Trading Standards Service (TSS) has urged customers to be vigilant when purchasing tickets from the secondary market, as people start preparing for Christmas.

The festive season sees people rushing to get in on passes for traditional pantomimes and concert tickets as gifts, but the TSS released a statement Monday warning consumers about buying online.

The TSS statement said: “The excitement of getting the opportunity to see a favourite band in concert or attending an eagerly awaited event can sometimes result in consumers rushing to make their ticket purchase online from secondary ticketing websites without doing any research on the seller or indeed by checking the all important terms and conditions imposed by the original ticket issuer.

“Trading Standards Service has received a number of calls to its Consumerline from individuals who discovered that they had been charged well over the actual ticket price.

“One consumer who was disappointed not to have been successful in getting tickets for the recently announced Westlife concert when they were released was prepared to pay over the odds to see her favourite band and so decided to use a secondary ticketing website.

“However, what she was not prepared for was the shocking discovery that she had paid well over £300 for each ticket instead of the £137 she thought she was paying.”

Sharon Muldoon from the Department for the Economy’s Trading Standards Service said, according to Belfast News Letter: “It can be very disappointing to find out that tickets for a concert or event have been sold out.

“In such circumstances the availability of tickets through a secondary ticketing website can seem like the perfect solution.

“However, in the excitement and at times the rush to purchase your tickets please take time to read all the terms and conditions including those of the actual ticket and check the final price.

“You may be charged very hefty booking fees which may not appear until just before you enter your payment details. You could also be denied entry to the event. Never be too quick to click and always remember to pay by card and never by bank transfer.”

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