ASA Acts Against Secondary Sites
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has this week taken action against the ‘big four’ secondary ticketing sites over the misleading presentation of pricing information on their websites.
Following a sector-wide investigation, the ASA found that StubHub UK, Viagogo, Seatwave and GetMeIn! were being unclear with consumers about additional ticket fees and charges added at the end of the booking process.
The ASA has instructed these organisations to improve transparency over pricing, making clear the total ticket cost from the outset of the customer’s engagement with the site, including the booking fee (inclusive of VAT), applicable delivery fee and non-optional taxes.
Ticketmaster, which owns GetMeIn! And Seatwave said: “Our ticket resale sites already ensure fans know exactly what they will pay at every stage of the buying process, displaying all fees as soon as the customer selects and submits the number of tickets they are looking to buy.”
In a significant move, Viagogo has been banned from using the slogan “official site” as it misled customers into believing that it was a primary ticketing outlet rather than a secondary resale site.
The site was also banned from claiming that consumers had a “100% guarantee” of entry into the relevant venue when there is a reasonable risk that they would be denied entry. For example, one advertisement investigated suggested that consumers who bought Viagogo tickets would be guaranteed entry to an Ed Sheeran concert when this was not the case.
A spokesperson for FanFair Alliance, the leading campaign group on secondary ticketing, said: “While we welcome today’s ASA ruling and hope it goes some way to addressing this latter issue, what’s absolutely crucial now is enforcement. Without proper sanctions, we fear that much-needed reforms will not be implemented, particularly by Viagogo, and the public will continue to be duped”.
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