Music fan cries foul over tickets selling out in one minute by 9.01am

Pricewatch reader query: Seatwave sales make life easy for those making money from music fans

 The Killers at the Barclaycard British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park, London this week. Photograph:  Eamonn M McCormack/Getty

The Killers at the Barclaycard British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park, London this week. Photograph: Eamonn M McCormack/Getty

 

Eimear Sheahan recently went in search of tickets for The Killers concert which due to take place at the 3 Arena in November. Despite logging onto Ticketmaster.ie at exactly 9am on the day the tickets went on sale, she had no joy and minutes later they were gone.

The experience - and what happened in the hours after she had tried and failed to get her tickets -prompted her so send us a mail which, we believe, neatly highlights the serious problem many people have with secondary ticket re-sale websites - particularly when those sites are entirely owned by the primary ticket sellers.

“I understand and accept that due to high demand and popularity it is possible for a concert to sell out in an extremely short amount of time and that this can lead to disappointment for some fans,” she writes..

That is not her issue. Her issue is with Seatwave.

She says that when she was told, at 9.01am that tickets were no longer available on the ticketmaster.ie website, an option to buy tickets for resale also appeared. “These resale tickets are available from the website www.Seatwave.ie. On their website Seatwave identify themselves as a Ticketmaster company,” she writes.

“As of 9.01am tickets for resale on Seatwave.ie were retailing for double the original selling price. As of 11.03am standing tickets were retailing at €149 per ticket and as of 11.06am some standing tickets on Seatwave.ie were advertised at €166.90 per ticket,” she continues.

She fully accepts that due to unforeseen circumstances people may not be able to attend a concert and may wish to sell their ticket to someone who can attend the event and enjoy it. But “in this case tickets were available on Seatwave.ie one minute after they went on sale to the general public on ticketmaster.ie. This leaves me to wonder why people would buy a ticket to a concert that they are unavailable and uninterested in attending. It is clear that these tickets were bought with the sole intention of reselling in order to make a profit.”

It is hard to argue with that.

Eimear then went digging and found what looked liked Ticketmaster terms and conditions regarding the resale of tickets. Those Ts&Cs say that “if this ticket is re-sold or transferred for profit or commercial gain by anyone other than the Promoter, Venue Management, Ticketmaster or one of their authorised sub-agents, it will become voidable and the holder may be refused entry to or ejected from the venue. Ticketmaster reserves the right to cancel any tickets advertised or published in any manner with the intent to resell for profit or commercial gain”.

She points out that Seatwave.ie is a Ticketmaster company which is facilitating individuals in the resale of tickets at inflated prices and says Ticketmaster is knowingly allowing individuals violate their own Purchase Policy. Seatwave is also taking 10 per cent of each sale so Ticketmaster are making a profit on the initial sale of tickets and, through their company Seatwave, making a further profit on the resale of tickets.

She asks why Ticketmaster is willing to “openly violate their own purchase policy through the use of Seatwave?

We contacted Ticketmaster to see what it had to say.

It did not address the substance of our reader’s query - namely that if a ticket appears for sale on Seatwave seconds after tickets go on sale (and sell out) on Ticketmaster then the chance of the seller being a legitimate fan who has just realised they can’t attend the concert would appear to be remote - and by remote we mean non-existent.

A spokesman did however say that the company was not in breach of its own Ts&Cs.

We were told that what our reader “seems to have found is an older T&C from ticketmaster.co.uk.”. The rule which appears on the Irish site is somewhat different. It says: “You may not resell or transfer your tickets if prohibited by law. In addition, Event Partners may prohibit the resale or transfer of tickets for some events. Any resale or transfer (or attempted resale or transfer) of a ticket in breach of the applicable law or any restrictions imposed by the Event Partner is grounds for seizure or cancellation of that ticket without refund or other compensation.”

It has to be said that those Ts&Cs do appear to give touts a whole lot of wiggle room while the ones that our reader found would do a whole lot more to clamp down on something that everyone - including Ticketmaster - say they’d rather see the back of.