The UK government has announced changes to the guidance provided to ticketing businesses to ensure consumers are presented with more transparency when purchasing secondary tickets.
The updated legislation for the Consumer Rights Act 2015 includes ticket resellers being required to provide customers with the location of seats, disclosure of any restrictions and the original face value.
Resellers will also have to supply the unique ticket number (UTN) if the event organiser or primary seller specifies one, helping to identify standing tickets, as well as the location of seated tickets.
Fines of up to £5,000 ($7,030/€5,632) can be expected for those that breach the regulations, with the new rules coming into effect from April.
“All too often people are left feeling ripped off when buying tickets from resale websites,” said consumer minister Andrew Griffiths, according to Music Week.“Whether it’s a major music festival or a stadium concert, people want to know they’re paying a fair price for tickets to see the events they love.
“We are already taking steps to crack down on touts using “bots” to bulk buy tickets for resale and the CMA is investigating suspected breaches of consumer protection law online and today we are going even further, making it easier for consumers to understand what they are buying to help save them from rip off ticket prices.
“Later this year, we will also publish a consumer green paper which will examine how we can help people to engage with markets to find the best deals.”
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Margot James, minister for digital and the creative industries, said: “We want real fans to get the chance to see their favourite stars at a fair price. That is why we are clamping down on touts using bots to buy huge numbers of tickets, only to sell them on at rip-off prices.
“Today’s guidance will give consumers even greater protection and transparency in the secondary market, helping Britain’s live events scene to continue to thrive.”
Adam Webb, campaign manager for FanFair Alliance, added: “If properly enforced, we believe these updates will better protect UK audiences and event organisers.
“They should also provide greater clarity to secondary ticketing platforms of their legal responsibilities, and increase overall transparency in what is frequently a murky and under-regulated sector.”