MSE News:Ticket sellers targeted in booking fee crackdown

"Theatre and music ticket sellers are told they must display booking fees clearly when customers buy online ..."
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Ticket sellers targeted in booking fee crackdown

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  • Kite2010
    Kite2010 Posts: 4,304
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    They will just add on booking fees onto the face value and claim that there are "no added booking fees"

    So a £20 + £2 fees ticket will become a £23 + "no booking fees" ticket
  • Kite2010 wrote: »
    They will just add on booking fees onto the face value and claim that there are "no added booking fees"

    So a £20 + £2 fees ticket will become a £23 + "no booking fees" ticket

    As long the price is transparent thats fine.
  • this is a big step in the right direction but I still think that there is a trading standards issue as well as an advertising issue. To explain, a theatre can still advertise a ticket for £20 and an extra £5 compulsory 'booking fee' as long as they are up front with the information. This means that although they are advertising a £20 product, it is not possible to buy the product at £20. Surely, if extras such as booking fees are compulsory, they should be added to the headline price. Imagine a train company advertising tickets for £20 then being charged a compulsory handling fee even when buying the ticket at the station bringing the price to £22!! Whether it is a fair price or not is irrelevant. If it is not possible to buy the ticket for £20 by any means, it should not be legal to be advertised as such. It should be advertised as £20 plus surcharges.
  • JimmyTheWig
    JimmyTheWig Posts: 12,199
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    Kite2010 wrote: »
    They will just add on booking fees onto the face value and claim that there are "no added booking fees"

    So a £20 + £2 fees ticket will become a £23 + "no booking fees" ticket
    That's fair enough. It then makes it easier to compare, so encourages fair competition.

    Previously site A could advertise tickets for £20 and then add a £2 booking fee at the end, while site B could advertise tickets for £21 and not add a booking fee. If I'm looking for tickets, how do I know which is the cheaper site without clicking through the whole process? I don't. Site A looks cheapest so I'll buy from there.

    With the change I'll be able to see the prices up front. Even if Site A changes their price to £23 I'll still see that site B (at £21) is cheaper so I get a better deal.
    Site A will then, rather than try to confuse customers, need to bring down their prices to remain competitive.
  • Percy1983
    Percy1983 Posts: 5,244
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    Never really worried to much about this, but it really should just be in the price or very upfront about it.

    With that booking fees are nothing in comparision to the touts, they need tackling.
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  • I personally have sent tweets to Martin Lewis to try and get him and his team on the case about this issue. I goto quite a lot of gigs and concerts. The likes of Ticketmaster and See Tickets have been doing this for too long.

    For example I very recently bought two tickets priced at £10 each from See Tickets. I got a 'booking fee' and 'handling fee'. They also put on an extra £1 for 'refund protection policy'.....this made my two tickets £27.31. Which is almost a 1/3 extra. I did not notice the 'refund protection policy' and I am guessing there was a small box I had to tick to opt out of that (because basically it is a nonesense way of making a bit of money).

    Pricing needs to be more transparent and these companies, at times, really push the boundaries of ethics.
  • Rudess
    Rudess Posts: 197
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    The whole practice of 'Booking fees' is wrong and should be outlawed.

    When you go to McDonald's, do you pay booking fee for buying a Quarter pounder?

    Ticket companies and venues job is to sell tickets. They make enough money from merchandising, advertising and from events. It's time that the practice of 'booking fees' is outlawed.
  • Percy1983 wrote: »
    With that booking fees are nothing in comparision to the touts, they need tackling.

    I've never seen the issue with touts myself, they purchase a product and sell it at a price the market will pay, just like every other business out there. If the price is too high, then don't buy - its not like its an essential purchase.
  • barnabee
    barnabee Posts: 1,210
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    It's not only online ticket sales that have 'hidden fees'. For example, if you go in person to the Welsh Millennium Centre theatre in Cardiff you will be charged an extra £1.50 a ticket if you pay by debit card, cheque or theatre tokens. They will only waive the fee if you pay in cash.

    Imagine if a supermarket tried to charge £3 extra for paying by debit card for £80 of shopping. Glad to see someone is starting to tackle this rip off.
  • barnabee wrote: »
    It's not only online ticket sales that have 'hidden fees'. For example, if you go in person to the Welsh Millennium Centre theatre in Cardiff you will be charged an extra £1.50 a ticket if you pay by debit card, cheque or theatre tokens. They will only waive the fee if you pay in cash.

    Imagine if a supermarket tried to charge £3 extra for paying by debit card for £80 of shopping. Glad to see someone is starting to tackle this rip off.

    The difference with your example is that it is actually possible to buy at the headline price and in fairness to the theatre you mention, it does cost more to process a credit or debit card payment due to fees they are charged as a merchant. They are simply passing these fees on. The real con is where there is a headline price at which it is not possible to buy since the add ons are compulsory, not optional whereas paying by card is optional.
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