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UK European Consumer Centre

Tickets companies banned from misleading consumers

Picture of a ticket booth with a sold out sign onTicket sellers Viagogo AG, StubHub UK, Seatwave Ltd and GET ME IN! Ltd have been investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority who have declared that the way they advertise their prices was misleading to the public.

As an avid festival and concert goer myself I take this issue quite seriously as it can be a detriment to fans and musicians.  Less music is being purchased and consumers are turning to festivals and concerts creating a new golden age of live music. The bad news is that there are companies trying to take advantage of this.

There has been lots in the media recently about secondary ticket selling websites and their practices but what is all the fuss about and what is the law on ticket selling in the EU?

The law across the EU is very clear that before any purchase is made the final price of the goods should be prominently displayed when you checkout and any further charges have to be very clearly displayed. With the 4 companies in question it appears they have not been doing this.

Another problem in the secondary ticket market is that consumer don’t know they are buying second hand tickets.  No sooner than the tickets go on sale from original sources you can find them at highly inflated prices on the secondary ticket market.

Here’s what you can do to put yourself in the best situation when buying tickets

  1. Visit the artist’s official website - there you can find links to the official selling website and determine if the event still has availability.
  2. Don’t click the first option given to you on a search engine - companies pay for advertising placement so if you search online for “tickets for Ed Sheeran” or Tickets for Iron Maiden” (whatever your preference) the companies who have paid the most will be displayed at the top of the list
  3. Look for reviews on the company - If you search the name of the company with the word “reviews” you will find other people’s experiences with that company

If you think that you have been caught out by the practices of a company who is not acting within the law give us a call on 01268 886690 or email in to

No one should lose out on something they enjoy and by reporting it and avoiding it you are contributing to wiping out this kind of practice

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