Ticket reselling prompts investigation by Consumer New Zealand
Concert tickets are being resold at up to 20 times their face value in New Zealand, prompting Consumer New Zealand to investigate.
In one recent case, an Auckland woman paid $1000 for VIP tickets to see Adele but later found she had been sold stall seats worth just $100.
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Consumer New Zealand chief executive Sue Chetwin said complaints about ticket resellers have been on the rise in New Zealand and overseas.
"On the face of it it's not illegal, but [ticket resellers] may be breaching parts of the fair trading act in the way they behave. We're concerned people aren't getting what they're paying for and the fees can be exorbitant," Chetwin said.
"We're hearing over and over again where people are buying tickets for something and they're not getting what they paid for.
"You can end up paying at least 20 times the original cost of the tickets largely due to fees. Some people aren't aware of the fees until after they've bought the tickets.
Chetwin said ticket resellers excuse fees, which can reach $500, on service and administration costs.
"But sometime they don't even change the name, we've had people with tickets with the old names on them," she said.
Consumer New Zealand is joining forces with consumer groups in Australia and the United Kingdom to investigate complaints about ticket reselling sites such as Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale.
Australian Adele fan Simone Mohr missed out on tickets to the singer's concert just minutes after they became available.
Desperate to give her daughters the experience of seeing their idol in concert, Mohr purchased four tickets for $3000, including a $448 booking fee.
Feeling desperate, Mohr came across ticket resale website Viagogo, which claimed to have hundreds of tickets for the concert at inflated prices.
But on the day of the concert staff told her the tickets had already been refunded by the original buyer and would not be accepted.
Chetwin was inviting anyone who has bought a ticket through a resale site to complete a Consumer New Zealand online survey, and was particularly interested in inflated ticket prices, fake tickets, and fans being denied access to venues.
Survey results would be used to identify problems in the ticket resale market and what needs to be done to protect consumers.
Australian consumer group Choice and UK consumer watchdog Which were also part of the research.