards the end of the
transaction. Sometimes though, tickets can even be cheaper there
even after adding on the fees.
||** Do not neglect the fan to fan
secondary sites such as Twickets and Scarlet Mist; nearer the time
of the event they may also have tickets available at or near to
||If possible, pay by a credit or debit card. Paying
by card protects you if certain things go wrong (for example,
non-delivery of a ticket from a ticket company)
||Check the type of ticket you are buying; for
example, if there is a restricted view or age restrictions (sellers
are required to provide this type of information before you buy the
** Please note that none of the companies mentioned
at 7 and 8 are currently members of STAR.
What to look out for and to be aware of:
||Remember, as you should for making other purchases
or dealings, that just because someone is selling on sites such as
Gumtree and Facebook, does not mean they are honest. People may not
be who they seem on such sites and you will have little
||If something in the purchase process strikes you
as odd, particularly if it involves a site not mentioned above,
then do not complete the purchase. You might be falling victim to a
||If you see tickets being sold when the event has
not officially gone on sale, be suspicious; this may be a
||If the ticket seller is unknown to you, check if
it has a website, a landline phone number that works and full
postal address. Avoid using the site if there is only a PO Box
address and mobile number, as it could be difficult to get hold of
the seller after you have paid for the ticket.
||Do try to read the terms and conditions of the
ticket where possible. Sellers are required to provide buyers with
key information in a clear and comprehensible manner.
If things go wrong:
||By paying with credit card, credit card suppliers
are held jointly responsible with suppliers for a breach of
contract, e.g. failure to supply a ticket, or if the supplier has
failed to fulfil an order because he has ceased trading.
||If you think you have bought a ticket from a scam
website, you should report this to the police though the Action
Fraud website: www.actionfraud.police.uk. You may not get your
money back, but you can try and prevent the scam site being used by
||You can also contact the Citizens' Advice consumer
helpline on 03454 04 05 06 (www.adviceguide.org.uk/). The helpline
offers free information and advice to consumers and passes on
complaints to Trading Standards where appropriate.
The above advice is taken from Professor Michael Waterson's
independent report into consumer protection measures
concerning online secondary ticketing facilities, published by the
Government in May 2016.
Remember, we can help you if there is a problem with your
purchase but only if you have bought your tickets from a STAR Member. Just
click here to find out How to make a complaint.
If you have not bought from a STAR Member and would like to
report a possible fraud then the best place to do this is at