Fans laugh, at Ticketek's expense

ONLINE BARGAIN: Matt Carkeek with the Russell BRand ticket that he paid $12.90 for.
ONLINE BARGAIN: Matt Carkeek with the Russell BRand ticket that he paid $12.90 for.

It's a comedy of errors that would delight Russell Brand himself.

An online slip-up by Ticketek allowed some lucky customers to cash in, with seats for the comedian's upcoming show costing a mere $13 each.

The "premium" tickets to the Wellington show were meant to be $129.90, but a typo on the ticketing website meant they were instead sold for just $12.90.

Matt Carkeek, 27, said he could not believe it when he found the knock-down price for tickets to see the British comedian. He and a group of colleagues snapped up 11 for themselves and friends.

"On Tuesday we were just talking about the Russell Brand show. We went into the Ticketek site and they were $129 but there was a link saying they preferred Visa, and on that link they were $12.90."

They checked the page several times to ensure the price was genuine. "We went on about 20 times to check. And then we thought, 'Oh, screw it.' We went right through the buying process and then it said, 'Congratulations on your tickets.' "

But their jubilation was short-lived - a Ticketek staff member soon rang to demand more money.

"He said, 'Sorry guys, that's a stuff-up, you'll have to pay full price, or you can get a refund'. "

After some research into the Consumer Guarantees Act, Mr Carkeek thought he would be within his rights to keep the tickets, but wondered how far Ticketek might battle them.

Then, on Wednesday, the company rang back and said they could keep the tickets.

"We were kind of thinking, 'Stink, we're not going any more.' [Now] we're really stoked."

Ticketek refused to comment yesterday, but a Consumer Affairs Ministry spokesman said the company might have been within its rights to demand more money. Under the Contractual Mistakes Act, a court can order buyers to pay the correct price if the wrong price was clearly an accident.

Mr Carkeek thanked Ticketek for its decision. "I think this deserves a round of applause."

Louise Hunter, promoter for Russell Brand at Adrian Bohm Presents, made it clear it was Ticketek's responsibility to make up the money.

"If you're going to see Russell Brand, you don't pay $12. It's solely a Ticketek issue . . . it's completely an error on their part."

Only a small number of tickets were sold at the wrong price.



If you buy something for a set price, a seller can't generally ask you later to pay more, because a sale constitutes a contract.

The exception is if you know the price is an error and use it to your advantage. Under the Contractual Mistakes Act, a court can order you to fork out the correct price.

If you notice a typo in a price but make the purchase anyway, hoping to get away with it, a seller is entitled to contact you later – once they realise the mistake – and have you pay the difference.

However, they cannot deliberately use false pricing to entice customers, which is against the Fair Trading Act.

Source: Consumer NZ

Contact Sam Boyer
Consumer Affairs reporter
Twitter: @SamJBoyer

The Dominion Post