Looking to protect UK consumers from being ripped off by fake ticket reselling Web sites, the country’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched a new initiative to combat them.
Called “Just Tick It,” the campaign aims to educate ticket buyers on how to spot scams, and offers several tips on what to look for from a proper site.
Among the items consumers should look for are:
1. How has the Web site got the tickets to sell? Check with the venue to find out when tickets are being released for sale and when the tickets will be sent out.
2. Who is the Web site registered to? And how long has it been registered?
3. What are others saying about the Web site? Search the internet to find out what other people’s experiences have been.
4. How can you contact the company? Check that you know their full geographic address and check they have a working landline phone number.
5. Can they provide ticket details? Ensure that the face value of the tickets and the seat location are clearly listed.
6. Do they provide refunds? Make sure there is a refund policy in case something goes wrong.
The OFT estimates that one-in-five ticket buyers knows someone who has been ripped off by a fraudulent ticketing Web site, and one-in-twelve ticket buyers have fallen victim to an online scam.
“The ‘Just Tick It’ campaign gives ticket buyers the valuable advice they need to help protect themselves from ticket scammers when buying online,” said Mike Haley from the Office of Fair Trading. “Consumers can avoid falling victim in the first place by following our clear and simple advice on how to spot a scam site.”
Eric Baker, CEO and founder of UK-based secondary ticket giant viagogo, said that while the initiative is not a bad thing, his company and other reputable broker sites already know about this.
“In fact, for the last three years at viagogo we have been advising fans on how to avoid getting ripped off in the secondary market by offering a safe and secure ticket exchange. It is the sole reason viagogo exists. Last year, at Reading alone, the festival organizers estimated that 5,000 people were turned away from the gate having arrived with invalid tickets,” Baker said, who estimates “festival goers in the UK have been defrauded out of a staggering £15m by rip-off merchants selling fake tickets.”