Most ticket buyers ‘feel ripped off’
Consumer watchdog Which? claim that almost 90 per cent of people object to additional charges when buying event tickets – and up to half have decided not to buy after seeing the total price of a purchase.
The results of their survey suggest that out of 78 sample ticket transactions only two were completed without previously unseen charges being added.
Of 20 ticketing companies surveyed, seven did not offer the total price at the beginning of the transaction, making it difficult for buyers to shop around for the best deal.
Additional fees included £6.87 on top of a £55 Kings Of Leon ticket; £9.25 on top of a £75 Elton John ticket and £9.50 on top of a £35 ticket for comedian Jimmy Carr.
Buyers are also upset at being charged to print their own tickets at home, says Which?.
Boss Richard Lloyd tells the BBC: “Consumers tell us they’re feeling ripped off by the level of ticketing charges. And the lack of transparency means it’s almost impossible for people to compare prices.”
Their Play Fair On Ticket Fees campaign aims to push ticket outlets into being more reasonable about fees, which they found described variously as ‘fulfilment fees’, ‘transaction fees’, ‘service charges’, ‘handling fees’ and ‘administration charges’.
“We want all charges displayed up front, and a clear explanation of what they’re for,” says Lloyd.
Leading retailer Ticketmaster says all its fees are explained on its website and that they go towards covering “retail and distribution costs”. Print-at-home charges pay for the provision of “access control systems to check the tickets”.
See Tickets, another firm, say event organisers don’t pay them to sell tickets and therefore, “in order to make money See has to charge a little bit on top”.