Gone are the days in Western Australia where if you had your heart set on attending a sold-out event or concert you would have little choice but to fork-out hundreds of dollars more for a ticket than it was originally worth.
This is because new ticket scalping laws have taken effect that restricts the resale of tickets to a maximum ten per cent mark-up from the original price. Also outlawed is the use of software known as ‘bots’ that bypass security measures to make bulk ticket purchases.
Aside from putting restrictions on price gouging by ticket scalpers, re-sellers will also be required to identify the location of the seat or viewing spot for each ticket.
It is now Consumer Protection’s role to enforce the new measures and as Commissioner I have sent notices to seven online re-sellers advising them of the new laws and heavy penalties they could face for failing to comply. Fines ranging from $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for companies await those who break the law, with even higher penalties applying for those using ‘bots’ to purchase tickets.
In the lead-up to the AFL Grand Final – WA’s first major event since the new laws took effect – we have been proactively monitoring resale websites to ensure tickets are being advertised for resale in line with the legislation and we will investigate complaints received from consumers.
While the new laws will go a long way towards ensuring fairer ticket prices in the resale market, our best advice is for consumers to only buy tickets from authorised sellers to protect their refund rights if the event is postponed or cancelled.
Purchasing via re-sellers, particularly if they are based overseas, can be risky as people may find that their tickets are either invalid or fake and they are denied entry to the event when they turn up. Also remember that re-sellers often pay to be on top of internet search results, so look beyond them when searching online.