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MSE News: Fans overpay on ticket website, Channel 4 investigation claims

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This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"Channel 4's Dispatches claims the majority of tickets offered for sale on website Viagogo are not from fans ..."
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Comments

  • Martinslovechild
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    It doesn't surprise me in the least that Viagogo and Seatwave are 'in bed' with various promoters. They probably reckon that if people will pay £60 to see a band through a primary ticket agency then they would pay £120 for the same ticket through a secondary ticket agency if a concert sold out very quickly.

    Even the primary ticket agencies (Seetickets, Ticketmaster, Ticketline to name but three of the main ones) have been getting in on the act. There used to be an admin fee which basically covered handling and postage costs. There are now four fees:-
    • Booking Fee (per ticket)
    • Handling Fee (per order)
    • Secure Delivery Fee (per order)
    • Cancellation Cover (optional)
    Note that if somebody wants to purchase one ticket for a concert with a face-value of £25, this is likely to cost them nearer £35 once all the fees have been added - adding 40% to the cost!!

    Additionally, if that same person wants to purchase tickets to two different concerts - even if it's the same band - then they have to place two separate orders. None of the websites for the agencies above allow ticket orders to be combined. The result? Additional Handling Fees and Secure Delivery Fees.

    Note that Secure Delivery is often not an option. It's the only way an agency will send out tickets for many concerts - usually triggering a £5.45 charge.

    I've personally stopped going to as many gigs. I used to see somewhere between 50-60 bands per year but the costs have increased immeasurably. Where I can, I will purchase tickets for a gig at the venue itself before the night of the gig - this way, tickets can be purchased for the face value price - no admin fees, no secure delivery charges, no booking fee - just the price on the ticket. Now that sounds fair.

    I'm hoping that some bands/musicians watching last night's C4 show will think twice before engaging with SJM Concerts and Live Nation in future. They're not only allowing these companies to profiteer from their success but they're also potentially jeopardising their own futures by creating a backlash of angry fans who really want to see them but say "enough's enough".
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  • mdean
    mdean Posts: 189 Forumite
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    Not sure I see the problem - if goods are offered at a price folk are willing to pay - and they get the goods as advertised - well that is the way everything else works - why should gig and sporting tickets be different.

    If people are organised enough to buy early and risk their own money they are entitled to benefit - sjould be a discussion in "up your income"
  • jamesd
    jamesd Posts: 26,103 Forumite
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    "The programme also claimed Viagogo managers set prices for thousands of tickets, despite Viagogo saying that sellers set their own prices" isn't quite right.

    As I recall, the claim was that consumers were setting the price. The difference is that Viagogo itself was claimed to be a seller and so the quoted text would be consistent with its claims if it was doing the selling, but inconsistent with a claim that consumers were setting the price.

    The claim ""Viagogo exists to provide a safe, secure marketplace for the buying and selling of live event tickets. The vast majority of sellers are individuals" was also made in the programme. Note the distinction between:

    1. the vast majority of sellers
    2. the vast majority of tickets sold

    The Viagogo wording carefully claims seller count without addressing the tickets sold count, which the programme claimed were two thirds sold by large players and one third by consumers for one period examined.

    Viagogo, best wishes for your success in restructuring your business during and after the further strife which seems likely to be heading your way. A reliable consumer reseller site that does not support touts has real potential to improve the situation of fans, hopefully profitably. I'm fully supportive of your expressed desire for transparency in this market.
  • Rupert_Bear
    Rupert_Bear Posts: 1,303 Forumite
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    No doubt they will now be more careful when taking on new staff and checking them thoroughly in case it is another undercover stooge.
  • scotsbob
    scotsbob Posts: 4,632 Forumite
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    Basically ticket touting under another name.

    Reselling tickets for football matches and the Olympics illegal. Viagogo lobbied MPs not to include other sporting events and concerts.

    There you go, our elected MPs acting in our interests.
  • buckrogers
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    Once again ' Rip Off Britain'
  • Hardly surprising, for anyone who has tried to purchase tickets online is it!

    Its called creating a false market and gives the impression of more demand for tickets than there is...... On the stock exchange it would be illegal.
  • Neil49
    Neil49 Posts: 3,143 Forumite
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    mdean wrote: »
    Not sure I see the problem - if goods are offered at a price folk are willing to pay - and they get the goods as advertised - well that is the way everything else works - why should gig and sporting tickets be different.

    If people are organised enough to buy early and risk their own money they are entitled to benefit - sjould be a discussion in "up your income"

    Possibly you didn't actually watch the programme but if you had then I doubt you would make such a comment.

    The issue was that these companies were getting ticket allocations in bulk before they were being released to the general public and sticking on a fat profit for themselves and the promoter. So even if you were first in the queue at the Box Office there would have been absolutely no chance of you getting one of those tickets.

    There is only one word to describe what they do - GREED!

    The people who pay for this are the fans who then either don't go to the gig because they simply can't afford to pay or pay through the nose and line the pockets of these glorified ticket touts.

    I have no objection to people using the site to genuinely sell on tickets they can't use (which is how the site promotes itself) but the vast majority of ticket sales are internally generated through bulk ticket deals with artificially high prices and that stinks!

    The sooner this is outlawed the better. :mad:
  • thomasdown
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    Neil49 wrote: »
    Possibly you didn't actually watch the programme but if you had then I doubt you would make such a comment.

    The issue was that these companies were getting ticket allocations in bulk before they were being released to the general public and sticking on a fat profit for themselves and the promoter. So even if you were first in the queue at the Box Office there would have been absolutely no chance of you getting one of those tickets.

    There is only one word to describe what they do - GREED!

    The people who pay for this are the fans who then either don't go to the gig because they simply can't afford to pay or pay through the nose and line the pockets of these glorified ticket touts.

    I have no objection to people using the site to genuinely sell on tickets they can't use (which is how the site promotes itself) but the vast majority of ticket sales are internally generated through bulk ticket deals with artificially high prices and that stinks!

    The sooner this is outlawed the better. :mad:

    I think possibly mdean works for Viagogo or Seatwave lol. The end of the day its mis-representation so therefore theft? But just legal theft! The only way you can hurt these people is just not buy tickets through them? They will soon go under!! Problem sorted!
  • visidigi
    visidigi Posts: 6,455 Forumite
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    Neil49 wrote: »
    Possibly you didn't actually watch the programme but if you had then I doubt you would make such a comment.

    The issue was that these companies were getting ticket allocations in bulk before they were being released to the general public and sticking on a fat profit for themselves and the promoter. So even if you were first in the queue at the Box Office there would have been absolutely no chance of you getting one of those tickets.

    There is only one word to describe what they do - GREED!

    The people who pay for this are the fans who then either don't go to the gig because they simply can't afford to pay or pay through the nose and line the pockets of these glorified ticket touts.

    I have no objection to people using the site to genuinely sell on tickets they can't use (which is how the site promotes itself) but the vast majority of ticket sales are internally generated through bulk ticket deals with artificially high prices and that stinks!

    The sooner this is outlawed the better. :mad:

    To be honest...you missed the important point.

    Viagogo get the tickets in advance, from the promoter.

    Viagogo then price the tickets up.

    Viagogo sell the tickets at X price, say for example, they sell a £100 ticket for £1000.

    They then give a 90% cut back to the promoter. So Viagogo make £90 and the promoter makes £810 on that ticket.

    So although what Viagogo is doing is wrong the promoter must be doing this for the profit on top of what they are obliged to give to the act. Its a complete con job with a simply poisonous process.

    It's why we no longer go to mainstream acts, instead we support up and coming artists where this sort of process simply isn't happening.
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