Home Technology Regulation Google forced to act on shonky ticket resellers

Pressure from consumer groups has forced Google to crack down on ticket resellers from the beginning of the new year.

The consumer group CHOICE said that Google would ask anyone who wanted to resell tickets to gain certification before doing so.

For this, a reseller would have to:

  • Clearly disclose they are a secondary market and are not the primary provider of tickets;
  • Not imply in advertisements that they are primary providers of tickets through the use of words such as “official”;
  • Disclose the face value of the ticket and the resale price; and
  • Provide a price breakdown, including any taxes and fees, in the online checkout before payment is required.

CHOICE said, along with other consumer and fan groups around the world, it had called out Google and other search engines for being a party to the confusion prevailing around online tickets by allowing resale websites to place paid links above official sites in search results.

“Our research found 76% of fans in our survey who used Google to find event tickets didn’t know they were dealing with a ticket resale site[” CHOICE head of media Tom Godfrey said.

“Once you land on a resale site you don’t really stand a chance, with resellers using tricky tactics such as disguising buttons to look similar to authorised sellers, not disclosing the full price before you pay, or making ‘official’ claims.

“Given the extent of poor practice across the ticket resale industry, it’s great to see Google is playing its part to dry up their site traffic.”

In March, CHOICE referred Viagogo and Ticketmaster Resale to the ACCC for potential breaches of Australian Consumer Law.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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