It´s now safer to shop for tickets online

Thursday, 29. September 2011

Buying tickets for music and sporting events on the internet is now much less likely to end in tears, following a crackdown on problematic websites which sold tickets to non-existent events or which failed to explain whether the buyer would get a refund or not, if the event was cancelled. The EU co-ordinated „Sweep“ investigation was launched in September 2010 by national authorities in all Member States, Norway and Iceland. Of the 414 websites originally checked, 88% now comply with EU-wide consumer rules, compared with only 40% in 2010. The main problems which were identified initally were:

  • Missing, incomplete or misleading information about the price (e.g. hidden taxes or handling charges), 94% of sites now display clear, and accurate information about the total cost, including delivery charges and all other extra costs, compared with 55% in early 2010.
  • Unfair terms and conditions (e.g. ticket delivery was not guaranteed on time, or the site failed to explain whether the buyer would get a refund or not if the event was cancelled), 92% of the websites checked now display fair terms and conditions, compared to 57% in early 2010.
  • Missing, incomplete or misleading information about the trader (e.g. the trader falsely claiming to be an authorised representative), 93% of the websites checked now provide the required trader details such as the name, address and e-mail, compared to 72% in early 2010.

In 2009, about 39% of EU consumers who ever purchased anything online bought tickets either for a cultural or sporting event. This trend results in better deals and more choices for many buyers. But one of the consequences is also a large number of consumer complaints in this product category. The European Consumer Centres (ECC) report that 30% of the complaints about online shopping which they handled concerned Recreation and Culture services, of which Cultural and Sport Events form a large part.

More information is available here.