Approved Ticket Agents
More and more ticketing issues have arisen through customers who have purchased concert tickets from non-approved sources. The Arena is a member of STAR (Secure Tickets from Authorised Retailers). For more information on STAR and its members, visit www.star.org.uk.
This is now an issue across all ticketed events. This problem has been raised at Governmental level, with a meeting being called in response to increasing concerns at the levels of malpractice, misrepresentation and old-fashioned rip-offs that are often generated in the secondary ticketing market, particularly via the Internet.
The sports and entertainment industries have welcomed the constructive approach to the problem of ticket touts of Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. On November 10 2005 the Minister hosted a summit at her Trafalgar Square offices to discuss the issues, describing the victims of ticket touts as "casualties".
Organisations present included the Concert Promoters Association, the National Arenas Association (NAA), the Society of London Theatre, the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Football Association and Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club, as well as two of the largest ticket agents, Ticketmaster and See Tickets.
The NAA has estimated that touts can account for up to 20% of the ticket supply on best selling shows. Professional looking websites confuse would-be customers who are unable to tell the difference between official and unofficial suppliers - at least prior to purchase if not afterwards. The so-called ‘futures market’ - where touts offer tickets as yet unsecured or for shows not yet on sale - further complicates matters. Once the customer has parted with their money, the tout then has to source those tickets, usually through other touts or on auction websites. They do not always succeed, leaving customers empty handed.
As an example, Rob Ballantine, from SJM Promotions, explained to Ms Jowell that one internet ticket broker - Getmetickets.net - has been selling tickets for Robbie Williams 2006 tour in advance of the official on sale date for the wrong month and the wrong venues, and at £125 instead of the face value of £42.50
The National Arenas Association Chairman Peter Tudor said: "It was clear from her response that the Secretary of State recognises the scale of the problem and wants to see Government and the industry working together to protect the unsuspecting consumer. We are delighted that she has committed to working with the industry to find solutions to the problem."
For the Concert Promoters Association, Rob Ballantine said: "It is encouraging to know that the government is aware of the difficulties concert promoters are facing with the issue of touting. Rogue ticket agents create problems speculatively selling tickets for gigs that do not exist. We are asking the government to protect the consumers by outlawing the secondary market and help us protect their access to concerts at affordable prices."
David Collier of the England and Wales Cricket Board said: "ECB is aware that the problems encountered from touting during the recent Ashes Series is part of an issue which extends across the Sports and Entertainment Industries. Sporting venues have been very pro-active in seeking to address these problems. We support the call for government to protect sports supporters by outlawing the secondary market thus ensuring access to sports fans to major events at affordable prices. This meeting was an important step in this process and we are grateful to the Secretary of State for chairing this summit."
Jonathan Brown of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers commented: "STAR's membership comprises authorised ticket agents and sellers and we welcome this new initiative by the Secretary of State to look into the level of consumer detriment caused by ticket touting. STAR has an important part to play in the self-regulation of the entertainment ticket industry and in increasing consumer awareness about the risks of buying through unauthorised sales channels."
The staging of live event experiences is one of the UK's most successful and innovative industries. The DCMS is expected to coordinate a series of meetings in the next six months to review current legislation and realistic solutions to the problems of touting which the Secretary of State is seeking to address. We would like to advise customers that only by purchasing tickets through the venue, authorised ticket agencies (listed below), event promoters and their authorised agents and authorised coach companies can you be sure that the ticket you purchase is a genuine and valid ticket.
Motorpoint Arena's authorised agents are:
- See Tickets
- Eddie Brown Tours
- Hyde Barker
- Yorkshire Weekly News Group
There may be other agents or companies authorised to sell tickets over and above the list above - If you are in any doubt about the people selling tickets you can always call the venue who will try and help. As a general guide we publish and sell the tickets for the face value and highlight the booking fee of around 10% of the ticket value - if you are being charged more than the face value of the ticket (excluding any travel, hospitality and booking fee charges) then this will not be from an authorised agency.
The purchase of tickets from non approved sources can result in customers being refused entry to the concert and being unable to obtain a refund.
In the unfortunate event of a postponed or cancelled event the venue will only be able to contact those customers who booked through an authorised agent and will only be able to refund the original ticket purchaser - holding a ticket does not entitle the holder to either access to the building or a refund should their be any alteration to the original concert details.