Category Archives: Secondary Tickets

Mining for Tickets – Touts & Ticket Stealing Bots

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Automated ticket mining bots can get around security measures designed to limit ticket purchases. These bots can hoover up hundreds of tickets within seconds of their release. The tickets then almost immediately appear at vastly inflated prices on resale websites.

In early 2017 Viagogo a secondary ticketing website was accused of “moral repugnance” for reselling tickets to an Ed Sheeran cancer charity gig for up to £5,000. An £85 seat to see Adele at the London O2 in 2016 was reportedly being sold online for £24,840.

The use of bots will soon become a criminal offence as part of a crackdown on resale websites. Touts who use bots to mine for concert tickets before selling them for massive profits – and blocking fans from seeing their favourite artists – will also face unlimited fines.

Ticketing firms must introduce tougher anti-bot measures and stronger enforcement of consumer rights laws. Presently, too much lip service is paid to the problem without any real steps being taken to combat it. 

Sources

  • Sky News
  • Sky Sports News

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Ticket Resellers, “Legal” Domestic Touts, Illegal Offshore Touts

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It is important that fans understand that there are different types of secondary ticket companies. Some of these outfits have no affiliation with associations, football clubs, or supporters clubs and are often based offshore so that they are not subject to UK law.

The general resale of football tickets in the UK was banned in 1994 because of safety fears over the possibility of rival fans mingling together. Only outlets officially authorised by clubs can offer unwanted seats. But tickets are not always sold at face value on these websites even though they are authorised by a club to act as an authorised ticket reseller. Other clubs do have deals with resellers where tickets cannot be sold for more than face value.

But overseas firms can avoid UK consumer law and the Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers warns the online trade allows unscrupulous firms to “dupe unsuspecting ticket buyers”.

Under UK law, tickets advertised must include the cost and location of seats in the stadium. But during the course of 5 live Investigates research they found many examples where this did not happen or the tickets arrived late. The investigation also found that Premier League tickets with a face value of £23 were being be resold for as much as £130 each.

In a bid to clamp down on illegal trading clubs commenced seizing tickets in recent years.

Ticketbis

One firm, Ticketbis, was found to have distributed season tickets and it was also claimed it was reselling tickets associated with people already banned from a stadium. When asked to respond to the allegations, Ticketbis, which is based in Spain, said it is a “secure online platform that works as an intermediary between individuals that want to buy and sell tickets in 40 countries”. The company did not comment on the illegal sale of football tickets.

Acknowledgements & Sources

  • Alistair Magowan, Journalist (Article dated 22nd February 2016)
  • BBC Sport
  • Sky Sport
  • BBC 5 Live Investigates

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