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Ticket resale websites a rip off: Choice

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Ticket resale websites which engage in dodgy pricing and allow tickets to be sold at inflated prices need to “clean up their act”, according to Australia’s leading consumer advocacy group.

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Choice has lodged a complaint with the ACCC, naming websites Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale as leading offenders.

The sites allow fans to resell unwanted tickets for music and sports events but many are listed at highly inflated prices.

“People have a right to onsell concert tickets but we’ve found these websites can be quite problematic,” Choice spokesman Tom Godfrey said.

A VIP ticket to next week’s Justin Bieber concert at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane has been listed on Ticketmaster Resale for more than $2000 above its original price, Godfrey says.

Fans looking to get a ticket for Midnight Oil’s reunion tour were left angry when hundreds of pre-sale tickets were sold within seconds, only to later re-appear on reselling websites.

Godfrey said Viagogo also “dripped in” additional costs during the checkout process.

Tickets for The Avalanches Sydney gig earlier this year had $52 worth of handling, booking and VAT fees attached.

“What we need to get these websites to clean up their act,” Godfrey said.

Anti-scalping legislation varies from state-to-state, carrying a range of fines.

Scalpers can cop a maximum $5000 fine in South Australia, while in Queensland the buyer can also be fined up to $609.

In NSW, scalping is banned but only around the Sydney Cricket Ground, Allianz Stadium and Sydney Olympic Park precinct.

Resold tickets cannot be sold at more than face value in Victoria but only for signified “major” sporting events.

Godfrey says resold tickets aren’t always accepted by venues and can be cancelled without the buyer’s knowledge.

“We want people to be aware of the limitations of these websites. The worse case scenario is you pay an extreme price for a ticket and then get locked out at the door,” he said.

The terms and conditions on Ticketmaster Resales’ website says it is the responsibility of the seller to “comply with any legal restrictions placed on the resale of tickets”.

A statement from Ticketmaster Australasia, which owns TIcketmaster Resale, said the company operates a safe and secure marketplace and is continually reviewing its practises and platforms.

Switzerland-based Viagogo has been contacted for comment.

– AAP

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