East Ayrshire Council Lead the Way with Successful Crackdown on Ticket Tout
Following a pioneering investigation undertaken in conjunction with Trading Standards Scotland, East Ayrshire Council’s Trading Standards Service have issued a four figure financial penalty to a prolific ticket reseller located in the West of Scotland.
This was the first such fine to be issued in Scotland and, on being paid without appeal, has also become the first successful case of its kind in the UK.
The financial penalty related to tickets being resold for Still Game’s run of shows at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. Information regarding the seating location was not disclosed, contrary to s.90 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Tickets for Still Game are being offered at inflated prices through ticket resale sites, despite face value tickets still being available on the primary market for some shows.
Councillor Jim McMahon, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at East Ayrshire Council said “We are committed to ensuring consumers are given the information they need, and which is required by law, in order for them to make informed choices”.
Fiona Richardson, Chief Officer for Trading Standards Scotland said “Our work in this area continues and it is anticipated this will pave the way for our local authority colleagues across the country to pursue similar action”.
Andrew Bartlett, Chief Executive of consumeradvice.scot said “When it comes to secondary ticketing, Scots consumers have rights they may not be aware of. Buyers must be told where they are sitting or standing, any restrictions, and the face value of the ticket. Our advisers can offer free and impartial advice on this matter and, by teaming up with Trading Standards, we can report sellers who have not complied with requirements and help achieve further enforcement to stamp out unlawful practices”.
Consumers can report misleading ticket sellers to Trading Standards via consumeradvice.scot, on freephone 0808 164 6000, or via e-mail to email@example.com Their advisers can also offer free and impartial advice to assist consumers in pursuing their rights.
The methodology and approach used by Trading Standards Scotland and East Ayrshire Council was different to that used in an earlier appeal case in England, which resulted in 4 fines being overturned and 10 others being abandoned.
s.90 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies to any person who re-sells a ticket for a recreational, sporting or cultural event in the United Kingdom, through a secondary ticketing facility. It requires the buyer to be told:
- Information necessary to identify the seating or standing area that the ticket relates to;
- Information about any restriction limiting use of the ticket to persons of a particular description (e.g: disabled access, age restrictions)
- The face value of the ticket (the amount stated on the ticket as its price); and
- If the reseller of the ticket has a relationship with the secondary ticketing platform, organiser or their agents then this must also be disclosed
Local Authorities can issue financial penalties of up to £5000 in respect of breaches of the above.
consumeradvice.scot provides free, practical and impartial advice on resolving consumer problems and is operated by the charity Advice Direct Scotland. Consumers can seek help in a number of different ways: Freephone 0808 164 6000; online and web chat at www.consumeradvice.scot; and email via firstname.lastname@example.org