The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) clamped down today (7 March) on the four main secondary ticketing operators, banning them from misleading ticket prices.
The action against StubHub, Viagogo, Seatwave and GET ME IN! follows ongoing concerns about secondary ticketing sites, with government guidelines announced in February to help protect consumers from being scammed.
Following formal investigations, the ASA found that the advertisers were ‘not upfront and clear with consumers about additional ticket fees and charges that were added at the end of the booking process.’
It has banned the sites from: ‘not making clear the total ticket price at the beginning of the customer journey’, ‘not including the booking fee (inclusive of VAT) upfront’, and ‘not making clear the applicable delivery fee’.
In addition, Viagogo has been banned from naming itself as an ‘official site’ which was found to misleadingly imply that it was ‘an official primary ticket outlet rather than a second-hand ticket website.’
It has also been banned from making the claim ‘100% Guarantee’, following an investigation of an ad which suggested that consumers who bought Viagogo tickets would be guaranteed entry into an Ed Sheeran concert, ‘when that was not the case’.
ASA chief executive, Guy Parker, said: ‘Many of us will recognise the frustration of being happy with the initial price of tickets on a secondary website, only to be stung by hefty fees when we come to book.
‘The message from our rulings is simple and it’s clear: the price you see at the start should be the price you pay at the end.’
See other recent stories related to secondary ticketing here.