New rules to protect fans from ticket touts

6 April 2018

Sellers on secondary ticket websites will have to provide more information so that fans can be better protected against rip-off prices, following new rules that come into force today. 

Resellers will now have to quote a ‘unique ticket number’ (UTN) to a buyer – providing the event organiser specifies one – which will help identify the ticket’s seat, standing area or location.

The government has also made guidance clearer on the need for resellers to reveal the original price of the tickets and any restrictions.

Consumer minister Andrew Griffiths says: “Fans have a right to know exactly what they’re signing up to on ticket resale websites, but all too often people are left feeling ripped off when the ticket doesn’t match expectations.

“We are already taking steps to crack down on touts using ‘bots’ to bulk buy tickets for resale and today’s new rules will also improve transparency in this market.”

From today, ticket resellers must:

·      identify the location to which the ticket provides access, such as the particular seat or standing area of the venue;

·      disclose any restrictions around who can use the ticket or how it must be used;

·      disclose the original price of the ticket;

·      reveal any connections the resellers have with either the website on which they are selling or the organiser of the event for which the ticket is being sold; and

·      supply the unique ticket number (UTN) to a buyer if the event organiser specifies one.

Online secondary ticketing facilities will be required to report illegal use of their site – and the person’s identity if known – to the police. 

If resellers fail to comply with the rules, trading standards services can require them to pay a penalty of up to £5,000 and sentence them to two years’ imprisonment.

Adam Webb, campaign manager of FanFair Alliance, which campaigns against online ticket touting, says: “So-called secondary ticketing sites should now have complete clarity of their legal obligations.

“Combined with enforcement action, these welcome updates and additions to consumer law will result in greater protection for audiences and help the development of a more transparent and fan-friendly ticket resale market.”


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Wish I’d known about this sooner. I bought a ticket from a recent Jethro Tull concert. Paid over £100 for a balcony seat through viagogo and received a ticket with another woman’s name on it valued at £45.50p for a rear balcony seat. I tried umpteen times to contact the company but couldn’t speak to anyone directly just email after email. Finally I was told that I’d have to advertise and sell through their website. I was so disgusted I didn’t go in the end. Very disappointed.

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