TicketOne cancelled more than 200 “suspicious” transactions as it fought to prevent the scalping of tickets for this summer’s U2 concerts in Italy.
The company, which has employed PwC to oversee the sale of the band’s tickets in response to a series of scandals affecting the sector in Italy, said that around 600 tickets were cancelled due to concerns that they had been purchased by touts.
As it sought to boost confidence through transparency, TicketOne said that tickets were bought by around 18,000 different buyers, adding “for the most part sent to as many shipping addresses”. They said each buyer selected an average of 2.9 tickets. Around 15 per cent of the purchases were made by foreign customers from 75 countries.
Tickets for the Stadio Olimpico gig in July sold out quickly and a second Rome date has now been added.
While TicketOne’s announcement highlighted its successes in identifying dubious purchases, it also admitted that it would monitor secondary sites.
In a statement, the company said: “TicketOne confirms that they are going to sample sites on the secondary market ticket purchases with the intent to identify individuals who have conveyed tickets on these channels and will proceed to the subsequent cancellation of the purchase transaction.
“The decision to sell tickets via the internet continues to be the most appropriate way to accurately monitor and track purchases: in the case of sale at retail, you would lose the buyer’s precise track and just in case it would ask for a name which may be dummy or otherwise not detectable.”
However, TicketOne’s assurances are not enough for those who have been critical of reselling and highlighted a number of U2 tickets appearing on secondary sites at prices way above face value.
The SIAE music industry group said it has filed an urgent petition with the Civil Court of Rome “to protect both the rights of its members and consumers who find themselves also pay up to 10 times more than the entry ticket on the parallel market”.
“After seeing that some sites yesterday (Monday), after 25 minutes of opening the ticket sales on official channels, they are selling on the secondary market significantly increased in price tickets for the concert on July 15 , we decided to act immediately,” said Gaetano Blandini, director general of SIAE, according to La Repubblica.
“Again we have obtained the support of Consumers Association, to take along all legal and media actions to the protection of consumer rights.”