It won't come as a great surprise to the majority of people to be reminded that many music fans are getting seriously ripped off in the ticket market.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport have for some years now been having a series of meetings with industry representatives; this has had a stated aim of improving things for fans. The latest report published February 2010 has concluded that "the best way forward is to encourage a strong, self- regulated primary market, but one that recognises the need for a healthy and safe secondary market.'
They note that "there has been a shift to understanding and acceptance of the secondary market. This brings the industry more into line with the views of the public who broadly favour a healthy secondary market"
This indicates that the powers that be are broadly happy with the current condition of the ticket market
This indicates that the powers that be are broadly happy with the current condition of the ticket market and believe that it will adequately self-regulate, "While we prefer that the industry takes its own measures to ensure the public receives the best possible service, we will not rule out taking action if the industry fails to do this."
We fully understand the reluctance to adopt measures that may make the situation more restrictive and difficult but have serious concerns about the fact that there has been inadequate information and statistical data gathered. The fact that there is insufficient information about the true nature and extent of the problem faced by the ticket buying public muddies the waters and allows the current unsatisfactory state of fairs to continue.
The ticket buying public have found it very difficult to report fraudulent websites, the authorities often refusing to accept complaints and issue a crime number; this in turn means that the full extent of the problem is not showing up in the crime statistics, often the fraudulent activity is not recognised as a crime by the police. Consumers are often sent from one office to another and sometimes this results in the fact that they give up on reporting offences of this nature due to the difficulties they face when attempting to do so.
The ticket buying public have found it very difficult to report fraudulent websites
There are difficulties with some of the agencies that should be dealing with ticketing issues, there is little 'joined up' thinking, co-operation or sharing of information countrywide, therefore the response consumers get will be dependent upon where they live and whether or not the authorities in their area are aware of the issues and how they prioritise it.
There is little doubt that the current state of affairs leaves the market wide open allowing scam sites to continue to flourish and the current climate within the ticket industry leaves the consumer with very little protection.
Consumers do want choices but those choices are getting more limited the longer that the secondary ticket market is able to be used as a front for touts and scammers. Some legitimate ticket outlets have begun auctioning popular tickets, quite what the difference is between this new practice by legitimate ticket outlets and e-bay is anybody's guess, but it a certainly that more primary ticket sellers will be adopting this practice - this means that the best and most popular tickets for gigs are going to go to those who can pay the most. However, on the positive side if you do buy in this way from legitimate outlets you will a least get your tickets even if you do pay way over the odds. But are on line auctions really the way forward for the most popular tickets? You pay your money and you make your choice, perhaps that wouldn't be so sinister if it were not for the fact that so many people are getting caught up in ticket scams - loosing out on both tickets and money in many cases.
Safeconcerts only recommends primary ticket agents because of the fact that the touts and fraudsters can hide so well and effectively in the secondary market.
We do recognise that some people do want to have the choice and are happy to pay well over the odds for their tickets, so if you are going to purchase from a secondary site please do take the time to check them out and make sure that the site you are buying from is not fraudulent - check out our ticket buying advice here
If you do a little bit of homework before buying tickets you should be okay - be aware and be ticket safe - there's some wonderful events out there make sure that when you buy your ticket you'll get to that gig!The Office of Fair Trading
have a couple of reports into ticketing. The report was written in 2005. Ticket agents in the UK report
(pdf 447 kb) and annexes
(pdf 753 kb) . There is also a basic consumer advice document for people buying tickets. Questions for consumers to consider when buying tickets
(pdf 60 kb)The Department of Culture, Media and Sports latest report
Be a little bit aware and you'll be 'ticket safe'
We at safeconcerts.com recommend that you only buy tickets from primary ticket outlets