Festival fans beware – how to avoid dodgy tickets this summer
27 April 2010
The leading consumer protection body for the ticket industry is
warning festival fans about dodgy websites offering rip-off
The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) is issuing
advice for consumers on how to avoid falling victim to rogue ticket
Jonathan Brown, Secretary of The Society of Ticket Agents and
"Festival season offers rich pickings for unethical ticket
sellers, as they know people are desperate to get their hands on
tickets. Every year, opportunistic websites pop up offering tickets
for sold out events at extortionate prices.
"It's very easy to create a website that looks classy and
reputable - but that doesn't mean it's law-abiding or will
definitely supply you with what you think you are buying. People
need to be vigilant in the run up to the festival season.
"Look for the warning signs, and if in doubt, make sure you buy
from a member of STAR. If you see the STAR mark, you can expect
excellent service, transparent pricing and an independent means of
redress if anything goes wrong."
The warning signs - what to look for:
Official channels - If the company is not
listed on the promoter's or venue's advertisements and official
websites for an event, then you really need check out the seller
more thoroughly to avoid any problems or disappointments.
Company contact details - Is there a physical
office address for the company? Or, is it only possible to contact
the company online, eg through a contact form or by e-mail? If
there's no postal address or phone number, they are already trying
to make things difficult for you!
Comprehensive ticket details - The description
of the tickets you are buying should include: the dates of the
festival and the number of days you have entry for; the venue or
location; description of seating or other arrangements where
relevant (eg general admission, camping); the face value of the
ticket and details of any booking fees.
Secure payment - You should see a padlock at
the bottom of the screen when you are filling in the payment
details. If the total amount you are paying is over £100, consider
putting it on your credit card rather than debit card, as you will
get a better level of financial protection if things go wrong.
Membership of STAR - Buying from a STAR member
ensures you have an independent means of redress through a
recognised self-regulatory body should anything go wrong. You can
cross-check that the company is a member of STAR at www.star.org.uk or ask the STAR
helpline on 0844 879 4272.
Is it too good to be true? - If you know the
tickets have sold out, or that the tickets are not on sale yet
through official channels, be very cautious. If an event has sold
out, check if the promoter or venue has an official resale partner,
and see if you can buy tickets from them. Also, beware of websites
selling tickets at less than their face value - this means the
seller won't be making any money from the sale, so it's possible
the seller doesn't actually have any tickets to sell and is
planning to pocket all of the money you pay.