Consumer NZ to join international investigation into ticket resellers

Consumer NZ is joining a global bid to crack down on people being ripped off by ticket resale websites. Photo / Getty Images
Consumer NZ is joining a global bid to crack down on people being ripped off by ticket resale websites. Photo / Getty Images

A New Zealand consumer watchdog is joining forces with international groups to investigate the growing problems people have buying tickets through reselling sites.

Consumer NZ and consumer groups in Australia and the UK are investigating complaints about ticket sites such as Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale.

Chief executive Sue Chetwin said complaints about ticket resellers have been on the rise in New Zealand and overseas.

"We've heard reports of tickets being sold on resale sites in New Zealand for up to 20 times their face value. Customers also routinely report being stung by steep fees on these sites."

In a recent case an Auckland woman paid $1000 for VIP tickets to see British songstress Adele only to find she'd been sold stall seats worth $100.

Chetwin said Consumer wanted to hear examples of people being hit by huge ticket prices, fake tickets, seats not being as described, fans being denied access to venues and tickets not arriving. They also wanted to know if people had encountered high fees, incorrect credit card charges and poor customer service.

The consumer watchdog was asking anyone who had bought a ticket through a resale site to complete an online survey on its website.

Survey results would be used to identify problems in the resale market and what needed to be done to protect consumers.

Australian consumer group Choice and UK consumer watchdog Which? are also participating in the research.

Chetwin said reselling sites have already come under scrutiny from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority. In December, the authority opened an investigation into suspected breaches of UK consumer protection law by resellers and had already identified issues over the adequacy of information the sites disclosed.

- NZ Herald

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