Fair trading / No-go tickets mean no show

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PICTURE this: your favourite singer is coming to Canberra (yes, Canberra!) as part of an upcoming tour! Woo hoo!

David Snowden.

You quickly Google the concert and buy what you think are the best tickets in the house. As the event quickly sells out you feel just a little smug that you purchased your tickets so quickly and from the first website your search engine turned up. What luck!

On the day of the show, you turn up with your tickets in hand or the ticket barcode on your phone for scanning, pumped and ready to rock it out.

But before the curtain even rises, it closes, as you discover that your tickets are not worth the paper they are printed on. Unfortunately, in your haste to secure tickets you bought fake ones through an unofficial seller.

So the only rocking you’ll be doing is back and forth as you realise you’ve not only missed the gig but have lost a couple of hundred dollars.

Thinking this couldn’t happen to you or in Canberra? The above is actually a scenario that our local venues see play out all too often as people are duped by dodgy online ticket resellers.

Canberrans can also be stung as they often travel interstate for shows or sporting matches so not only lose out on the cost of the ticket, but any associated accommodation, travel and other costs.

To help spread awareness of this issue Access Canberra is partnering with the Raiders, Canberra Theatre and Canberra United, as well as some local music talent, to remind the community of how they can protect themselves from dodgy, online ticket resellers.

On game-day screens and before shows there will be messages from our sporting and music greats.

In practical terms it’s important to:

  • check the artist or event’s official verified pages for the authorised ticket sellers;
  • if you search for the event online, look out for advertising that often sees ticket resellers appear before the link to the official ticket seller;
  • If you are buying a ticket from a reseller, you should double check that the price is in Australian dollars, you know where your seat allocation is (if applicable) and the final price compares to the official ticket price for the same tickets – watch for any extra fees at checkout.

And, as always, read the terms and conditions (the fine print!) before buying tickets to any event. This is your contract with the ticketing agent and it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities. Keep all information you have about it, including ticket receipts, in case of any dispute later.

If an event is cancelled, you are entitled to a full refund from the company that sold you the ticket. Remember, if you’re buying tickets from a private seller instead of a business (such as on an online marketplace), Australian Consumer Law does not apply and you will not be able to get a refund.

If you have difficulty receiving a refund for a failed event from the ticketing company, you can contact your bank for a credit card chargeback.

More information  at act.gov.au/fairtrading or consumerlaw.gov.au/Tickets

David Snowden is the ACT Fair Trading commissioner.

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