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An online company must hand over personal data of its customers, according to a High Court ruling. Viagogo Ltd has been ordered to supply the names, addresses and credit card information of people who used their website to advertise and sell England rugby match tickets. The web-based intermediary will also have to divulge the …

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Happy

Valuable China Piggy Bank for sale.

Contains one ticket for England Rugby match. My daughter dropped the ticket into the pig and my wife has forbidden me to break the pig so I'm selling it. You are paying face value for the ticket of course but the pig has a sentimental value - best offers over 200 quid please....

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Second ticket agencies are the problem..

Touts are fairly grubby but they essentially served a useful function in limited numbers. It's pretty common to arrange to go to a gig/event with a group of friends and have the unreliable mate fail to show up. Offload the ticket to the tout by the door, he sells it on to another group that have had an extra person turn up. Over simplified example I'll admit but pretty much how it worked for years. These second ticketing websites all drink too much of the kool-aid, they claim to be on the side of fans by allowing easy resale of 'unwanted' tickets but they merely solve a problem they alone created. The reason gigs sell out in 5 mins these days has nothing to do with more people suddenly being interested in live music/sport and everything to do with people who have no intention of attending trying to make a quick buck. ViaGoGo, Seatwave etc.. are helping no-one but their VC backers and the sooner legislation is brought in to shut them down the better. Will you ever stop touting, no, but you can knock these guys out of the market and allow people to actually buy tickets for events they want to see.

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Anonymous Coward

heh

I've never really understood (I mean I technically understand it) the hostility to people selling their tickets, sure if you're selling dozens (but then you shouldn't be allowed to get dozens)

In Japan it's a great way of getting concert tickets, and fanclub members can get different tickets, and sell them if they don't like the position (allowing us dirty foreigners to go to the concerts) seen as most tickets are sold blind, it's like a massive musical chairs in the weeks leading up to an event.

As well as people selling tickets on yahoo auctions (mmm macross frontier concert and old school perfume concert how we miss you)

good times, good times.

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Grenade

Call me a cynic ...

but the fact it's fairly easy to prevent ticket resale, and the fact that few acts/venues/agencies actually do so tells me this is a "problem" that the people in charge don't actually want solved.

Remember the Led Zeppelin O2 gig ? They insisted the credit card used to buy the tickets was presented at the door. And there are myriad other techniques that could be inexpensively used to tie a ticket to the original purchaser. Driving license number. NI number. A photo of the purchaser.

Grenade Icon, because my last post got downvoted for no reason I can see, but y'all can suck on this anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

beats me

There are literally several ways promoters could prevent resale of ticket.

Many low or zero cost and no inconvenience to anyone in the chain.

I would hate to suggest that self-interest and a ready supply of tickets to sell at a quick buck would sway anyone's integrity.

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You're a cynic.

That kind of thing can still be massively inconvenient for legitimate purchasers.

For example, my wife and I often go to concerts with a couple of friends. Being friends, we like to sit next to each other and the only way to do that is for one of the group to buy all the tickets at the same time. OK so far.

Our problem is that we live on opposite sides of the city and it's not usually practical for all of us to arrive at the venue at the same time and enter together, so we take our individual pairs of tickets and just meet up inside 90% of the time. If you introduce a rule meaning the ticket purchaser has to be present at entry then more often than not we'd end up missing part of the show because most venues don't have somewhere convenient outside where lots of people can easily meet.

And it's even worse if you want to buy tickets as a gift - you'd have to go to the concert yourself. I can't see my granny wanting to go and see Slipknot for example. Mind you, being dead she doesn't like to go out much at all these days.

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Anonymous Coward

yes they do.

They're called....parking lots. And as for granny, I bet she still votes, too.

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Dutch auction

Surely now ticket sales are mainly online, a Dutch auction would be the way to go?

Start the tickets off at some ridiculous price, a million pounds or something and let that fall gradually over the course of a week or so. The first to buy pay most but get the best choice of seats.

That would eliminate large scale touting, because a tout could only buy tickets at a price nobody else is willing to pay, so the opportunity to profit would be limited. Touts wouldn't be able to snap up all the tickets as soon as they went on sale (or at least, not at a price they could profit from).

The bulk of the tickets would sell at a price most people felt was fair, and all of the money would go to the organisers not some bunch of leeches. Win win.

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Demand is the issue, not price

The mark-up on a touted ticket is related to the underlying demand for the ticket, not its price. Using a Dutch auction doesn't tackle the supply/demand problem at all, if anything it just means that everybody pays more. Take Google I/O. Tickets would have sold for much more than the $450 Google asked for if a Dutch auction had been in place. And still there would have been a lively second hand market because of the ratio of demand to supply.

The solution to this problem must:

- make it easy and cheap for people to return tickets they can't use,

- provide a fair way of redistributing returned tickets, and

- make it hard for somebody not directly related to the original purchaser to use them.

This invariably leads us back to identity - personal or financial.

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Price reflects demand

In most markets demand is reflected in the price. If ticket prices are kept artificially low, it is no wonder there is are touts.

In a Dutch auction the price will reflect demand, if that turns out to be a high price, so be it. But it would kill the secondary market surely, because a tout would have to buy the tickets at a higher cost than most people are prepared to pay and then try to sell them for even more than that. Everyone already had the opportunity to buy them at the higher price and decided not to.

