Live Music

Consumer advocates promote ‘Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights’

Featured image credit: Danny Howe on Unsplash

Consumer advocates have released a set of principles that they believe can improve the live events ticketing market in the US.

Consumer Federation of America, Fan Freedom, National Consumers League, Protect Ticket Rights and Sports Fans Coalition, have released a set of principles called ‘The Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights’. 

The ‘Bill of Rights’ is based on four pillars including the right to transferability, where ticket-holders decide how to use, sell or give away their tickets if they wish; the right to transparency, which includes all-in pricing and disclosures of relevant information for the purchasing decision; the right to set the price, so that companies that originally sold the tickets cannot dictate to fans for what price they can or cannot resell their purchased tickets and the right to a fair marketplace, where fans compete with actual humans, not illegal software bots for tickets. 

Erin Witte, director of consumer protection at Consumer Federation of America, said: “Consumers deserve better when it comes to ticket sales, and it is clear that they are eager to see some change. The Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights will level the playing field for consumers and end some of the most egregious practices that have historically plagued the ticket sales industry.”

The ‘Bill of Rights’ also asks for all-in, upfront pricing so there are no surprise fees at checkout; mandating primary ticket-selling companies to report all ticket bot activity to the appropriate authorities; disclosure of how many tickets are available to the public; clear and conspicuous disclosure when a ticket seller does not have a ticket in their possession or contractual right; the guarantee of unrestricted transfer of all tickets and a prohibition on deceptive URLs and other fraudulent reseller practices. 

John Breyault, vice-president of public policy, telecommunications and Fraud at the National Consumers League, added: “Fans and competition are best served when there is an open, competitive, and fair market for live event tickets. The Ticket Buyer Bill of Rights is a common-sense set of principles that policymakers should look to for solutions to fix a rigged live event industry.”

Recently, Live Nation Entertainment announced its support for a FAIR Ticketing Act, which calls for the artist to be able to decide resale rules; make speculative ticket selling illegal; expand and enforce The BOTS Act; crack down on resale sites and mandate all-in pricing.