The House of Lords’ backing of legislation that would order ticket resale sites to disclose information about their inventory has been welcomed by FanFair Alliance.
Lords members yesterday (Wednesday) backed an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill that would change consumer law around ticket resale. Tabled by Lord Moynihan, the amendment would extend obligations in the existing Consumer Rights Act, notably that any tickets being resold would have to include a reference or booking number and any specific conditions attached to resale.
After a third reading in the House of Lords next week, the Bill will return to the House of Commons for further scrutiny. It could be passed by the end of May.
FanFair Alliance, which campaigns against secondary ticket touting, said the change could make a “significant difference” to the ticket resale market in the UK. While the government has committed to accept all recommendations made in the Waterson Review, FanFair Alliance believes the amendments would “inject unauthorised ticket resale platforms with some much-needed transparency”.
The group said it would give buyers “greater certainty” that the ticket they are buying actually exists, preventing speculative ticketing – where touts list tickets for resale that they don’t actually have. It would also ensure standing tickets are given equal protection in law to seated tickets, and would ensure that consumers have essential information, such as if they will require ID to gain entry.
The House of Lords session can be viewed here
“Despite concerted media and political scrutiny, the resale of tickets on platforms like Viagogo, Get Me In!, Seatwave and StubHub remains wholly lacking in transparency,” said FanFair Alliance in a statement.
“This is the only online marketplace where buyers are given no identity about sellers – a peculiarity which is massively helpful to touts whose activities are anonymised, but not so much to consumers. It’s is a recipe for bad practice at best, and outright fraud at worst.
“That’s why this small amendment to the Consumer Rights Act is so important, as it could help provide more certainty that a ticket actually exists in the first place, as well as crucial details about terms and conditions of resale. FanFair Alliance warmly welcomes the House of Lords decision last night, and alongside the other recent commitments we look forward to further discussions with government about how ticket resale can be made more transparent, honest and consumer-friendly.”