Ticketmaster targets internet touts

22 Jan 2007

Ticketmaster has issued a warning to people who purchase tickets from online touts that they may be refused admission to the events for which they paid.

The company said it was working with concert and event promoters and venues to identify tickets that have been put up for sale at exorbitant prices on auction sites such as eBay and invalidate those tickets.

Eamonn O’Connor, managing director of Ticketmaster in Ireland, said: “We will examine as best as possible the tickets put on sale on these websites and, where possible, will work closely with promoters and venues to invalidate those tickets. This means that the purchasers will suffer the embarrassment of being refused entry to a concert, a football game or other event.”

It is not clear how fans with invalidated tickets will be prevented from entering an event, however, as currently it is not the norm for tickets to be scanned electronically at the entrance to venues.

Nevertheless, Ticketmaster hopes these measures will stop the demand for tickets off unauthorised touts who buy up large numbers of tickets, thus denying genuine fans the opportunity to purchase tickets at face value.

O’Connor criticised sites such a Needaticket.net, which invited fans to sell tickets to them so they could be resold at inflated prices. He said some websites were advertising tickets for concerts that don’t exist.

“Our clients prohibit the resale of tickets for profit and this is clearly stated in our terms and conditions,” he said.

While conceding that it was unfortunate that genuine fans would have to suffer the possibility of being denied access to an event after having paid above face value for a ticket online, O’Connor reiterated fans should only purchase tickets from authorised agents.

Ticketmaster called on the Governement to bring in measures to outlaw the unauthorised resale of tickets.

By Niall Byrne