Press release

New rules will protect fans from ticket touting

New rules coming into force today will demand more information from sellers on secondary ticket websites to better protect fans from rip-off prices.

Music fans enjoying a concert by cchow3
Fans of live events are set to benefit from new rules coming into force today
  • New rules will require ticket resellers to provide more information around resold event tickets, protecting consumers from rip off prices
  • Resellers now have to supply any unique ticket numbers (UTN) to the buyer to identify the ticket’s seat, standing area or location
  • Changes build on government’s action to increase transparency for consumers in the secondary market

Fans of live events are set to benefit from new rules coming into force today (6 April) which will demand more information from sellers on secondary ticket websites to better protect fans from rip-off prices.

For the first time resellers will have to quote the ‘unique ticket number’ (UTN) to a buyer, if the event organiser specifies one, helping to identify the ticket’s seat, standing area or location.

Current guidance requiring the disclosure of any restrictions and the original price of tickets have also been clarified today in order to improve compliance from businesses, ensuring better deals for customers.

Consumer Minister Andrew Griffiths said:

Fans have a right to know exactly what they’re signing up to on ticket resale websites, but all too often people are left feeling ripped off when the ticket doesn’t match expectations.

We are already taking steps to crack down on touts using “bots” to bulk buy tickets for resale and today’s new rules will also improve transparency in this market.

Adam Webb, Campaign Manager, FanFair Alliance said:

So-called secondary ticketing sites should now have complete clarity of their legal obligations.

Combined with enforcement action, these welcome updates and additions to consumer law will result in greater protection for audiences and help development of a more transparent and fan-friendly ticket resale market.

Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said:

We want real fans to get the chance to see their favourite stars at a fair price and we are clamping down on touts using bots to buy huge numbers of tickets, only to sell them on at rip-off prices.

These new measures will give consumers even greater protection and transparency in the secondary market, helping Britain’s live events scene to continue to thrive.

From today ticket resellers must:

  • identify the location to which the ticket provides access – such as the particular seat or standing area of the venue
  • disclose any restrictions around who can use the ticket or how it must be used (e.g. alongside ID of the original buyer)
  • disclose the original price of the ticket
  • reveal the details of connections they have with either the online facility on which they are selling, or the organiser of the event for which the ticket is being sold
  • supply the unique ticket number (UTN) to a buyer if the event organiser specifies one.

Today’s rules demonstrate a further commitment from government to improve conditions for consumers in the secondary market. The Competition and Markets Authority is taking enforcement action against secondary ticketing websites suspected of breaking consumer law, whilst the Advertising Standards Authority has acted to clamp down on misleading prices and charges on secondary ticketing websites.

New guidance was published last month to help prepare business for these changes, providing clarity to ensure they comply while also securing a better deal for consumers.

Citizens Advice provide information for consumers about buying event tickets and how to make sure a ticketing site is genuine.

Citizens Advice consumer helpline: 03454 04 05 06

Published 6 April 2018