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Dance don’t cry: buy your festival tickets from the authorised seller

11 October 2017

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is reminding Queenslanders buying tickets for festivals and events this summer not only to be aware of their consumer rights, but also to know their responsibilities.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said while no one wants to miss out on seeing their favourite artist, it’s important that consumers only buy tickets from authorised sellers.

“Before buying festival or event tickets, check who the authorised seller is because if you buy from an unauthorised seller there’s a risk the tickets will be invalid and you may not be allowed into the event, Mr Bauer said.

“If you are considering buying from a ticket seller that you haven’t heard of or dealt with before, read online reviews and ask family and friends if they have had positive experiences before you buy.

“If you are considering buying second-hand tickets - whether in person, via online classified advertising websites, or through ticket resellers - check if the terms and conditions allow this before you buy.

“Some events will only let you in if your name is on the tickets and/or if you can produce the credit card that was used to first purchase the tickets.”

In August 2017 Australian consumer protection regulators strongly recommended caution when considering buying event or concert tickets from online ticket resellers including Viagogo after a large number of complaints were received from consumers.

When buying festival and event tickets:

  • Do your research on the event.
  • Read the terms and conditions before you purchase tickets.
  • Only buy tickets from an authorised seller.
  • If buying tickets online, make sure it is through a secure website (look for the https:).
  • Consider paying with a credit card or payment service like PayPal. If an event is cancelled or changed and no refund is offered, a charge back may be available.
  • Keep all transaction documentation and receipts.
  • Before buying second hand or resale tickets check the venue or event’s restrictions on resale tickets.

Unfortunately things can go wrong with events, so it is important consumers know their rights should the event not deliver on its promises.

“If an event is cancelled or changes significantly, consumers can request a refund,” Mr Bauer said.

“You might also be entitled to a refund if organisers fail to provide products or services that are included in the ticket price like, food and beverage packages or meet and greets.”

To help avoid buying tickets from fake or poorly organised events that could leave you disappointed, consumers should be wary of events that:

  • have no venue announced
  • only provide limited contact details
  • have only tentative dates
  • have unusual payment processes, such as no official ticketing agent or requesting cash only
  • have received lots of complaints or bad reviews online.

For further information visit www.consumerlaw.gov.au/events or contact the Office of Fair Trading on 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

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Last updated
11 October 2017
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