Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Hidden charges give rise to dramatic increases in theatre tickets

Which? Consumer have just published a report on the hidden costs that consumers did not realise they were paying for, when ordering theatre or concert tickets on line.  In fact, this has so incensed the consumer forum, that they are starting a campaign, “Play Fair on Ticket Fees,” to raise awareness of this state of affairs, that has seen some businesses charging up to 38% more to unassuming consumers. The difficulty facing customers is that there is no consistency across Britain around what is and is not charged on top of the admission price and along with a lack of transparency on fees and admissions that is putting people off seeing live performances.

Customers who make a concerted effect to save money face additional costs

Consumer complaints included charges levied at customers for printing out their own tickets at home or additional charges for collecting them from the box office where the show or concert was taking place. So not only do you have to pay for the ticket but also cover the cost of your own printing ink, paper plus electricity to run the equipment to print it out yourself and get charged again for the privilege of doing so? Even worse, actually going to collect your ticket could also cost you money, even though the venue is not actually having to do anything like pay for posting to send them out to you!

When questioned about why people were charged for printing out their own tickets, Ticketmaster explained that this generated a cost because their company has to “provide access control systems to check the ticket at venues.” In my day, access control systems meant having someone standing the door, tearing off one end of the ticket and telling you where your seat is, aka an usherette. Surely these venues have to provide people at the doors and exit points from a health and safety point of view, so why can’t they scan your ticket to ensure you have printed off the correct one? Or issue them with the old hand held point of sale scanners if it is a barcode that has to be read.

The final curtain call for ticketing agents?

I think the truth of the matter comes out in the statement from See Tickets who said that as they did not get anything from event organisers for selling the tickets, then most ticketing companies have to charge added fees to make any money. Which? are clear that ticketing businesses who don’t display their compulsory charges would fall foul of the Advertising Standards Authority regulations, as well as unfair trading regulations.
I would say that ticketing organisations who are not upfront about their trading practices and stand behind such ridiculous statements around the cost of access control systems will continue to fall foul of the paying customer and then it will mean facing their final curtain call.
Unfortunately, this could have a knock on effect on live venues and entertainment events, if you have been charged over and above the odds for concert or theatre tickets let us know at iRateiSlate -we're listening!


Post a Comment

Please be Courteous, Respect other Peoples Views and refrain from Posting Unlawful Content.


Socialise With Us

© iRateiSlate LTD 2012 - 2013 | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer