Consumer Protection is warning ticket holders for the upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC 284) event at Perth Arena who bought them from unauthorised resellers at inflated prices may risk being refused entry.
An investigation is currently being carried out to determine whether individuals or companies have breached WA’s ticket scalping laws by selling tickets to the 12 February 2023 event for more than the ten per cent mark-up that is legally allowed.
Tickets purchased from the authorised and exclusive selling agent Ticketek are valid as they are issued in the name of the original buyer. Tickets that are bought through its reselling platform Ticketek Marketplace will also be valid, as the original tickets are cancelled and new tickets re-issued in the name of the person who will attend the event.
However, tickets sold by unauthorised sellers, either via their websites or classified ad sites such as Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace, may not be valid as the tickets could be cancelled if they don’t comply with ticket reselling laws. The tickets may also be fake or sold to multiple people by scammers who place ads using bogus profiles.
Holders of tickets from unauthorised sources that appear to comply with the laws, such as not costing more than a 10 per cent mark-up from the original price, should contact Ticketek to advise that they have been re-sold, provide proof that they comply and ask for the name on the ticket be changed.
Consumers who have tickets from unauthorised sources that don’t comply with the laws should go back to the supplier or individual seller and seek a refund.
It’s recommended that, if a refund is refused or not forthcoming and payment was made either by PayPal or credit card, then the consumer should lodge a payment dispute with PayPal or a credit card chargeback with their bank or credit card provider, and then lodge a complaint with Consumer Protection.
Unauthorised resellers may also try to disguise the inflated ticket prices by offering a package that may include food or accommodation. These sales are allowed but only if the supplier provides a specific breakdown of the costs of goods and services in the package before any money is paid.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe advises ticket buyers to the UFC fight, or any other event, to only purchase through the authorised seller.
“The UFC event is very popular and that’s when ticket scalpers will strike to take advantage of desperate fans who are prepared to pay much higher prices, but could risk disappointment if they are refused entry on the day,” Mr Newcombe said.
“We urge ticket holders to follow our recommendations to ensure tickets issued by unauthorised sources are valid and will be honoured when attending the event. We also warn of the high risk of missing out on the event and being out of pocket when buying tickets from anyone but the authorised seller or reseller.”
Recent changes to the Australian Consumer Law now require online ticket resellers to clearly disclose that they are not the primary ticket provider, as well as prominently display the original price of tickets, making it easier to identify if the ticket sale is legal or not.
These changes complement the WA Ticket Scalping Act which came into effect on 10 September 2021, making it illegal for online resellers to sell most tickets to Western Australian events for more than 10 per cent on top of the original price. They also have to identify the location of the seat or viewing spot for each ticket.
Fines range from $2,000 in infringements notices to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for companies if the matter goes to court. Even higher penalties apply to those using ‘bots’ to purchase bulk tickets which is also illegal in WA.