Event sales company Ticketmaster has defended its resale website, which has been used by scalpers to market inflated-price tickets to events such as Justin Bieber’s Brisbane concert and Midnight Oil’s reunion tour.
Advocacy group Choice has asked the consumer watchdog to investigate the Ticketmaster Resale website, alleging it has been used to sell Justin Bieber VIP concert tickets for $2555 — a 374 per cent mark-up on the original price.
Frontier Touring, the promoter for Midnight Oil’s 2017 reunion tour, has also told the ABC it will make a submission to the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) about “misleading sales tactics and language” used by some resale sites.
Midnight Oil fans were outraged last week when tickets sold out on Ticketmaster’s main site within minutes — only to appear shortly afterward on websites such as Ticketmaster Resale and Viagogo at hugely inflated prices.
Ticketmaster said it was “100 per cent committed to transparency and is continually reviewing its practices and platforms to ensure it is fully compliant with applicable regulations”.
“We see ourselves as the leading example of good practice in the ticketing market and will continue to work to provide customers with fair and transparent pricing structures,” the company said.
“If instances of non-compliance by sellers are highlighted to us we take appropriate action to ensure the sellers address those issues.”
Choice has also lodged a complaint against the Swiss-owned Viagogo site.
Midnight Oil alleges the “vast majority” of tickets to the band’s concerts in Sydney and Melbourne had been taken by scalpers, who listed them for resale on the websites.
Resale profits should be capped: Midnight Oil frontman
Midnight Oil’s lead singer, Peter Garrett, tweeted it was “time to act”.
The former federal Labor minister said caps should be placed on the premium that could be charged on a concert ticket when it was resold.
He also called for a ban on ticket-buying “bots” — sophisticated software that can snap up hundreds of tickets the moment they go on sale.
The ACCC and relevant departments should “enforce the Trade Practices Act et al to stop ViaGoGo’s deceptive and misleading conduct”, he said.
Ticketmaster said its Resale site was a “safe and secure” marketplace where fans could buy and resell tickets, backed by a guarantee.
It said sellers were responsible for setting the prices they wanted for the tickets they sold.