(I am not saying there would be absolutely no touts, but it would be a riskier and less lucrative business).

The question now becomes one of fairness. Is it fair that people who are willing and able to pay more for the tickets to get them instead of people who can't or won't pay as much?

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Go

RE: Demand is the issue, not price

"- make it easy and cheap for people to return tickets they can't use,

- provide a fair way of redistributing returned tickets, and

- make it hard for somebody not directly related to the original purchaser to use them."

Everything I was going to say, saves me a post.

Oops ;-)

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Silver badge

For sell out events, yes

Yes, for sell out events the price will be higher, but for other events that don't sell out, the price will be lower, and all the seats will be sold.

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Anonymous Coward

Easy solution - Ticketer should accept tickets back.

Ticket supplier (ie venues and agencies) should buy tickets back, maybe minus an admin fee until the physical ticket is mailed out.

The fact they don't helps create the secondary market, most times I've been at an allegely sold out show or event I've seen empty seats. No doubt something cropped up and the original purchaser could

not go, but as no-one accept's tickets back they can't easily be sold on.

Theres the issue of not filling a venue to capacity and people buying more tickets and returning them, hence the need for an admin fee (maybe like holiday booking a sliding scale say 10% a month before to no refund if you cancel the day before) to stop abuse and there is a counterfeiting angle but for events that only send the tickets out a few weeks in advance theres really no reason why they can't accept a return, make a refund and resell it before the ticket is sent out.

The ticket agency would get the admin fee, the event would still sell loads, and the touts and the resale website potentially would get less traffic.

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Flame

Ticketmaster

The RFU site directs you to Ticketmaster where you can buy tickets for, say, England XV v Barbarians:

A £40.00 ticket costs £43.20

A £25.00 ticket costs £27.25

Now, who's selling tickets above face value?

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Fees

The ticket cost and fees are separate.

8% isn't what I'd call extortionate for the convenience of not having to go to the ground and queue to buy tickets, and instead have them sent to your door.

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FAIL

@Fees

I don't mind a small one-off 'processing fee' but what people seem to forget is that an online purchase costs the vendor much less to fulfill than one made over the counter at a ticket office, or over the phone. The end-to-end process doesn't need any manual intervention: sales, fraud checking, payment, ticket printing, envelope stuffing - right up to the point the postman collects a bag of envelopes pre-sorted by postcode to get a better postage rate. It can all be done hands off (OK granted we need to load blank tickets, envelopes, ink).

The ones that really irritate me are those that make the charge 'per ticket' regardless of the method of payment, delivery, or place of purchase. All the big west end shows seem to rake, sorry, take this approach, it's just a way of being able to advertise one price and then cover all your admin costs by adding 'one last thing' as you check out.

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Stop

I agree

The admin fees are mostly a bloody con. So lets see, a ticket site can sell a ticket and add its own "admin fees" and that's ok but if you resell a ticket and add your own "fee" then that's not?

You bought the ticket, you should be able to do with it as you see fit - including reselling it. If someone wants to buy it then guess what? supply and demand.

Ticket touts simply would not exist if people did not want to buy the tickets in the first place.

These "admin" fees are one of the main reasons I refuse to goto concerts etc - on top of the eye watering parking charges etc.

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Bronze badge

Naive

"You bought the ticket, you should be able to do with it as you see fit"

cf

"You bought the gun - you should be able to do with it as you see fit"

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Grenade

Sorted then

I'll sell any tickets I have for face value but with a fee added to the price - that way I can say that I am selling the tickets at face value and only charging a fee like ticketmaster. That my fee will be high is another point......

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The problem is that often you cannot buy tickets for these games

Lots of tickets are allocated for sale to the various clubs, and local unions around the country. For example, I used to be able to get a couple of tickets for any Twickenham match from my grandad, since he was an ex president of Suffolk RFU.

The RFU want to cut down on people buying these tickets solely for the purpose of touting them, which is what seems to happen a lot. I suspect they want to crack down on these particular touts pour encourager les autres, which is a lot cheaper and easier to do than adding additional technology. The 'facilitated trespass' argument is quite clever and cast on solid, they probably didn't even have to pay their lawyers.

Also, checking credit cards against tickets may work for 15k people going to a concert, trying to do it for 90k is a bit more problematic. It's hard enough getting in and out of Twickenham on match days without an additional 30 second delay on the gates.

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FAIL

You're forgetting

You should ask TicketMaster to do the same thing!!

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WTF?

Hypocrisy - and lies

I bought rugby tickets for one of the England games. I bought through ticketmaster, as that was the only way to do it. Not only was there absolutely nothing in my terms & conditions about not being able to resell the ticket but in the email receipt for my purchase was the following:

"GET ME IN! - Fan Resale Marketplace

Unable to go? Resell your ticket at GET ME IN! (GET ME IN! Limited is an independent company owned by the Ticketmaster Group)."

So the only authorised agent that sells these tickets actually advertises its own resale venue for these tickets when you purchase them. The RFU might have their heart in the right place but their head is up their arse.

And who is going to be prosecuted for trespassing? Not the people selling the tickets, as they did not enter the stadium...

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