Consumer Protection warns over UFC resale tickets

Featured image credit: Keisha on Unsplash

Western Australia’s Consumer Protection agency is continuing to warn consumers that have purchased inflated tickets from unauthorised resellers that they may be refused entry, or have their tickets cancelled, for the upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC 284) event at Perth’s RAC Arena (pictured). 

The event is set to take place on February 12.

A consumer announcement from the Government of Western Australia has said that a number of unauthorised resellers and individuals were selling tickets to the UFC event at high prices through websites, or through ad sites such as Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace.

Tickets are only legally allowed to be sold with a 10% mark-up in Western Australia.

Recent changes to the Australian Consumer Law now require online ticket resellers to disclose that they are not the primary ticket provider, as well as prominently display the original price of tickets.

These changes complement the Western Australian Ticket Scalping Act, which restricts the sale of tickets above a 10% mark-up. Resellers also have to identify the location of the seat or viewing spot for each ticket.

The announcement also said that Consumer Protection was currently investigating whether the individuals or companies selling inflated tickets had breached Western Australia’s ticket scalping laws.

“While the investigation is ongoing, consumers should exercise a high degree of caution when purchasing tickets through unauthorised platforms and should only purchase from the UFC directly or Ticketek, who are the authorised and exclusive selling agent for the event on 12 February 2023, or Ticketek’s reselling platform Ticketek Marketplace,” said the announcement.

One unauthorised reseller has stated on its website that there is a ticket delay, and that the release date for physical ticket downloads has been pushed to two weeks before the UFC event. There is a risk that these ticket-holders may not be granted entry due to Ticketek’s ticket resale restrictions, and if these tickets do not comply with ticket scalping laws.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Trish Blake said: “It is very possible that tickets may not be valid and you could be refused entry to this highly anticipated event, which would be a disappointing outcome and may leave ticket holders out of pocket.

“If you have purchased a ticket from an unauthorised reseller that appears to comply with the allowed 10% mark-up law, contact Ticketek to advise that your ticket has been re-sold, provide proof that the reseller appears to comply with the law and ask for the name on the ticket be changed.”

Blake added: “For those ticket holders who purchased tickets from an unauthorised reseller for more than the allowed 10% mark-up, I would highly recommend going back to the supplier or individual seller as soon as possible and seek a refund.”

Should the reseller refuse a refund request or the refund is not forthcoming and the payment was made through PayPal or a credit card, consumers are able to lodge a payment dispute or request a chargeback. Consumers are then advised to lodge a complaint with Consumer Protection.

The agency also warned that unauthorised resellers may try to disguise inflated prices by offering a package including food and accommodation. These sales are allowed, but the seller must provide a specific breakdown of the costs of goods and services.

Fines can range from A$2,000 (£1,100/€1,300/$1,400) in infringement notices to A$20,000 for individuals, and A$100,000 for companies.

There are even higher penalties for those that use bots to purchase bulk tickets, which is also illegal in Western Australia.