Consumer Rights Bill


APPG TICKET ABUSE AMENDMENT TO CONSUMER RIGHTS BILL

 

On 9th March 2015 the House of Commons accepted the Lords amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill around Secondary Ticketing, proposed by Lord Moynihan. The amendment formed a part of the final Bill, and it is now law.

This is a great victory in the fight to clean up the secondary ticketing market, however we know there is still much to do, especially in ensuring these regulations are followed and that those guilty or offences are prosecuted.

What does the amendment in the Act do?

The clause will increase transparency in the secondary ticketing market, improving the information available to consumers when buying tickets, helping to prevent and detect ticket fraud, expose and reduce insider dealing of tickets, and assisting event-holders to protect consumers from the worst excesses of ticket touting by giving them the information needed to enforce their terms and conditions.

It also sets up a review process that will enable a continued process of reforming this market in the interests of fans.

Specifically it will:

  • Provide greater transparency for fans, with the following details required to be provided by resellers: Seat number or standing information, if any restrictions apply (Student price or under 18), face value.
  • Compel the Secretary of State to review measures relating to Secondary Ticketing in 12 months and report to Parliament.
  • Put a duty on ticket resellers to report criminal activity, and levies a fine of up to £5000 for those not reporting it when they are aware.

 

Why was this needed?

We know there’s a need for a secondary market, but the market is broken. There’s no transparency at the moment, and it’s this lack of transparency which leads to consumers getting ripped off – whether that’s artificially high prices, or counterfeit tickets. This Clause is about reforming the market to make sure it protects and gets the best deal for consumers, instead of operating in the interests of a handful of touts.

Who benefits from this change?

Members of the ticket-buying public, who can make better-informed decisions and can have greater confidence in the secondary ticketing market due to the new obligation to report criminal activity. The event organisers will also benefit as they will now have more powers to track if their tickets are being illegally re-sold.

 

Who supported this change?

These measures are supported by a wide range of stakeholders from the live-event sector, including sports NGBs and many key players in the music industry, including UK Music and the 80 plus people and groups that signed the APPG organised letter to the Sunday Independent (http://www.completemusicupdate.com/article/open-letter-on-secondary-ticketing-calling-on-the-government-to-back-amendments-to-the-consumer-rights-bill/). Legislation along these lines has also been recommended in the final report of Operation Podium, the Metropolitan Police unit set up to monitor ticket crime around the Olympic Games

 

Who opposed this change?

The secondary ticketing market and the touts who currently benefits from the lack of transparency.

Speaking after the amendment was passed:

Sharon Hodgson MP says:

“My APPG colleagues and I have campaigned for years to make some real changes to this broken marketplace. The use of new technology has enabled touts to hoover up tickets and drive up prices at the expense of genuine fans, and the law needs to finally address this issue. It is becoming harder and harder for ordinary people to go to see the teams, events or bands that they love, meaning that attending these events will become the preserve of the well-off. I am pleased that the Government has finally recognised the importance of regulation with regard to Secondary Ticketing, which will be to the benefit of us all.” 

Sharon added: “While the new amendment does not cover every change that we had hoped for it is an important step in the right direction. I look forward to the independent review on this issue and I hope that in it we will be able to address even more ways of improving this market in the interests of the fans, like increasing transparency still further to include the sellers identity, which is ultimately the key to cleaning up this industry. The only people that may be unhappy with these regulations are the touts, but I for one was very happy to see a real step forward yesterday in this campaign to at last put fans first. ”

Mike Weatherley MP says:

“This has been a long standing campaign by the APPG to get some overdue changes in place. The free market system has broken down due to the introduction of ‘bots’ and other factors, enabling, on occasions, obscene profiteering for intermediaries against the interest of fans and the wishes of those putting on the event. I am pleased that the Government has recognised the importance of regulation with regard to Secondary Ticketing, which will be to the benefit of us all.”

Mike added: “While the new amendment does not cover every change that we had hoped for, it is an important step in the right direction. I believe that the report on this issue, that will now become mandatory and be delivered to Parliament in the next 12 months, is important and look forward to seeing if further changes need to made in the future.”

e information at www.putfansfirst.co.uk, or contact tyed@parliament.uk