I’m going to make this very clear. I DO NOT LIKE TICKET SCALPERS ONE BIT. In fact to use ‘Do Not Like’ is an understatement, I would rather be more blue in my language to describe ticket scalpers but there will need to be a lot of editing required and this blog will turn into a case of fill in the blanks. But I’m sure you can understand my disgust at these leeches.
Prepare for me to climb into my rocking chair and trot out the out chestnut that is ‘Back in my day’, but ‘back in my day’ we would line up for tickets in order to attend concerts. Many a time there would be frantic phone calls place through to Red Eye Records in Sydney’s CBD asking/pleading if there were any tickets left for whichever show or festival I was trying to get tickets to.
Gone are the days of queuing like civilised people and making friends along the way waiting for the store to open in order to get tickets. Now it’s a case of ‘please internet don’t die on me now’, followed by the agonising wait of your computer screen telling you that ‘we’re processing your order, please do not refresh’.
As the way we have purchased tickets evolved so have ticket scalpers. Gone are the days of them standing near the venue holding tickets in their hand trying to flog them for 3 times the price, now it’s all done online via third party websites like Ebay and Viagogo (don’t buy tickets from these sites, because they’re too expensive and most probably fake). Even the way scalpers purchase the tickets have changed because now there’s software that automatically purchases multiple tickets without the person needing to be anywhere near their computer. It’s not 4 or 8 tickets, it’s in the hundreds for one individual to make a tonne of money off.
So why am I so anti this? What have I got against people being entrepreneurs? Because genuine fans who save their hard earned cash to be able to buy a ticket at $100 miss out and then in order to go and see their favourite artist or band they are forking out 3 to 6 times that amount, for one ticket. The band doesn’t benefit from the extra money spent on the ticket, or the venue, or the staff, or the roadies, or the sound person, or the riggers who put the stages together. Nup, one person’s greed is the only thing that benefits.
So it is with great delight that I jump on the Peter Garrett and consumer advocacy group Choice’s anti-scalpers bandwagon. Choice a week ago filed complaints against third party websites Ticketmaster Resale and Viagogo and has referred their findings to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The former member for Kingsford-Smith and frontman of the newly reformed Midnight Oil, Peter Garrett took to Twitter recently with a few suggestions
1. Change the law to make it a criminal offence to use ‘bots’ to buy tickets
Yep, let’s go back to the good old days of lining up in the freezing cold of winter for tickets to a show in summer or at the very least having a chance when you log on to buy tickets that you can actually get them! Also Obama actually signed off on legislation which is now law to make ticket bots illegal in the US. Why can’t we do this here?
2. Change the law to place cap on the premium anybody can see to charge on a resold concert ticket
What a novel idea! Only charge people for the ticket they do not want/need the same amount for which they paid for it, it sounds so simple!
3. Get the ACCC and/or Fair Trading Departments to enforce the Trade Practices act to stop Viagogo’s deceptive and misleading conduct
Thank You Peter Garrett!
Feel free to comment on this blog on whether you agree or disagree, personally for me as a music fan I hope for the ability to be able to see your favourite artists in concert to be a fair opportunity not one that’s spoilt by someone else with a computer and a credit card!